Australia – Death Toll Rises from Debbie Floods, Rockhampton on Alert

At least 6 people have now died in the floods in northern areas of New South Wales after heavy rainfall in the wake of ex Cyclone Debbie.

The rain also caused flooding in parts of Queensland, initially along the Whitsunday coast and later in south-eastern parts of the state. Over the last 24 hours, communities in the Rockhampton area have been bracing for major flooding as levels of the Fitzroy River increase.

New South Wales

The floods in New South Wales have been described as some of the worst in the area for over 40 years. Around 1,000 people are still isolated and 300 people evacuated from their homes. Damage estimates exceed $200 million.

Local media in Australia are reporting that 3 people, believed to be a mother and 2 children, died after their vehicle was dragged into a flooding river in Tumbulgum.

Three people are thought to have died in separate flood-related incidents in Murwillumbah. In the Hunter Valley, the body of a woman was found in a car which was swept off a causeway in Gungal.

1,000 Remain Isolated

New South Wales State Emergency Service (NSW SES) says that it is gradually moving from responding to severe flooding in the north east corner of New South Wales to a recovery effort.

Since the beginning of the flood event there have been 2776 flood related call-outs, including 488 flood rescues.

Approximately 1,000 people are still isolated in northern NSW. The majority are located in the lower Richmond River area. An Evacuation Order remains in place for Tumbulgum, affecting approximately 330 people.

Queensland Awaits Flooding from Fitzroy River

Meanwhile in Queensland, the town of Rockhampton the next to brace for flooding. Levels of the Fitzroy River have increased rapidly over the last 24 hours as the heavy rainfall that fell in the Fitzroy basin – the river catchment area – some days ago has made its way down river.

Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology said earlier today:

“A major flood peak of 9.00 metres is likely at Rockhampton on Thursday morning. This flood level is just under the 2011 flood peak of 9.20 metres.”

The Fitzroy is also causing problems in nearby areas. BoM added:

“On Tuesday evening, major flooding is occurring on the Fitzroy River between Riverslea and Yaamba. Downstream, moderate flooding is rising between South Yaamba and Rockhampton.

The Fitzroy River at Riverslea peaked at 26.32 metres on Monday afternoon. River levels are currently falling slowly during Tuesday evening and are approximately 1.5 metres above the major flood level of 24.0 metres.

The Fitzroy River at Yaamba is currently at 15.55 metres and rising. River levels are likely to peak near 15.90 metres overnight Tuesday into Wednesday.”

Flood summary

Last updated: April 7, 2017
Event
Tropical Cyclone Debbie, Eastern Australia and Northern New Zealand, March to April 2017
Date
March 27, 2017
Type
Coastal flood, River flood
Cause
Extreme rainfall

Locations

A - Bowen (Australia)
B - Airlie Beach (Australia)
C - Proserpine (Australia)
D - Mackay (Australia)
E - Beaudesert (Australia)
F - Tabragalba (Australia)
G - Logan (Australia)
H - Lismore (Australia)
I - Murwillumbah (Australia)
J - Chinderah (Australia)
K - Rockhampton (Australia)
L - Rangitikei (New Zealand)
M - Whanganui (New Zealand)
N - Edgecumbe (New Zealand)

Magnitude

Rainfall level
267 mm in 24 hours
Bowen, Queensland, Australia - March 28 to March 29, 2017
Rainfall level
166 mm in 24 hours
Carfax, Queensland, Australia - March 28 to March 29, 2017
Rainfall level
115 mm in 24 hours
Moranbah, Queensland, Australia - March 28 to March 29, 2017
Rainfall level
115 mm in 24 hours
Mackay, Queensland, Australia - March 28 to March 29, 2017
Rainfall level
191 mm in 24 hours
Sarina, Queensland, Australia - March 28 to March 29, 2017
Rainfall level
233 mm in 24 hours
Byron Bay, New South Wales, Australia - March 30 to March 31, 2017
Rainfall level
362 mm in 24 hours
Mullumbimby, New South Wales, Australia - March 30 to March 31, 2017
Rainfall level
298 mm in 24 hours
Woodburn, New South Wales, Australia - March 30 to March 31, 2017
Rainfall level
247 mm in 24 hours
Beaudesert, Queensland, Australia - March 30 to March 31, 2017
Rainfall level
285 mm in 24 hours
Canungra, Queensland, Australia - March 30 to March 31, 2017
Rainfall level
242 mm in 24 hours
Maclean, New South Wales, Australia - March 30 to March 31, 2017
River level
11.60 metres
Wilsons River at Lismore, New South Wales, Australia - March 31 to March 31, 2017
River level
6.2 metres
Tweed River at Murwillumbah, New South Wales, Australia - March 31 to March 31, 2017
River level
2.3 metres
Tweed River at Chinderah (Barneys Point), New South Wales, Australia - March 31 to March 31, 2017
River level
17.33 metres
Richmond River at Kyogle - March 31 to March 31, 2017
Rainfall level
74 mm in 24 hours
Taupo, New Zealand - April 4 to April 5, 2017
Rainfall level
60.2 mm in 24 hours
Gisborne, New Zealand - April 4 to April 5, 2017
Rainfall level
112 mm in 24 hours
Tauranga, New Zealand - April 4 to April 5, 2017
Rainfall level
72 mm in 24 hours
Auckland, New Zealand - April 4 to April 5, 2017
River level
8.75 metres
Fitzrpy River, Rockhampton, Queensland, Australia - April 6 to April 6, 2017
River discharge
700 cubic metres per second
Rangitaiki River, Edgecumbe, New Zealand - April 6 to April 6, 2017

Damages

Rescued
500 people
New South Wales, Australia - March 28 to April 3, 2017
Evacuated
20,000
New South Wales, Australia - March 28 to March 31, 2017
Fatalities
7 people
New South Wales, Australia - March 30 to April 3, 2017
Evacuated
2,000
Edgecumbe, New Zealand - April 5 to April 7, 2017

Add Comment