Mini-cyclone, record floods hit Australia

Mar 07, 2010
Passerbys help push a car down a flooded road in central Melbourne. The city is bracing itself for further storms after a mini-cyclone ripped through Australia's second largest city, bringing with it hail stones the size of tennis balls.

Melbourne was bracing itself Sunday for further storms after a mini-cyclone ripped through Australia's second largest city, bringing with it hail stones the size of tennis balls.

The dumped heavy rain across the southern state of Victoria, and smashed into the regional capital with winds of up to 100 kilometres (62 miles) an hour, cutting power to 100,000 homes.

Some 26 millimetres (one inch) of rain fell on Melbourne within an hour while other areas recorded up to 70 millimetres during the Saturday storm.

"Yesterday we had golf-to-tennis ball-sized hail and certainly there's a prospect of similar sized hail somewhere in the state today," Richard Carlyon, the Bureau of Meteorology's senior forecaster, told ABC radio.

"Whether it's Melbourne I'm not so sure about... but if it's not Melbourne, I think there's a very good prospect of large hail being reported somewhere in the state."

In the city centre the National Gallery of Victoria suffered flooding, while the Docklands Stadium was among those buildings damaged during the violent storm, which washed out horse races.

Bureau of forecaster Wasyl Drosdowsky said the hail that hit in one suburban area was up to 10 centimetres (four inches) in diameter.

"(It was) tennis ball size roughly," he said. "As far as we can tell, that's close to the biggest hail we've seen in Melbourne."

As the city readied for further violent storms Sunday, once-in-a-century floods were peaking in the state of Queensland in the country's northeast, parts of which have been in drought for almost a decade.

Townships in the state's cotton-growing south were cut off by rising flood waters and in St George the Balonne River reached 13.5 metres (44 feet), its highest level since records began in 1890.

Queensland Premier Anna Bligh said the cost of the flooding would be in the hundreds of millions of dollars, as there had been major damage to highways and rail lines had been washed away.

"This is a massive water event which has smashed all the records known here in the southwest," she told reporters Sunday as she toured St George.

"All this water ultimately is going to mean great things for local (farmers) but there is a lot of pain to be felt in these communities before we can see total recovery."

In the nearby tiny town of Nindigully, residents were marvelling at the amount of water surrounding the rural outpost.

"Overall, we are happy to have experienced this flood because of the beauty of vast expanses of water through the bush that you never forget," Steve Burns, the owner of the 146-year-old Nindigully Pub told AAP.

Explore further: Magnitude-7.2 earthquake shakes Mexican capital

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Olga now raining on third of 5 Australia territories

Feb 01, 2010

Australians in three of five territories have had enough of Tropical Cyclone Olga. After two landfalls, and three times a tropical storm, and traveling through Queensland and the Northern Territory, Olga's ...

Lower Midwest braces for flood onslaught

Jun 16, 2008

Residents of the central and southern Midwest are crossing their fingers, saying their prayers, planning evacuations, and in some cases filling sandbags in preparation for the excessive water ravishing communities ...

Recommended for you

Magnitude-7.2 earthquake shakes Mexican capital

Apr 18, 2014

A powerful magnitude-7.2 earthquake shook central and southern Mexico on Friday, sending panicked people into the streets. Some walls cracked and fell, but there were no reports of major damage or casualties.

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

fixer
not rated yet Mar 08, 2010
Fire, flood and pestilence (locusts).
We Aussies have done it a bit rough lately but we seem to manage ok.
At least we dont get earthquakes.
Err.. yes we do!

More news stories

China says massive area of its soil polluted

A huge area of China's soil covering more than twice the size of Spain is estimated to be polluted, the government said Thursday, announcing findings of a survey previously kept secret.

UN weather agency warns of 'El Nino' this year

The UN weather agency Tuesday warned there was a good chance of an "El Nino" climate phenomenon in the Pacific Ocean this year, bringing droughts and heavy rainfall to the rest of the world.

NASA's space station Robonaut finally getting legs

Robonaut, the first out-of-this-world humanoid, is finally getting its space legs. For three years, Robonaut has had to manage from the waist up. This new pair of legs means the experimental robot—now stuck ...

Ex-Apple chief plans mobile phone for India

Former Apple chief executive John Sculley, whose marketing skills helped bring the personal computer to desktops worldwide, says he plans to launch a mobile phone in India to exploit its still largely untapped ...

Filipino tests negative for Middle East virus

A Filipino nurse who tested positive for the Middle East virus has been found free of infection in a subsequent examination after he returned home, Philippine health officials said Saturday.

Egypt archaeologists find ancient writer's tomb

Egypt's minister of antiquities says a team of Spanish archaeologists has discovered two tombs in the southern part of the country, one of them belonging to a writer and containing a trove of artifacts including reed pens ...