Australia – Flash Floods in Hobart After 129mm of Rain in 24 Hours

Storms in Tasmania, Australia, have caused severe flash flooding in the capital Hobart and south eastern areas of the state.

Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) said that 129 mm of rain fell in Hobart in 24 hours to early 11 May, 2018 (local time). Mount Wellington recorded 236 mm of rain during the same period.

Roads and schools have been closed as a result of flooding. State Emergency Services reported flooding in central Hobart, as well as Blackmans Bay, Kingston and Sandy Bay.

BoM said that “the multi headed complex low lurking over and around Tasmania produced a swarm of storms in the southeast, producing high rainfalls.” The storm also brought strong winds and over 1,000 lightning strikes.

Rescues

At least 4 people were rescued from flooding, including a 15-year-old boy stranded in floodwaters at New Norfolk, who was rescued by helicopter.

Two people were rescued from a car in New Town after they ignored warnings and attempted to drive through flood waters. Another was rescued from a flooded building in at the University of Tasmania.

The SES has received about 300 calls for assistance, while the Tasmania Fire Service responded to more than 110 requests for help.

Two evacuation centres have been established at Hobart’s Mathers House and Kingston for people requiring shelter.

Power Out, Roads and Schools Closed

Tasmania Police said “Motorists are strongly urged to avoid unnecessary travel in the CBD, New Town and Sandy Bay areas. Major roads in the CBD are significantly affected by floodwaters and debris, and power outages are affecting some traffic lights.”

At one point during the storm over 14,000 homes were left without power. Over 30 schools were closed on 11 May, 2018 and the Royal Hobart Hospital experienced flooding and other storm damage including leaking roofs.

Police said that a number of roads remained closed due to flooding in Southern Tasmania.

Forecast

Strong winds were still expected along parts of East, South and West Tasmanian coasts. Earlier today BoM said that the focus for heavy rainfall is now about the northeast.

Minor flooding may develop in the Huon River catchments.

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Victoria and New South Wales

Elsewhere in Australia, heavy rain has affected parts of Melbourne, where roads were flooded and flights delayed on Friday, 11 May.

BoM said that, with 19 mm of rain falling during the early hours of today, Melbourne has had more rain over the past 24 hours than the whole of April. Mortlake, around 190 km to the west of Melbourne, recorded 44 mm in 24 hours.

Adding to the list of unusual weather currently affecting Australia, low temperatures and snow were reported in some areas of New South Wales.

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