Well, we’ve just experienced a weather event like no other!
Even after all my years of living Darwin in Australia’s top end where the wet seasons bring monsoonal rains and cyclones, I’ve never experienced so much rain in such a short amount of time.
Over a three-day period, we had 650 mm of rain, or in imperial measures that add up to 26 inches of rain in Newport! Yep, that’s more than a year’s worth of rain for us here in Queensland in just a couple of days.
Brisbane, which is just 30 kms west of where we live received 790 mm (31.6 inches) of rain.
To give you a sense of how that felt, it was like standing under a rain shower with the water of full blast for 72 hours solid, with no let up or respite day and night.
There is no wonder that all of south-eastern Queensland, and now much of the east coast of Australia is seeing flooding records topple one after another.
It was a true rain bomb!
As an example, in the town of Lismore in northern New South Wales has recorded the highest flood levels for the Richmond River since records began being kept in 1861. The old record was 12.27 meters during the 1954 floods. This current flood depth is a whopping 14.4 meters… and rising as rain continues to fall on the beleaguered town.
They had built a special levy to ensure that the town would never be flooded again, but Mother Nature has proved that to be totally inadequate in the face of this latest deluge, with the levy being breached in several places and thus catastrophic flooding of the town once more.
A little closer to home, here in Queensland and the town of Gympie just two hours north of where I live. The Mary River peaked at 22.8 metres on Sunday morning, the highest level since 1893.
Record after record has been smashed, not just by a little but by large amounts, and in many cases meters higher than previously recorded.
That being said we escaped the worst of the flooding here in Newport, albeit a few roads cut off but not serious flooding per se like most of the surrounding area.
Our neighbourhood was built in 2017 out of low-lying mangrove and wetlands. Now you might be thinking to yourselves how is it that they didn’t get flooded???
When the developer decided to build the new development, they chose to build a massive saltwater lake on one side of the Quay with a lock system out to the Pacific Ocean so that the water always remained at a consistent level.
This proved to be a fortuitous choice, especially during a flood as the water could be release directly into the ocean without a lot of concern.
The Quay where we live was built from the soil dredged up to create the new saltwater lake. Digging down a massive 45 meters (148.5 feet) which is the equivalent of a 14-story building. Now that is a massive hole!
Then at its widest point the lake is some 600 meters across, and you get a sense of the enormous amount of soil they had to take from the ground to both create the lake, but also develop the Quay.
It’s because of this forward thinking planning that our house sits some 9 meters (30 feet) above sea level thus saving us from the flood waters by a significant margin.
Prior to the rain bomb the developer had been expanding the lake into their new development and had just completed the first portion of the excavation. Prior to the storm they had begun work the storm water drainage system for the new area of lake…
This new part of the lake is now completely full of water… yep, 45 meters deep X 150 meters wide x 800 meters = 5,400,000 meters of water.
The sheer volume of water is mind boggling!
I guess the only thing for them to do now is try and pump it dry. They could either push the water out into the wetlands which likely isn’t recommended as its not compatible with the surrounding ecosystem, or wait for it to dry out…
Given the current wet season it could take a lifetime to drain naturally, or at least a long drought!
This has been one long wet season, but relief is just around the corner cos’ if last year was anything to judge it by, we’ll see it cool off significantly by the middle of April and be greeted with mostly blue-sky days until the end of October.
So, what does a cooling off look like in a sub-tropical climate. Well, days will generally reach a high of 25 – 27C (75-80F) during the day and down to 14 – 16C (55 – 60F) at night.
Easy sleeping weather!
In a climate like this you have to take the good with the not so good, and for the most part it’s the perfect climate, I always equate Newport to the type of climate you have in San Diego.
Until next week!