Saturday, 26 January 2013

Here in Gladstone we are measuring the rain in metres (be careful what you wish for)

While southerners and some in other parts of Queensland are praying for rain or doing collective rain dances, up here around Gladstone we are measuring the rainfall in the past few days in feet (or metres if you prefer).
Three months with little or no rain, now multiple highway and roads cut, flood alerts issued, and still it's raining. Earlier this morning our total had reached 1050 mls or 42 inches or over a metre. I sent this email to family members about 7.30 am today:

"Well we are now past 1050 mls  or 42 inches on the old scale since it started a couple of days ago which is mind boggling. Highest one day rain ever for yesterday.  460 mm or over  18 inches in the 24 hrs to noon on Friday. It's still raining and an emergency flood alert has been issued for homes along the Boyne River which is expected to peak at 8.45 this morning. Awoonga Dam is 4.8 metres over the spillway which is higher than the flood level two years ago. Can't get to the dam but might venture over to Boyne Island later for some pics. 
Wind gusts over 90 km/hr in Gladstone yesterday. Apart from a couple of pot plants blown over, we have fared very well although the yard is pretty soggy. 
I don't remember seeing rain like this before here. We were stuck at Tewantin during the Jan 2011 floods but as I said, the dam level did not reach this height. If old Noah was around now he would be building an ark for sure."
Well the houses at the Boyne mouth  did survive this morning's high tide unscathed but with water lapping their front yards. However they are not out of the woods (water) yet the dam is now 5.5 metres or more than a metre above the 2011 level over the spillway, and could reach 7.5 metres over. I tried to post some photos I took this morning but the link options look different and I lost the whole post. Will try again later.
I don't think they wanted a water view this close to the homes near the river mouth at Boyne Island. Note though that the water, fed by  an overflow from Awoonga Dam more than 5r metres above the spillway, is relatively clean.

Meanwhile just up the highway at Mt Larcom Peter Neilsen posted this update on Geoff Brown's discussion this morning:
 "Peter Neilsen January 26, 2013 at 11:53 AM
Latest for Mt Larcom. The total known rainfall for period 9-00pm Wednesday night to 9-00am Saturday morning is approx 54 INCHES . Exact amount is largely unknown because I had to estimate the rainfall because the gauge overflowed when I dared to go to bed to get some sleep.

The total for the 24 hours would be 755mm plus because of not having an exact reading.
My gauge is only a 6 inch (150mm) one but I access it from my front landing and do not have to go downstairs to read it.
When it stops raining I am going to have to pull the weather station down and clear out the spider that has crawled into the "tipping bucket" mechanism and stopped the bucket from tipping.

When It overflowed this morning, I estimated the rainfall for the 6.5 hours from 2-00am to 8-30am (when I finally dragged myself out of bed).
The rainfall for 1 hour from 8-30 til 9-30 was 72mm which would have given a reading of 468mm for the 6.5 hour period. This would mean a 24 HOUR reading of 755mm (or a bit over 30 inches.

The estimate would have been a bit on the conservative side because I took the 1 hour reading just before the rain eased. It had been raining much harder during the entire night."

If you think we are exaggerating, here are some Observer links. Amazingly no serious flooding inundating houses around here yet although there could be some up in the Boyne Valley.

The beach near Canoe Point just after high tide this morning.

The night before all the rain started. Freddo enjoying the dog's water bowl verandah spa bath. No shortage of water now.
Update Sunday morning hundreds evacuated and hundreds more out sightseeing:

What difference would another metre make to these very expensive riverside properties?
Latest updates at The Observer:


  1. Maybe its just me but I've never had a problem adding photos before. Now I want to go back and try but can't see how to open an edit option on this discussion. Widser minds, help please! There should be a way to update or add to the main post but buggered if I can see it.
    Someone should do a help section, if possible.

  2. The weather is getting stranger yet for at Bargara (Near Bundaberg they were hit by a mini tornado, some discribing it as a water spout.
    A man has subtained critical injuries according to the Bundaberg Mail
    Images available here

    1. And now I see, a separate one has hit Burnett Heads, just a few K north, around the coast.
      Not wanting to deflect concern away from these happenings, but now I see you are posting another (News Mail) link Dale, and Young Geoff has produced a link for my Mariarchi "The Day that the Rain Came (Down)". Can you share your genius on the site, as I requested elsewhere a short while ago?
      Cheers al

    2. Al, there is now a Help tab at the top of the page. Email me with any suggested improvements.
      Look also in the comment section of the Fiscal cliffs discussion.

  3. Hey, I figured it out - the pics (choose file) wouldn't work, suddenly it did. Don't ask me what I did or if I'll remember next time...

  4. Bureau of Meteorology flood warning for the Boyne River at 2.44am this morning.

    "Rainfall totals of up to 150 to 450mm have been recorded since 9am Saturday in the catchments of the Calliope, Boyne, Kolan Rivers and baffle Creek.
    Further heavy rainfall is forecast for the next 12 hours across the warning area. This will cause further stream rises and higher levels in the areas of the heaviest rainfall.

    Boyne River:
    At 1:30am Sunday, the water level over the spillway at Awoonga Dam was 7.8 metres. Further heavy rainfall has lead to renewed rises with levels expected to peak near 8.3 metres Sunday afternoon.

    Strong river rises will continue downstream along the Boyne River to the residential areas at Boyne Island and Tannum Sands."

  5. Just sent this email to family: Hi, the Awoonga Dam is now 8.3meters above the spillway about twice as high as the 2011 which the authorities were still trying to blame for the diseased fish here. We could get some free meals and lodging - just been listening to ABC Rocky who read out a long list of streets in Boyne- Tannum where people are being advised to evacuate and ours is among them but there are lower sections than where we are, high and dry, and we won't be going anywhere (unless the cops knock on the door which is unlikely as we are a long way from the Boyne River and well above sea level for any tidal storm surge. They mentioned " RL7 or lower" as bein g advised to evacuate, not sure how you determine that. Will look for a map. The road to Gladstone has been cut. If water rose as high as our place, three quarters of the town would be inundated and I can't see that happening. High tide about 9 so we will see what eventuates.
    All pretty calm this morning but the tail end of the storm must have passed over late last night. Very windy and even more heavy rain which kept me awake for hours but Cathy slept thru it.

  6. Well we are high and dry but still mystified by the evacuation "RL7" warning which people must be supposed to be automatically aware of, and whether their property is included. There is no map that I can find on the Gladstone Regional Council website and phone calls to the local emergency coordination centre and State Emergency Service numbers get recorded messages to try calling again later. Phoned the local police and they confirmed our street was not affected and if it was we would have been door knocked - so wonder why it was on the list supplied to ABC radio which seemed to incorporate much of Boyne Tannum area. Crying Wolf is not a great idea.

  7. Still high and dry here, got some more good pics this morning - will add to main post. Also some updates on the Observer, they say the "spur dam" at Awoonga could collapse. Doesn't really explain what that is except its part of the spillway that is apparently designed to give way when the water reaches a certain height. Apparently that would increase flooding downstream in the Boyne.

  8. Oz Cyclone Chasers posted a youtube on Saturday that explained this wether system that developed out of ex-cyclone Oswell and what had occurred in the Gladstone region. They predicted the tornadoes that hit the Bundaberg region, 6 in total; they are also showing how the northern rivers region in NSW will be impacted on Monday.
    Oz Cyclone Chasers Video

  9. The Queensland Telegraph used 12 of my flood pics in yesterday's edition including a big full front page of the sinking boat in the Boyne mouth. I used some of Peter's quotes about the rain in Mt Larcom and the spider in his rain guage too. Pretty much back to normal here now except for dirty water, but we really feel sorry for the poor people of Bundaberg made homeless by their record flood. We once lived in two of the places hardest hit - Bargara and North Bundaberg.


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