Floods In Australia

Posted on Sun 03/07/2010 by


In the last week, there has been a major flood event in Australia, mainly located in my home State of Queensland, but also spreading down the Eastern part of the Continent, down into Victoria and also into South Australia.

This is a link to just one of the news articles. I have included this one because in the article under the small image slide show at that page are further links to videos of news bulletins, and also a photo gallery of images of the flooded areas. What may also be interesting is to take some of those video links to hear some of those wonderful Western Queensland accents.

As I have mentioned earlier, Australia covers a vast area, and is around the same size as is Mainland U.S.A.

My home State of Queensland is the second largest State by area in Australia, and it is two and one half times the size of Texas, and covers an area of around 670,000 Square Miles.

The flood has left an area in the South West of our State underwater as Rivers fill, flow very slowly downstream and spread out covering a vast area. That area now under water is around 15% of the whole State. When said blandly like that in percentage levels, it may not sound much, but consider this. That area now under water is around 95,000 square miles, or around the same size as the State of Wyoming. Most of this area is what is euphemistically called ‘The Outback’, where it is always exceedingly dry.

In some areas this flood has surpassed the previous worst flood of 1890, as records for more recent floods were surpassed very early as the waters rose.

Some places received more rain over two days than in the whole of last year, and some areas received that rain a couple of hours. Quite a number of small to medium sized towns are having major flooding in the towns, and in some cases nearly the whole town has had to be evacuated to higher ground as Emergency services offer assistance, and, as is the case in most of these Country towns, everyone gets in together to all help each other out.

The River systems in this area of the State mostly all flow to the South, so there is some hope that this event will lead to good inflows into the huge Darling River and then into the Murray as far away as Victoria. This Murray Darling Basin is one the World’s major River systems and has been in particular stress over the last Decade.

These flood waters are very slow flowing as they move to the South, and in some cases it will be almost months before this peak in Queensland will reach those lower areas.

The heavy rain was part of a major and slow moving rain depression that slowly moved East after forming in that Western region. It has also lead to widespread rain events in the South East of the State around the State Capital Brisbane. What this has done is to cause huge inflows into the major water storages for that South East area. There are around 25 dams of medium to large size, and most of those dams are rapidly filling if not overflowing already. There are 4 major dams that comprise the bulk of the water supply, and the largest of those, the huge Wivenhoe Dam is at levels not seen for decades.

This most effectively eases concerns about the supply of water for this vast, and relatively densely (well, dense for Australia anyway)  populated area, and in fact this will ease water supply concerns for years to come.

The remnants of what occurred in Queensland moved South over the last day or so, and into Victoria, and also South Australia.

Andrew Bolt’s post directly above this one has graphic video footage of just what happened in the State Capital Melbourne.

Posted in: Australia, Disaster