Parts of Queensland are expected to get 200 millimetres of rain in just a few hours on Monday morning as rain cuts off towns, and brings relief to graziers.
A severe weather warning is in place for the Townsville coast inland to Hughenden, and parts of the Gulf Country including Normanton and Burketown.
The Bureau of Meteorology has warned likely rainfall totals of 100-200mm may cause flash flooding and thunderstorms may dump even more over some parts.
There have been widespread falls across much of north, central and western Queensland over the weekend with flood warnings in place for a number of rivers including Paroo River, Cloncurry River, and upper Flinders River.
Senior forecaster Harry Clark said in the last 24 hours, Glenella near Mackay recorded 186mm, while Rollingstone near Townsville received 159mm.
“Great to see some pretty scattered falls right through the central west as well and into the north-west and up to the gulf country – a lot of places seeing some fairly significant rain at the moment,” he said.
Carters Bore near Mt Isa recorded 125mm and Lochnager near Barcaldine had 129mm.
Town cut off by flooding
The small township of Mckinlay in north-west Queensland has been cut off to the north, with flooding on the Landsborough Highway between the town and Cloncurry.
Senior Constable Anne Collis said the scene was similar to last year, when many cars and trucks were stranded in the town during flooding.
“There’s about four road trains [stranded] and a handful of cars, but not too many,” she said.
“A lot of people yesterday [Sunday] went back to Julia Creek via Kynuna to get out.”
Senior Constable Collis said on Sunday night the town received about 50mm of rain.
“Everyone has been obviously waiting for the rain, it’s been much welcomed,” she said.
“Everyone is feeling pretty good, although everyone is still a little bit haunted by what happened at the beginning of last year as well with the big floods.
“We’ll just wait and see what happens today and go from there.”
At Oban Station, 85km out of Mount Isa on the Urandangi Road in Queensland’s north west, an inland oasis has formed.
Owned by Western Grazing Company and managed by Grant Lowe, the property has seen 135mm of rain fall since Wednesday.
Mr Lowe said the rain soaked in until Friday when the falls got heavier.
“The first few days it sort of soaked up pretty good and then Friday, Saturday, Sunday it got a lot heavier and all day yesterday the water was flowing pretty strong,” Mr Lowe said.
“A lot of the roads and fence lines have probably got a bit of wash on them, but as far as we know that’s about it (in terms of damage).”
The rain in the area has been patchy, with some neighbours of Oban getting the same amount of falls, but others seeing less in the gauges.
“There were a couple there that only had an inch so hopefully last night something else went their way,” Mr Lowe said.
‘It’s a good start’
Boulia Mayor and grazier Rick Britton said he received 50 millimetres overnight on Sunday, but the falls were patchy.
“We’re only 5 kilometres as the crow flies from town and they’re up to 120,” Mr Britton said.
“On the eastern side of us, 10 kilometres down the road where my daughter is, they’ve only had 12mm, so it’s been pretty patchy.”
Mr Britton said the rain would make a big difference to graziers in the shire.
“It’s a good start like anyone west of the Boulia/Mount Isa road we’re doing it pretty tough.
“Anyone to the west would now be starting to feel a bit of relief.
“We’re at the start of our wet season. We hope this carries through until the end of March.
“If this sort of weather keeps coming in and we get a proper rain event … people would rather be out of drought than in drought, it’ll give everyone a head start.
“The cattle market’s going to be pretty good, whether it rains or not because of the demand for livestock.”
Man drowns in fast-flowing current
A 61-year-old man has drowned in Far North Queensland while swimming near Big Millstream Falls.
The area received close to 300mm of rain over the last week.
Police said the man had been swimming with two friends at the Army Swimming Holes, south-west of Ravenshoe on Saturday when he was dragged under the water by a fast-flowing current.
His body was found by police divers on Sunday.