Australia – Evacuations in Tasmania as Huon River Overflows

Communities in Tasmania, Australia, have been hit by yet more flooding, this time in the town of Huonville after the Huon River overflowed.

In early June, three people died in areas around Launceston and Latrobe, in the north of the state, in what were described as the worst floods in over 80 years.

This time around, a combination of heavy rain and snow melt dramatically increased the levels of the Huon River to their highest in 20 years. A cold snap earlier in the week had resulted in significant snowfall in river catchment areas.

Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) say that the river peaked at 4.30 metres at 10:00 Friday 15 July, 2016 and is now easing slowly. Major flooding continues in the Huon River around Huonville and high tides may maintain high river levels around Huonville during Friday afternoon. River peaks are similar to those recorded in February 1996, they added, where the Huon reached 4.4 metres.

Huon River levels. Image: BoM
Huon River levels rose sharply from midday, 14 July, 2016.. Image: BoM

The State Emergency Service said a number of houses in the town had been evacuated and some businesses had been flooded. Roads have been closed in the area.

Floods in Huonville, Tasmania, July 2016. Photo: Tasmania SES
Floods in Huonville, Tasmania, July 2016. Photo: Tasmania SES

Rainfall

BoM say that in the 24 hours to 09:00 14 July, up to 44mm of rainfall was recorded in the Huon Catchment area. In the 24 hours to 09:00 15 July, up to 102mm was recorded.

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Flood Summary

Last updated: July 15, 2016
Event
Huonville, Tasmania, Australia, July 2016
Date
July 14 to July 15, 2016
Type
River flood
Cause
Extreme rainfall, Snow melt
The Huon River overflowed after heavy rain and snowmelt in catchment areas.

Locations

Huonville

Magnitude

River level
4.30 metres
Huon River, Huonville, Tasmania - July 15 to July 15, 2016
Rainfall level
102 mm in 24 hours
Huon Catchment - July 14 to July 15, 2016

Damages

Evacuated
20 people
Huonville - July 14 to July 15, 2016
Buildings damaged
30 buildings
Huonville - July 14 to July 15, 2016