Eastern Australia hit by extreme weather againBy Graham Land Feb 25, 2013 9:36PM UTC
Thousands of people along Australia’s New South Wales’ Mid North Coast were forced to abandon their homes due to severe flooding on Saturday. Two lives were lost and some 19,000 evacuated their homes as a result of the extreme weather in NSW. Around 1,000 homes in Sydney were still without power as of Monday morning.
Early Monday a life was brought into this world amid the flooding in the northern part of the state. The mother gave birth on her own property at 4.40am as ambulances were cut off by the rising waters. Eventually both mother and son were rescued by boat and airlifted to a hospital where they were reported to be in stable condition.
Gale force winds uprooted trees and damaged over 170 homes in the town of Kiama on Sunday morning, resulting in a large amount of debris. Concerns about buildings containing asbestos led to evacuations as once damaged buildings dry out, dangerous asbestos fibers can spread.
After viewing the damage from a helicopter, New South Wales Premier Barry O’Farrell declared the area a natural disaster zone. He is quoted by TVNZ News:
It’s just an extraordinary scene from the air – the swathe this storm or event took through this area. Seeing the roof of the fire station missing, seeing mature trees that look like they have been through a mixmaster, seeing blue tarpaulins along a defined corridor: this is an event that you associate with a tornado going through parts of America.
As New South Wales cleans up, the state of Queensland is on alert for flash floods and heavy rain on its southeast coast, just one month after tropical storm/cyclone Oswald battered the area, although conditions are not predicted to match Oswald’s ferocity.
From AAP and SMH:
The storm was expected to dump up to 200 millimetres of rain on parts of the state’s southeast into the early hours of Tuesday. Torrential rain between Brisbane and Bundaberg may cause flash flooding over the next 24 hours. The Mary River, in southeast Queensland, has had about 40-60mm of rain in six hours. The town of Gympie is expecting a minor flood peak of six metres later tonight.