Eastern Australia bracing for heavy rain, thunderstorms


Much of eastern Australia is bracing for heavy rain, thunderstorms and powerful winds on Friday with authorities warning of potential flash flooding in the coming days.

Widespread regions throughout the states of New South Wales (NSW), Queensland, Victoria, South Australia (SA) and the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) were hit by pelting rain on Friday morning with the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) expecting the weather to continue wreaking havoc on the weekend, reports Xinhua news agency.

The deluges are being triggered by two weather systems clashing with a low-pressure system from SA sweeping east and hitting tropical moisture over Queensland and NSW.

The low-pressure system was expected to turn south later on Friday, leading to heavy rainfall throughout eastern Victoria.

The downpours are already setting November records. A tweet issued by BOM on Thursday afternoon noted that the NSW regional city of Dubbo experienced 40.2 mm of rain which bucketed down within about 30 minutes.

The ferocious conditions are keeping emergency workers frantically busy responding to hundreds of distress calls, with the NSW State Emergency Service (SES) dealing with 10 flood rescues throughout Thursday night.

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) Commissioner Greg Leach said the state was well-prepared to respond to such emergencies.

“We have deployed SES flood boats to various locations throughout the Darling Downs region, along with Fire and Rescue Service swiftwater crews,” Leach said on Thursday.

“Another part of our capability is the use of a helicopter to transport technical rescuers with their equipment and drop them into locations that are difficult to access.”

“It’s not too long ago that this helicopter was used to support bushfire fighting efforts, so it’s a reminder that Queensland’s weather can be volatile.”