Monday, February 7, 2011

Sunraysia's Big Wet - February 2011

I have lived in the Sunraysia district all my life and I have never seen the amount of rain that happened here on Friday 5th February.

The morning was very humid due to the tropical cyclone Yasi that had crossed the Queensland coast several days before. I went cycling with a friend and by the time I got home a storm was brewing.

Late afternoon the heavens opened up and dumped 150ml of rain over Mildura and surrounding areas. Houses and streets were flooded over the district and worst affected areas of Irymple and Red Cliffs had in excess of 200ml. The rain was so heavy at times you couldn't see across the street and reminded me very much of a tropical thunderstorm.

It continued to rain all night and all of Saturday when it finally ceased. The official rain total was 189ml but some areas measured 250 to 300ml.

Sunraysia had its yearly rainfall in 2 days.

Sunday dawned and was clear and cool and we went on our usual Sunday morning cycle ride.
It was amazing to see all the water lying around. The Murray river that is very swollen at the moment, had risen about 8 inches. Mildura's Apex Park which has a lovely sandbar has been underwater for many weeks now, the water there is very close to going over the road and inundating the park, and could still do that with a lot more flood waters to come down the Murray yet. Many parts of our cycling track are under water and huge holes have appeared.

I am sure it will take several weeks to clean up the streets and houses that were flooded. The effects of this rain will be felt around the district with devastating results for our grape industry. Many fruit properties were almost completely underwater and many growers were already dealing with the worst outback of Downy Mildew in the area for many years, and I am sure this rain will be the last straw. Tropical cyclone Yasi didn't just affect Queensland, it's affects were felt all over Australia.

2011 has certainly been the year for amazing weather events.

The photo's that I have included are of Apex Park and the bike track that follows the Murray around to the Marina. If you look back at some of my older blogs on cycling, you can see the difference in the river.

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