Drenching rain hits north-west

Drought breaking rain in north-west


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North-west Queensland has copped an absolute drenching in the last week and the wet is set to continue for a few days yet.

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Graziers in inland areas of central and north Queensland have received their best rainfall in years, as a monsoon trough lingers over the north.

Properties in the Winton, Richmond, Julia Creek and Hughenden areas are among those to have benefited from the wet season rain which started last week.

But in some areas, it has gone from drought to catastrophe, with relentless rain flooding the dry country.

Over 300mm has fallen in Richmond much to the delight of Brock & Hollie Ievers at Lake Fred Tritton. Photo - Kristy-Lee Ivers.

Over 300mm has fallen in Richmond much to the delight of Brock & Hollie Ievers at Lake Fred Tritton. Photo - Kristy-Lee Ivers.

The Burdekin River has flooded Macrossan Bridge at Sellheim and is expected to peak at 19 metres tonight.

The Flinders Highway is cut near Charters Towers, while the road remains cut in several other places out west.

Residents gathered in Hughenden to watch as the Flinders River began flowing through the centre of town for the first time in years.

Bureau of Meteorology meteorologist Vinord Anand said 325mm had fallen in the Gillat River north-west of Cloncurry in the 24 hours until 9am on Tuesday.

“Areas around Mount Isa, Cloncurry, Richmond and Winton has seen a lot of rain with their highest totals in that area for quite a while.

Mr Anand said Julia Creek had received 467mm in the last week, when their average yearly rainfall was 400-600mm.

Richmond has received 386mm in the last week, Hughenden has had 152mm and Charters Towers 290mm.

The poddy calves didn't know what to think as the rain came down at Wando Station 50 km east of Winton. Photo - Donna Paynter.

The poddy calves didn't know what to think as the rain came down at Wando Station 50 km east of Winton. Photo - Donna Paynter.

“We will be seeing more rain in the north-west around the Winton, Cloncurrry and Richmond areas, they are looking to get anything in the range from 20mm to 80mm, with isolated falls to 100mm in the area.

“By Thursday we will start to see a slight easing of rain in the north-west.”

Richmond Shire Council Mayor John Wharton said they had received beautiful soaking rain for the last week, but the region needed a reprieve.

“We’re starting to have some livestock issues we’ve got to address, there’s a lot of cattle that’s been standing in the rain and bog for a while now,” Mr Wharton said.

”We’re hoping for sunshine to come out very soon, if we get a break in the next 24-48 hours that would be fantastic.

“We’re going to have a wonderful season, there is no doubt. Where the rain has been people have had 300mm-450mm very good rain.

“They say every drought gets broken by a flood.”

At Pialah Station, 100km north of Richmond, Georgie Roselt’s 18 month old daughter Pippa enjoyed taking a drink of rain running from the drain pipe.

Mrs Roselt said they had cracked about 385mm since the rain first last Monday. However, to the south of Richmond and Julia Creek, properties have copped an absolute drenching.

Pippa Roselt, 18 months, drinks fresh rainwater from the drain at Pialah Station, north of Richmond. Photo - Georgie Roselt.

Pippa Roselt, 18 months, drinks fresh rainwater from the drain at Pialah Station, north of Richmond. Photo - Georgie Roselt.

“The downs country on the southern side of Richmond has gone from drought to catastrophe.

“We’ve been lucky, it will be helpful, we’re on sandy country and our cattle were poor but not really bad, but it sort of needs to stop.

“We don’t want to wish it away, but we’d love to share it with those who need it.”

Mrs Roselt said her uncle north of Julia Creek had received 300mm overnight Monday, and 660mm since it first started.

“A lot of that country south of Richmond and Julia Creek is now up around the 400mm to 500mm mark.

“It has gone from being totally bare and really dry to cattle standing in water.”

Mrs Roselt said they had destocked and were feeding out a lot of lick following a dry year.

“We were running out of options a bit like a lot of people on the land.

“We have about 4000 breeders here at the moment, so we’re down on normal but it’s still good to have that many.

“Absolutely it gives us a bit breathing space it makes the year look a lot brighter.”

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