Australia braces for floods

Torrential rain threatens to bring treacherous conditions to parts of New South Wales.
Last Modified: 21 Feb 2013 10:04
Scenes like this are feared in New South Wales as rains threaten to bring flooding to northern parts of the state [EPA].

Over the past few days torrential rain has been falling across the east coast of Australia.

An area of low pressure which has been drifting down the east coast of Australia. Originally the system moved down the Queensland coast, bringing flooding to some eastern locations.

The town of Rainbow Beach, just to the north of Great Sandy National Park received 326mm of rain in three days, which is approximately twice the amount of rain that would normally be expected in the entire month of February.

The system is continuing its journey south and over the next 24 hours, it will be parts of New South Wales which will see the heaviest downpours.

The coastal stretch of the state to the north of Sydney is likely to be the worst hit, with most places expected to receive between 100 and 200mm of rain. Some locations are being warned that they could receive more than 300mm.

This amount of rain, falling in such a short time, is easily enough to cause flooding. It is also likely to cause some rivers to overflow their banks, which could trigger flash flooding in some regions.

Over the next few days, the system is expected to head inland. The rain will gradually ease as the low pressure weakens. However, more showers are expected across the state over the next few days.

Rain is almost an obsession in Australia, which is the world’s driest inhabited continent. The majority of the land is either arid or semi-arid.

Droughts often cause problems for farmers across the country, and the levels of dams are frequently a source of concern. Therefore, in the long run, much of the current rain will be beneficial, but in the short term, it will be hazardous.


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