'Dramatic' rain warning for flood-soaked Australia - Pakistan Today

‘Dramatic’ rain warning for flood-soaked Australia

SYDNEY – Heavy rains falling on Australia’s flooded north-east could have a “dramatic” impact, officials warned Sunday, stretching already swollen rivers and creeks to their limit across the devastated region.
Queensland police commissioner Alistair Dawson said that severe weather lashing the already sodden northeastern state could bring flash flooding to currently dry areas with little warning.
“Waters will rise quickly — you may not be aware of that rise,” Dawson told reporters. “Those places which have gone under before, especially on the road system, could well flood again within an hour.” Emergency chief Warren Bridson said the unprecedented deluge — which has hit an area larger than France and Germany combined, paralysing the key agricultural and coal-mining region — meant the rain’s impact was unpredictable.
“The ground is so waterlogged, the catchments so primed, the rivers so full, the creeks are all flooding, and it will mean something more dramatic than it has in the past,” Bridson said. “That 200 millimetres (eight inches) of rain… could mean the difference between a minor flood and a major flood,” he added.
The wild weather even hit Queensland’s premier Anna Bligh, with lightning striking her airplane as she toured flood-stricken areas, reportedly scorching the wings and startling those on board with a loud bang. “Premier’s plane was just struck by lightning. We landed safely. But slightly shaken. Plane will need to be repaired,” television reporter Sylvia Jeffreys, who was tailing Bligh on Sunday, wrote on the Twitter microblogging site.
Bligh’s office confirmed the plane had been hit after takeoff in central Queensland and would be “out of action for a little while,” but stressed that no-one had been hurt. Several towns remained severely inundated, including a number still bracing for floodwaters to peak, and the Bureau of Meteorology said strong storms could bring more misery for already swamped towns.
“Some heavy falls are likely, which may lead to localised flash flooding and/or worsen existing river flooding,” the bureau said.

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