Trough dumps heavy rain in North

Bruce Highway cut at Gumlu as ex-cyclone Penny crosses coast


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This creek at Rangeview Station, near Ravenwood, has not run to such an extent for about seven or eight years. Photo: Sonia Spurdle.

This creek at Rangeview Station, near Ravenwood, has not run to such an extent for about seven or eight years. Photo: Sonia Spurdle.

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Heavy rain in the North has been a blessing for some and created chaos for others in the wake of ex-cyclone Penny.

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TORRENTIAL rain has pounded parts of North Queensland, cutting the Bruce Highway and forcing the rescue of five pig hunters who got trapped in rising floodwaters.

The trough associated with ex-tropical cyclone Penny crossed the coast between Townsville and Bowen overnight, bringing isolated patches of heavy rainfall.

Bureau of Meteorology senior forecaster Michelle Berry said the system moved inland of Bowen and out to Charters Towers with areas west of Bowen receiving the heaviest rain.

Strathbogie received 432mm of rain in the 24 hours to 9am, with most of that falling in just eight hours.

Localised falls up to 224mm were recorded south of the Burdekin, while Groper Creek, near Home Hill received 184mm.

The heavy rain cut the Bruce Highway at Gumlu, between Home Hill and Bowen, which was closed to traffic for most of the day before reopening this evening.

Five men who were on a pig hunting trip became stranded in floodwaters at Bogie near Bowen this morning.

One of the men managed to contact his mother to advise that their ute had been washed off the Tondara Road, about 15 kilometres from the Bruce Highway and that water was rapidly rising.

She contacted authorities about 8am to advise them of the situation and the CQ Rescue Helicopter was dispatched from Mackay to search for the men but was grounded due to heavy rain.

Police said the men had managed to get out of the ute and became stranded.

The men were later rescued by a farmer who alerted authorities and they were evacuated by helicopter.

Sonia Spurdle received 123mm at her family property, Rangeview Station, near Ravenswood and the creeks are running.

“We’ve had 123mm, it started late yesterday afternoon, I didn’t think we’d get anything out of it, but fortunately for us, it came in and just rained and rained and rained until about 10am this morning.

“The main creek had not had a decent run for quite a lot of years and it’s having a really good run which is wonderful to see. It would be seven or eight years since it has had a run that big.”

Mrs Spurdle said they were lucky enought to receive rain about three weeks ago, and the follow up was welcome.

“We were actually really fortunate about three weeks ago, we fluked a freak storm and got 81mm out of that and 32mm two days later.

“Not a lot of places got that, it was the first rain we’ve had since earlier in the year and it was getting a bit dry out this way.

“We only hope a lot of people got it, it would nice to see it go  bit further.”

Ms Berry said the heaviest rain today was around the Alva Beach and Ayr areas, with 111mm falling in Alva since 9am.

She said severe thunderstorms were also impacting the Far North, with Menavale, north of Tully receiving 103mm with 90mm falling in one hour.

Ms Berry said the trough would move back toward the Townsville coast tonight and travel northwards throughout Friday, with areas between Townsville and Tully receiving the most rain.

Western areas including Georgetown and the Gulf Country may also benefit from slow moving, heavy rainfall.

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