Just over a year ago today the worst bushfire season ever recorded came to an end in Australia. The true extent of consumed forestry was found to be truly astonishing. Researchers at Western Sydney University’s Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment have analysed historic data on the extent of Australia’s extraordinary forest fires and found that the area burned in Australia during the 2019-2020 forest fires was an astounding 21%. Previous "major fire" seasons have historically been around 2% of Australian forests consumed by fire. 3 billion animals were killed or injured during the unprecedented fires.
An area the size of Portugal was ablaze across Victoria and New South Wales during the fire's peak last year, credit NASA EarthView
The fires have gone this year but have been replaced by a Biblical plague of mice and what is being called a "once in a generation flood." Australia, farmers and people living in NSW rural communities are crying out for help to deal with an escalating mice plague that's threatening their health as well as the winter crop. NSW Farmers is seeking urgent action from the NSW government as farmers in many parts of regional NSW report a drastic increase in mice populations, which are decimating crops, destroying stored hay and invading silos, sheds and homes. The rodents are also affecting human health impact, with the NSW Western Area Health Service reporting increased cases of leptospirosis as a result of mice in domestic dwellings.
And then the rains came!
Overflowing creeks and dozens of road closures added to the risks for drivers in south-east Queensland as the rain continued to fall for much of Monday. Emergency Services Minister Mark Ryan said the worst of the weather was expected to develop overnight. “There are some very heavy falls expected tonight and into tomorrow, falls in the vicinity of 169 millimetres over about six hours. “That will give rise to flash flooding in areas. “We have seen significant tragedy on our roads at the weekend, in fact, 10 fatalities on the roads over the weekend.” Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Rosa Hoff said a coastal trough that was generating coastal convergence offshore was causing the rain.
Earthwindmap showing the incredible precipitation along the Eastern Coast of Australia over the weekend.
“[There is] a chance of seeing 60 millimetres to 90 millimetres around Brisbane itself [on Monday],” she said. “[There’s a] chance of seeing as much as 130 millimetres around the Gold Coast area and particularly exposed and elevated parts of the south-eastern coastal fringe.” “But with the risk of heavy rainfall remaining throughout the day today, we could see that area of convergence drift closer to the coast, meaning we’ll see more rainfall on land as opposed to overwater,” she said. Ms Hoff said more than 50 millimetres in six-hour periods could fall in south-western Queensland throughout Monday. A QFES spokeswoman said there had been four Swiftwater rescues across the Gold Coast and Brisbane region since Sunday morning, while the SES had more than 300 requests for assistance.
The weather bureau said the immediate threat of severe weather had passed but the potential for isolated, heavy rainfall with thunderstorms was present. The weather bureau said while the immediate threat of severe weather had passed, the potential for isolated, heavy rainfall with thunderstorms was present. A flood warning was issued for Nerang and Coomera rivers on the Gold Coast, with localised flooding causing the catchment area to receive between 60 millimetres and 175 millimetres since 9am on Sunday morning. Carindale resident Angela Egan said she was shocked to see parklands overflowing with water. “I was walking along Bulimba Creek yesterday and it was fine but I drove past it this morning and I thought, ‘Wow, I haven’t seen the creek so full before’,” she said.
“It was overflowing but the surrounding parks were all covered and a section of bushland was completely waterlogged. I’ve never seen water in that area, either.” Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has warned south-east Queensland drivers to stay off the roads, with wild weather expected to worsen overnight. “The bureau has advised us at our meeting after cabinet that they expect the weather to increase overnight and spread further out into the south-west of our state,” she said. “We want everyone to be alert, especially over the next 24 hours. We are in for a severe weather event. “We have already heard reports of landslips occurring especially around the Gold Coast hinterland.” RACQ received 119 home and 31 car claims related to flooding on the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Toowoomba and Ipswich regions over the weekend.