The Simmonds brothers, Darcy, George and Jack had a ball with all the wet weather in Bundaberg.
The Simmonds brothers, Darcy, George and Jack had a ball with all the wet weather in Bundaberg. Scottie Simmonds

Record rainfall drenches city

BUNDABERG had its biggest August soaking in more than 120 years, with 105mm of rain pouring on the city overnight on Tuesday.

Meteorologist Gavin Holcombe said Bundaberg's August record rainfall was in 1887, with 111mm falling in 24 hours on August 12.

Mr Holcombe said the downpour was very out of character for this time of year.

“We're coming into the driest part of the year, so this a very significant event,” he said.

“We were having a fairly typical winter pattern until now.”

Other areas in the region also scored big on the rainfall chart, with Gin Gin recording 95mm to 9am yesterday, Childers 77mm, Gayndah 58mm and Monto 48mm.

The unseasonably wet start to August has stopped cane harvesters in their tracks and forced the Bundaberg region's three mills to stop crushing.

Canegrowers Isis manager Wayne Stanley said the mills in Millaquin, Isis and Bingera were not likely to begin crushing again until early next week and many growers were crossing their fingers in the hope rain clouds would soon dissipate.

“If the rain ceases, then operations should be okay to get back under way early next week, but if it continues it could be considerably longer,” he said.

“There's people sitting around and some who are not getting paid while it's been raining, so it hasn't been ideal.”

But Mr Stanley said the silver lining for growers and mill operators was the downpour's benefit for cane scheduled to be cut in October and November.

“The paddocks have been looking a bit dry lately, so it's going to be very beneficial for late-cut cane,” he said.

“It's a big downfall so it's going to be a big boost for later in the season.”

Farmers from Biggenden to Bundaberg have reported rainfalls of more than 100mm over recent days, with some hailing it as a blessing and others a curse.

Kalonga cattle farmer Bill Campbell said the downpour came at a perfect time for him.

“We've had a hell of a run of bad seasons and this is such a relief,” he said.

“It will keep the grass going for us. It's really given us another string to the bow that keeps us going.”

Sunwater area operations manager Neville Wogandt said dam stocks had been boosted.

“The Fred Haigh Dam came up 4500 megalitres in the last 24 hours (overnight Tuesday),” he said.

“Paradise Dam got about 1000 megalitres as well.”

Mr Wogandt said while the amounts were not huge, they provided security to the water storage facilities.

“This is setting the trend for spring in another month or two and it's looking good so far,” he said.

Mr Holcombe said the region's skies were expected to be clear for at least another week or two with a minimum temperature of 9C and maximum of 22C today..

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