A thrill-seeker leaps into turbulent surf from the jetty at Fisherman’s Beach at Emu Park, grateful for the extreme weather that has closed roads, uprooted trees and caused flooding throughout the region.
A thrill-seeker leaps into turbulent surf from the jetty at Fisherman’s Beach at Emu Park, grateful for the extreme weather that has closed roads, uprooted trees and caused flooding throughout the region. Chris Ison

Yeppoon's wettest day in 17 years

HEAVY rains and damaging winds that lashed the Rockhampton region early yesterday, leaving floods and some property damage in their wake, will move south over the next few days.

There were unofficial reports of winds reaching speeds of more than 100kmh at Rosslyn Bay and the Keppels early yesterday morning when Yeppoon recorded 162mm in a few hours of intense rainfall. One gauge at Pacific Heights, just to the north of Yeppoon, measured 264mm.

And according to The Weather Channel, it was the town’s most intense rainfall for 17 years.

The Bureau of Meteorology in Rockhampton said the band of extreme weather was heading towards Wide Bay and any further widespread flooding was likely to occur south of Gladstone.

Forecaster Mike Marrinan said showers and storms were likely to be a feature of the region’s weather for days to come, although there would be extensive breaks between downpours.

The heaviest rain in Central Queensland yesterday fell at Kalarka, just south of Clairview, where the bureau recorded a remarkable 550mm within 24 hours up to 9am yesterday.

And more than 300mm was registered near Malborough.

By comparison, Rockhampton itself escaped fairly lightly, with 68.2mm at the airport.

But some areas close by were deluged. Private gauges measured more than 150mm in Frenchville, while at Gracemere, Mt Chalmers and Cawarral there was enough rain to flood properties and close roads as normally dry creeks were swollen by flash flooding.

James Wetzler, from Marmor, said the community had been pelted with 148mm in 24 hours and there was water across the main road to Port Alma, preventing some people from getting to work.

“This is very welcome rain. The dams are full and overflowing and it will delight the farmers,” he said.

Mr Marrinan said the drought-stricken Dawson and Callide valleys missed out again.

There would be moderate to major flooding in the Fitzroy catchment in the Funnel Creek area.

“We will probably see this floodwater coming down the Fitzroy River next week, but the prediction so far is that the river through Rockhampton should remain below minor flood levels,” he said.

Rockhampton Regional Council was forced to close access to a number of beaches at the Capricorn Coast due to erosion.

Motorists were hampered by road closures. Byfield Road was shut along with Coorooman Creek Road, Daly Creek Road, Old Byfield Road and Woodbury Road at the coast. Several roads at Gracemere were closed late yesterday.

Keep up-to-date with the latest weather information for your region.



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