Cattle farmers in Queensland rejoice amid a deluge of wet weather with rainy prospects into December

Queensland’s large wetlands are expected to remain until December, and while welcome for cattle farmers, others in low-lying areas of central Queensland fled their homes overnight during floods.

The Bureau of Metrology’s (BOM) seven-day forecast shows no dry days ahead for Queensland.

The rain will peak in the southeast today as a trough over the central interior moves east, bringing more rain to the coast.

BOM forecast master Harry Clark said conditions would become more severe for the capital in the afternoon with the risk of storms.

“If we get enough warming to make it happen, there is potential for sharp falls again,” he told ABC Radio Brisbane.

“They most likely form in the west and then move east across the coast.”

A boy crawls over a fence with red dirt on the ground and puddles of water after welcome rain.
Outback Queensland has enjoyed a good soak this week with more rain to fall into December. (ABC News: Emma Pollard)

Floods in Rubyvale

Bundaberg reached 191 millimeters overnight, a potential record for November.

To the north, central Queensland carried the bulk. An average of 150 millimeters in 48 hours to Friday morning and up to 270 mm was recorded near Theresa Creek.

Floods hit Rubyvale and nearby Sapphire and Glenn Bell of the Central Highlands Regional Council’s Disaster Management group said the council was working on how many people were self-evacuated overnight.

Clive Nesbitt, 67, fled to a friend’s house when water began to enter his home in Gemfields.

His brother Jim Nesbitt said it was a repeat of the floods in March.

“He lost everything [in March], he lost all his personal belongings, he lost his clothes, he lost pictures of his family, he lost everything, he lost his car, “said Mr. Nesbitt.

“It has taken him so far to get his life back on track, and the same thing has happened.”

Sustained and heavy rainfall has led to SES receiving more than 300 requests for assistance since Monday morning, with an additional risk of flooding over the weekend.

No rain exposure in sight

BOM senior meteorologist Laura Boekel said Sunshine State was set to remain soft into December.

She said the great wet has been the result of a very humid, deep tropical air mass that has been pushed into the state by northern winds from as far as Indonesia.

“It does not take much when the air is so humid, and then we have these troughs that move through, so because the air is primed and ready to go, it does not take much to start rain and storms,” she said.

Ms Boekel said a trough over the central interior will move east tomorrow, which will bring more rain to the coast before moving to the coast.

“It will be hanging offshore and then looking to come back next week, which is unusual, so the postponement of this rainfall is still over a week away,” she said.

For cattle farmer Nina Hensley from Peakvale Station, 60 km southwest of Clermont, the rain came at just the right time.

“It just gives your mood a complete boost,” she said.

Rain a ‘game changer’ after many years of drought

Hensley tipped 65mm out of the rain gauge on his property yesterday morning.

She said it was difficult to get an accurate reading because it kept raining.

Two cattle walk in deep mud in a flooded paddock near Richmond in northwestern Queensland.
Days of rain mean that cattle herds can be rebuilt after many years of drought.(Delivered)

“This rain means security for the cattle. It means that after three quite ordinary years we can look at rebuilding the herd,” she said.

Before soaking, meat breeder Caitlyn Donaldson, whose property is about four hours west of Rockhampton, fed her cattle licks to keep them healthy.

“We haven’t had a break in the season or spring rain in about 10 years, so this is a bit of a game changer,” she said.

“We’ve had 157mm now for November, so it’s a beautiful start to the wet season, and hopefully it will continue.”

Flood destroys crops

But the president of the Granite Belt Growers Association, Nathan Baronio, said not everyone celebrated it as the prolonged wet weather prevented certain crops.

“We grow strawberries here, which is probably our main line of crops, and a third of our production is outdoors,” he said.

A man wearing a blue t-shirt and cap stands in the middle of rows of strawberries with a strawberry in his hand.
Nathan Baronio says the rainstorm has affected the crops.(ABC News: Nathan Morris)

He said cherry farmers and stone fruit growers would be harmed as well.

“To be honest, I do not think many people would be so happy about how much rain we have had – it would be really hard if you are in harvest and it would be extremely hard if you are in the vegetable games, “he said.

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