Date: 2021-11-30 21:08:25
Thousands of people are being urged to evacuate with major flooding inundating parts of NSW and Queensland as some areas cop the wettest November in 150 years.
Police declared an emergency in the small Queensland town of Inglewood overnight.
The small town, located in a bend of the rising Canning Creek 230km west of the Gold Coast near the NSW border, was issued the warning about 10.30pm Tuesday.
About 1000 residents were told to get to an evacuation point at the local cemetery as “internal and external” flooding was expected.
The local council made the warning after the Bureau of Meteorology said the flood threat could impact the whole town.
Police urged the town to get out on Wednesday morning, making a declaration under the Public Safety Preservation Act.
“Significant flooding is expected to occur across the township in coming hours,” police warned.
“Residents are asked to take advice from emergency services on the ground and relocate to an assembly point at Inglewood Cemetery.”
The local SES posted to its Facebook page early Wednesday morning saying it was a “mandatory evacuation”.
Goondiwindi Regional Council Mayor Lawrence Springborg said the evacuation was “precautionary”.
“A fair amount of water is flowing into the nearby Coolmunda Dam, which was already overflowing,” he told ABC News.
“We’re expecting at least the volume of that dam to pass through it in the next 24 hours.
“We need to doorknock now because it’s very difficult to respond to at night, and we need to take that precaution now.”
The evacuation centre is located at the local cemetery and will have basic facilities, but residents are being urged to bring their own food and water, sleeping equipment, medication, clothing, phone and important documents.
Meanwhile in NSW, dozens of people have been rescued and thousands are calling for help as water continues to flow.
On Tuesday, 146 calls for help had been made to the NSW State Emergency Service, who have rescued eight people.
There have been 4726 calls for help and 142 rescues in total since the intense storms and wet weather began in November.
NSW SES has said the vast majority of the rescues have been freeing people trapped in their cars after attempting to drive through floodwaters.
“We really want to put the message out there that the majority of the people are doing an amazing job, but with that many flood rescues yesterday we’re just really asking please don’t walk or drive through floodwaters,” an SES spokesman said.
There are currently 17 flood warnings in place across the state.
NSW SES issued a severe thunderstorm warning including heavy rainfall, damaging winds and large hailstones for residents in the Central West Slopes and Plains, Riverina as well as the Lower Western and Upper Western Forecast districts.
Flooding is still being seen at the Namoi River in the state’s west, while water levels are expected to remain high at Wee Waa.
While water is continuing to rise at Warren, the Macquarie River at Dubbo had been falling in recent days.
A plethora of November rainfall records have been broken across eastern Australia with the mix of heavy rain and severe thunderstorms is expected to cause more flooding across both states.
The weather is the result of a surface-based low pressure trough and an upper-level pool of cold air, producing the rain and storms over central Queensland and northeast NSW.
“This wet and stormy weather will target areas of both states that are already experiencing flooding from recent rain,” Weatherzone’s Ben Domensino said.
“This means that catchments are saturated and primed for further flooding.”
In Queensland the towns of Maryborough, Dalby, Roma and Bundaberg have seen the most rain in more than 130 years.
However in NSW, Bathurst, Orange, Gunnedah, Walgett, Pooncarie and Burrinjuck Dam have smashed rain records for the first time in more than 114 years.
“While there are a number of factors behind this month‘s prolific rain, La Niña was a key player in producing the heavy and frequent rain in recent weeks,” Mr Domensino said.
The deluge of water is expected to cause fruit and vegetable shortages over Christmas, as the weather continues to hit the parts of both states where most fresh produce is grown.
There will be particular shortages of leafy greens like spinach, shallots and salad mix which have rotted in the wet.