Buildings on the Pioneer River have been hammered and are just above the water.
Buildings on the Pioneer River have been hammered and are just above the water. Campbell Gellie

Pioneer Valley gets half its yearly rainfall in 48 hours

"IN the Pioneer Basin there's been over 1000mm of rain in 48 hours. We normally see 1500-2000mm in a year."

This was the stark warning from the Bureau of Meteorology's Hydrology Manager Victoria Dodds this morning as a major flood warning was again issued for the Pioneer River. 

With the high tide peaking in Mackay about 11.15am residents there are tensely waiting to see if the Pioneer River will flood the city. 

Already low lying parts of Peak Downs Hwy and Eungella-Mackay Rd are under water and travel in the areas is difficult.  Landslides have also cut off Eungella and Broken River.

At the same time more rain is forecast to fall and there is presently a severe weather warning in place for the region - with the BoM placing the upper limit of the rainfall totals at 200mm. 

Added to that the tide is expected to peak again in the dark just around midnight. 

Despite forecasters this morning saying river levels will go two metres above the moderate flood level a moderate flood warning remains in place for Mackay. 

The river is filled with debris. 

Upstream at Mirani a major flood warning is in place and levels are expected to rise further yet. 

In the past 24 hours alone the Mirani Weir has copped 304mm of rain while further downstream at the Marian Weir the gauges measured 461mm.

Moving further upstream again to Mount William a shocking 568mm of rain fell in the past 24 hours and upstream again the Clarke Range had 646mm. 

"Major flood levels are rising in Blacks Creek at Whitefords and in the Pioneer River between Sarich's and Mirani Weir.

"Further downstream, minor to moderate flood levels are rising in the lower Pioneer between Dumbleton Rocks and Hospital Bridge," the most recent warning from the BoM reads. 

"There are currently no observations at Mirani.

"It is expected that the river level at Mirani is above the major flood level (9.0 metres) and currently around 11.0 metres. Major flooding is expected to continue during Wednesday, with further rises likely as upstream floodwater arrives.

"The Pioneer River at Mackay is currently at 6.65 metres and rising.

"The river level is expected to exceed the minor flood level (7.00 m) mid-morning Wednesday, with a peak of around 8.20 metres likely late Wednesday morning on the high tide.

"The river level is likely to exceed the minor flood level on the high tide around midnight Wednesday."



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