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Heavy rainfall, potential flooding for coastal Queensland

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An initial Flood Watch has been issued for Queensland coastal catchments from Cairns to Gladstone, including Townsville, Mackay and Rockhampton, extending inland to include parts of the Burdekin and Fitzroy catchments.

Bureau of Meteorology Weather Services Manager, Richard Wardle, said the Flood Watches come ahead of a trough and associated heavy rainfall forecast to affect the state from late Wednesday (17 May 2017).

“Widespread rainfall totals in the range of 100-200 mm can be expected with rainfall decreasing as it moves south,” he said.

“While there is the potential for riverine and flash flooding, rainfall totals and flood levels associated with this system will be generally lower than those seen with the passage of ex-tropical cyclone Debbie.

“Rain and isolated storms will spread to the southeast coastal districts including Brisbane on Friday (19 May 2017), with decreasing rainfall in the 25-75 mm range. Isolated showers and storms are possible on Saturday,” he said.

A Flood Watch has also been issued for a second trough forecast to move through the southwest Channel Country and Western Queensland, bringing with it the chance of showers and thunderstorms for inland areas on Thursday and Friday (18-19 May 2017).

“The most likely area for storms will be near and to the east of this slow moving surface trough, from Cloncurry south to Cunnamulla, including the towns of Winton, Windorah, Quilpie, Thargomindah, Longreach, and Charleville. Some of these storms may be severe,” he said.

“While isolated heavier falls associated with thunderstorms are possible, rainfall in the southwest will be considerably lower – in the 30 to 50 mm range.”

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services are urging the public stay tuned for the latest official forecasts and warnings from the Bureau, and follow the advice of local emergency services.

Avoid travel if possible while warnings are in place and remember: if it’s flooded, forget it.

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