Another 1m of rain to fall in coming days

 

A MAN has died after being swept away in floodwaters west of Innisfail as the drought-ravaged north received up to 185mm of rain in 24 hours on the weekend with forecasts of another metre of rain in the next 10 days.

The 61-year-old's body was recovered on Sunday following a search involving drones, a helicopter and swift water rescue teams.

It comes as more than 100cm of rain is forecast for drought-ravaged communities over the next 10 days, after a monsoon gave some areas of central and north Queensland a drenching over the weekend.

There were several reports of people rescued from floodwaters in Mt Isa, Emerald and Charters Towers.

Some areas copped over 100mm of rain in 24 hours, with flooding reported in areas that have been in drought for eight years.

But the forecast is for the monsoon to go into overdrive, with some areas of the north tropical coast expected to cop daily totals of 200mm, and between 800 to 1000mm over 10 days.

BOM Meteorologist Alex Majchrowski said the extensive rainfall was triggered by a monsoonal low over the Northern Territory.

"That's dragging a lot of moisture into the state," Mr Majchrowski said.

"We can expect (wet weather) until about Thursday next week."

Tom Duddy outside the Prairie Hotel Motel on Australia Day 2020.
Tom Duddy outside the Prairie Hotel Motel on Australia Day 2020.

But he warned the falls, while welcome, would not break the drought.

"It's been a few days of good rain, but not enough to make up for the deficit."

Southeast Queensland will miss out from the monsoonal weather, with drier conditions expected to return to Brisbane after two weeks of uncomfortable humidity and frequent thunderstorms.

"Showers are still possible but not the heavier totals we've seen over the past few days," Mr Majchrowski said.

Farmers in the drought-ravaged Maranoa were among those doing a rain dance, as gauges saw falls in recent days that came close to the totals recorded through the entire of 2019.

Graziers Craig and Bec Beissel said 94mm fell on their property 15km east of Roma.

"Our country is really coming along very quickly," Ms Beissel said. "It's helped to spread a bit of positivity."

Their kids Beau, 10, and Maggie, 8, were pictured running through mud celebrating the downpour, which had rejuvenated grass and replenished their dams.

Heavy rain in Blackwater.
Heavy rain in Blackwater.

Nearby graziers Leesa and Brad Murray were also celebrating, with rains enough to fill their dams after years of drought.

In the inland town of Prairie, east of Hughenden, floodwaters lapped at the front door of the local pub.

But Prairie Hotel owner Tom Duddy was happy to look on the bright side, dusting off his windsurfer.

"There is an old photograph here of a bloke standing out the front (of the pub) with a surfboard," Mr Duddy said.

Before shot of Leesa and Brad Murray’s dam near Roma. Picture: Leesa Murray.
Before shot of Leesa and Brad Murray’s dam near Roma. Picture: Leesa Murray.

"I said if it ever happens again, I'm going to pull the windsurfer out."

The Central and North Queensland coasts received the best falls, with 185mm falling between Saturday and Sunday morning in Glenella, near Mackay, and 159mm in Rollingstone, near Townsville.

Mt Isa received 84mm, Roma 45mm and May Downs, south of Mackay, got 100mm.

Rain through Sunday was more moderate, with some areas near Townsville recording around 50mm by Sunday afternoon.

A Sunwater spokeswoman said they were anticipating dams in the regions to rise in coming days as water trickled into catchments.

The spokeswoman said Julius Dam in Mt Isa had jumped from 72 to 80 per cent in the 48 hours to Sunday.

 

After shot of Leesa and Brad Murray’s dam near Roma. Picture: Leesa Murray.
After shot of Leesa and Brad Murray’s dam near Roma. Picture: Leesa Murray.


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