Rain brings relief and traffic to town

Flooding of the Leichhardt River at Mt Isa (Kimberly Mealing)

"Fantastic" rain over the weekend has brought relief to several drought-stricken communities in northern Queensland. Source: The Catholic Leader.

Traffic is not a word Corena Powers uses much in Mt Isa. But that’s what graced the Good Shepherd parish secretary’s morning school drop-off just days after what was the heaviest rainfall through the north-west Queensland city in years.

Flooding of the Leichhardt River shut down two of Mount Isa’s bridges, forcing all traffic to and from the city to use one bridge. Some vehicles were stuck in traffic for up to 45 minutes.

“It was a little bit chaotic,” Ms Powers said. “My daughter is 16 and has never been in a traffic jam.”

“Mt Isa is no longer in a drought-declared area, that is the latest news (parish priest) Fr Mick (Lowcock) said to me,” she said.

A week before the massive rainfall last week, Ms Powers said the rains through Mt Isa had been “a hit-and-miss situation”. But the recent rains were enough for Fr Lowcock to cancel Mass in neighbouring Cloncurry, which received more than 100mm of rain over the weekend.

Ms Powers said the bread and meat shelves at the local supermarket were also empty, causing panic for grocery shoppers.

Eight hours south-east of Mt Isa, sheep and cattle property owner Peter Ahern watched some “fantastic” rain fall on his property near Muttaburra. Mr Ahern was predicting moderate floods to roll through the region after the heavens opened up last weekend.

“This is the best summer rain in six years,” he said. “If there’s more rain over the next week or so it could change things.”

The 57-year-old has not seen drought-breaking rain in seven years, and said it was the worst drought in his entire working life on Girrahween station.

“It’s certainly a huge relief for this whole region because it’s been probably one of the worst in this country,” Mr Ahern said.

FULL STORY

‘Fantastic’ rain brings relief to several communities up north (The Catholic Leader)

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