Up to 150mm could drench Bundaberg as severe weather hits
THE Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) has issued a severe weather warning for damaging wind, heavy rain, abnormally high tides and dangerous surf for the Bundaberg region.
The bureau has also issued an initial flood watch for rivers, streams and creeks between Rockhampton and the New South Wales border but Bundaberg Mayor Mal Forman said a flood watch was not a cause for concern but a notification based on possible rainfall to help in the preparation of residents and relevant agencies.
"While it is not anticipated that the projected rainfall will cause any flooding of the Burnett River, council is able to integrate any projected river levels rises with our flood mapping technology to give early warning to residents should circumstances change," he said.
"However, coastal rivers and streams are likely to see rises as heavy rain falls along the coast, similar to the effects of the recent rain event about two weeks ago."
Bundaberg could receive its average February rainfall in a two-day period with up to 150mm predicted to hit Bundy from tomorrow.
Bureau spokesman Jess Carey urged locals to be careful.
"Tomorrow will be the heaviest rainfall for the Bundaberg area," he said.
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"We are looking at 100-150mm in that 24 hour period and that will be extending inland to the high country and the Great Dividing Range."
Mr Carey said flood potential would depend on the intensity and duration of the rain.
"I know the Upper Burnett River through Eidsvold and Monto have had a couple of runs in the river already, so there will be potential for some storage," he said.
"If you get the 100mm over 24 hours it won't be overly significant.
"If you get that in an hour then run-offs are going to be generated very quickly."
Cr Forman said council had been monitoring the weather event over the past few days in consultation with the Bundaberg Local Disaster Management Group (LDMG) and District Disaster Management Group (DDMG), the Bureau of Meteorology and the State Disaster Coordination Centre.
"At this stage, the advice from BoM is that the low in the Coral Sea will drift south and may cross the Capricornia or Wide Bay coast on Friday," Cr Forman said.
"Projected rainfall totals for the Wide Bay region from Thursday to Saturday could exceed 200mm, especially near the coast."
Coinciding with this rain event are the highest tides of the year. Residents will see those areas that are usually impacted by king tides on Thursday and Friday.
Cr Forman said heavy rainfall may cause localised flash flooding, so residents should remain alert, tune in to warnings on radio and at http://www.qldalert.com and exercise caution when driving in areas with water over the road.
He said council and the LDMG would continue to closely monitor the developing weather situation and would receive regular briefings from the Bureau of Meteorology and continue to update the public.