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Tropical low dumps huge rainfall totals on parts north Queensland

Wednesday December 29, 2021 - 22:50 AEDT
ABC image
A kookaburra gets a drenching as a tropical low brings heavy rainfall to parts of far north Queensland . - ABC

Huge rainfall totals have been recorded in parts of north Queensland as a tropical low moves across the state and into the Coral Sea.


A severe weather warning issued by the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) for much of Cape York has now been cancelled.


Duty forecaster Steven Hadley said despite the cancellation, rain was persisting along the north tropical coast.


"The low is somewhere around the Cairns area at the moment but looks like it's just starting to go offshore," Mr Hadley said.


"We're expecting the low pressure system that's been moving over the north to move offshore today but it's going to bring some rain for some time, especially around the Mackay area.


"[The system] will deepen over the next few days as it moves offshore and for that reason we've actually got gale warnings out for coastal waters north of Capricornia."


Where did the rain fall?


Kowanyama, on Western Cape York, has recorded more than 340 millimetres since the deluge began on Tuesday morning.


"There's a lot of water around the township area, and a lot of water out on Country," said Kowanyama Aboriginal Shire Mayor Robbie Sands.


"Up until this point, December has been very dry, probably one of the driest on records or certainly in my memory of living in Kowanyama for a long time.


"The Country needed this rain."


Daintree Village, about 90 kilometres north of Cairns, recorded more than 130 millimetres of rain in the 24 hours to Thursday morning.


Daintree River tour guide David White said there was some minor flooding in the area.


"It's nothing unusual other than wet season rain," Mr White said.


"But if it keeps on going like this for a couple more days we might see some serious flooding.


"At the moment, though, it's just a very wet day."


In Tully, a town that measures its annual rainfall in metres, more than 100 millimetres has fallen in the past 24 hours.


At nearby Mission Beach, BOM rain gauges recorded more than 140 millimetres in the same time.


Gulf communities miss out, again


In the north-west part of the Gulf Country, the local District Disaster Management Group said communities were braced for the heavy weather, but it never came.


"The system went further north than we originally thought," said QFES emergency management coordinator Elliot Dunn.


"The communities in the Gulf were prepared for some significant rain and wind, but it just didn't eventuate this time.


Mr Dunn said a lot of people were looking forward to the rain.


"We are an agricultural area, so any rain is good rain ? and hopefully we do get some rain out of the next one."


Sweers Island, in the Gulf, has recorded a mere 12 millimetres since the beginning of the week.


Lyn Battle lives on the island with her husband, Tex, and are the islands only residents.


She said they were expecting a lot of rain.


"It never really happened," Mrs Battle said.


"There was some coastal erosion [though] ? the tide was a metre higher than normal, we think."







- ABC

© ABC 2021

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