Australia – 2 Days of Heavy Rain in Tasmania – Floods Leave 100s Stranded

Heavy rain in Tasmania has caused flash flooding, mostly in eastern parts of the state over the last 2 days. The rain continues to fall as several roads have been blocked leaving hundreds stranded and unable to get home. So far, the rain has reportedly brought little relief to the western parts of Tasmania, where bushfires have burned for several days.

The floods in Tasmania come just 24 hours after a storm in Geelong, Victoria, dumped 2 months of rain in 1 hour.

Meanwhile, further storm warnings have been issued for Geelong, as well as other parts of Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland. In Western Australia, Tropical Cyclone Stan threatens to cause flooding in the Pilbara and far western Kimberley.

Tasmania

Tasmania State Emergency Services (SES) have reported flooding in several areas of the state.

Late yesterday, 28 January, significant rain in the Northern Region caused flash flooding in localised areas. St Marys, Scamander, Meander Valley and Launceston have been worst affected, according to SES. Some houses have been flooded and an evacuation centre opened in St Marys. Tasmani Police reports a landslide at Cethana that had blocked a road.

Tasmania SES North Region received over 100 calls for assistance and say that hundreds of people were stranded by flash flooding on roads on Tasmania’s east coast. Forecasters say more heavy rainfall is likely in coming days.

Earlier today, Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) said that a moderate flood warning was in place for the South Esk River and a flood watch for all north eastern river basins.

Significant rainfalls down the east coast from Bicheno through to Hobart caused flash flooding in localized areas earlier today, 29 January. Southern Region SES has received over 50 requests for assistance.

Several roads in the area have been closed south of Orford, and between Swansea and Bicheno. Tasmania SES have opened an evacuation centre at Triabunna for anyone unable to get home.

By late evening (local time), significant rainfall in Invermay had prompted SES to prepare an evacuation centre and issue flash flood warnings to all local residents.  Tasmania SES said:

“The State Emergency Service are out door-knocking certain streets in Invermay to provide information and advice about the flash flooding”.

Rainfall Figures

The small town of Gray on the east coast of Tasmania recorded *221mm of rain in 24 hours to 09:00, 29 January. However, this level of rainfall might not be unusual for a town known as the wettest in Tasmania.

During the same period, Strathbridge saw 114 mm, Westbury 91 mm, St Helens Aerodrome *82 mm, Quamby Bluff 149 mm and Friendly Beach *138 mm.

Since 09:00 this morning, Fingal Forestry has seen *114 mm, Lewis Hill *123 mm, Monameta *101 mm and Mount Victoria 102 mm.

* denotes figures not yet verified. Figures are according to Australia Bureau of Meteorology (BoM).

Western Australia – Tropical Cyclone Stan

In Western Australia, Tropical Cyclone Stan is expected cross the east Pilbara coast as a category 3 cyclone on Saturday 30 January.

Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology say that heavy rainfall associated with the cyclone is occurring in parts of the Pilbara and far western Kimberley and will extend further inland as the system continues to track southwards on Saturday.

A Major Flood Warning is in place for the De Grey River Catchment. BoM have also issued Flood Warnings for Pilbara Coastal Rivers and Fortescue River Catchment, and Flood Watches for the Pilbara and Gascoyne Districts.

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