Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

Winton Hit by Record Rainfalls; Central West Town Goes Under

Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

Winton Hit by Record Rainfalls; Central West Town Goes Under

Article excerpt

Byline: Steph Allen Stephanie.Allen@capnews.com.au

ALTHOUGH Central West Queensland graziers' prayers for rain have been answered, the town of Winton is bracing itself for major flooding.

At noon yesterday, the Bureau of Meteorology released a major flood warning for the Western River, with a flood peak expected by the evening.

More than 200mm of rainfall was recorded over the Western River and upper Diamantina River catchment on Sunday and Monday, with further rain and thunderstorms expected to increase the levels.

The Western River at Winton was at 3.5 metres and rising at noon yesterday, with river levels expected to match those experienced in February 2000 when 450mm fell in one week.

In Winton, roads are flooding and properties are being drenched with rainfall.

BoM meteorologist David Crock says "plenty of records have been broken" in the wake of the recent rainfall.

"Julia Creek broke its rainfall record on Monday with 127mm up until 9am," Mr Crock said.

"In 24 hours, Winton broke its daily record for rainfall and set the new record at 101.8mm.

"The previous record was just 1mm less than that, 100.8mm, which was on March 10, 2016.

"There's been a number of others as well. In seven day totals, Winton has had 230mm in seven days, Longreach has had over 100mm and further north-west has had 100-200mm around Mount Isa, Cloncurry and Julia Creek."

Mr Crock said the bridge at Winton was flooded yesterday, which could lead to "probable flooding" in the town.

Rainfall is expected to continue today throughout the Central West, with a few showers also currently developing around Emerald yesterday.

"There's a few developing on the coast particularly towards Gladstone and you could probably see some rain in Rockhampton," Mr Crock said.

"It will be raining over the next few days but today will be similar to yesterday with a few showers still around. …

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