Windorah and Quilpie receive drenching

Welcome rain in the south west


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The scene at the Yambutta turnoff, south of Quilpie, on Saturday. Most of this water will end up in Kyabra Creek and run into the Cooper. Picture: Hayley Hughes.

The scene at the Yambutta turnoff, south of Quilpie, on Saturday. Most of this water will end up in Kyabra Creek and run into the Cooper. Picture: Hayley Hughes.

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While not heralding the end of the drought yet, parts of south west Queensland have been under very welcome falls over the weekend, bringing localised flooding.

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People in Queensland’s south west are rejoicing after receiving substantial falls of rain on the weekend.

Concentrated on the Windorah-Quilpie-Eromanga region, falls of up to 206mm have been reported as the system that brought flash flooding to the state’s north west after Christmas moved south into central Australia.

Mick and Hayley Hughes from Yambutta, situated between Quilpie and Eromanga, were amongst those dancing in the rain when they had tipped out a total of 84mm by Saturday night.

“You couldn’t get a better start to the year,” Mick said. “We had a total of 125mm last year, and it had been 16 months since we’d had 25mm or more.

“That first fall seems to be the hardest one to get. Anything after this will benefit now. We’ve got green shoot already trying to grow.”

The Yambutta turnoff before the rain, showing the stark contrast. Picture: Hayley Hughes.

The Yambutta turnoff before the rain, showing the stark contrast. Picture: Hayley Hughes.

Other Quilpie landholders kicking their heels up included Stewart Sargent, who reported a massive 206mm at Granville, 60km north east of Quilpie, while the Tully family reported that 64mm fell at Bunginderry.

Gerard Tully said 91mm had fallen at Canaway Downs and the Rutledge family received 72mm at Moble.

The Quilpie Shire Council road report of January 3 tells the story of the rain, indicating all roads in the shire closed, except the Cooper Development Road to Eromanga, to the shire boundary.

Further west towards Windorah, Peter and Wendy Sheehan at Trinidad have had 112mm, 80mm of it falling in four hours. This compares to their 2015 rainfall of 143mm.

“I’d describe it as generalised storm rain,” Wendy said. “There was lightning and thunder and I imagine there were fairly good falls all over.”

She said it had come as a great relief, especially as others in the vicinity had reported up to 50mm of rain a day earlier and the sun had come out and it looked like it had gone.

“We’re very aware there are people more towards Yaraka way who are still in this position, waiting for good rain,” she said.

The best sight in the world - water running through new fluming into a dam at Trinidad station, 200km north west of Quilpie. Picture: Wendy Sheehan.

The best sight in the world - water running through new fluming into a dam at Trinidad station, 200km north west of Quilpie. Picture: Wendy Sheehan.

Mick Hughes said the same thing applied to country to the south and west of him.

“The rain seemed to cut out south of Toompine, and south along the Cooper. I heard places like Nappa Merrie, Naryilco and Durham Downs have only had 80 points,” he said.

Wendy said while the rain was only as good as the next fall, it would allow them to mark lambs and join ewes rather than sell stock.

There was jubilation for Bruce and Maureen Scott at Moothandella, east of Windorah, when they measured 106mm, just seven mm less than their 2015 total, and for Julie and Ian Groves at Haughton Vale, Jundah, who had 96mm.

Rain totalling 47mm was recorded on Saturday at Patricia Park, Adavale, which Binnie Pegler said was the maximum the country could handle in a single fall, putting good water into the Blackwater Creek and the Bulloo River at Milroy.

Some of the 25 poddy lambs at Trinidad station, sheltering in the car shed from the rain. Picture: Wendy Sheehan.

Some of the 25 poddy lambs at Trinidad station, sheltering in the car shed from the rain. Picture: Wendy Sheehan.

According to the Who Got the Rain Facebook page, Suzie McQueen at Balmacarra, north west of Charleville was also under good rain, amounting to 83mm, her biggest single recording since January 2012.

Residents around the central west have been reporting smaller falls, according to the page, offering relief and hope to many drought-affected producers, but not a lot more.

They included 33mm for Jenny and Rowley Deane at Bimbah, Longreach, 48mm for the Macintosh family at Fairfield, Longreach, 33mm for the McQueens at Strathfillan, Winton, and 30mm for the township of Ilfracombe.

Noni Crombie at Drumlion, halfway between Winton and Longreach, said the words felt by many at her rainfall total of 50mm since Christmas: “Not going to need a boat anytime soon, but feel more optimistic”.

Sue and Pat Hegarty have had 27mm at Colanya, north west of Longreach and for Terry Rosenow at Powella, Aramac, 25mm has been recorded.

Isisford has had 34.5mm and Jesse Atkinson, Crewkerne, Muttaburra reported 32mm.

Rain starved Townsville residents have been enjoying a wet start to the year. Fifteen km west of the northern city, Chris and Rebecca Parsons measured 105mm at their Hervey's Range property last night, taking their total to nine inches since December 27.

Further east, many landholders in the Roma area are waiting and hoping the big falls are headed their way. James Stinson reported on Sunday morning that he'd received 37mm overnight at Moonya, 60km south west of Roma. That came on top of 70mm over the Christmas period. 

Closer to Roma, falls of about 10 to 15mm have been recorded out of the current change but more is expected today as the system moves east.


- Additional reporting by Penelope Arthur.

The story Windorah and Quilpie receive drenching first appeared on Queensland Country Life.

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