Forgan Bridge closed, flash flooding warning issued for Mackay

UPDATE 8.44pm: 

JUST as you think Cyclone Debbie has passed, like a horrible ex, she is still tormenting Mackay as Ex-Tropical Cyclone Debbie. 

The Bureau of Meteorology has issued a severe storm warning for Mackay. 

This goes with a major flood warning for the Pioneer River at Mirani and a minor flood warning for Mackay. 

Full Story - And the river will rise: Flood warning for the Pioneer

EARLIER 1.15pm: 

THERE'S no stopping the flow of water or people in Mackay at the moment as residents rush out to watch the Pioneer River which is bursting at the seams.

BOM and Queensland Police issued a severe weather warning for flash flooding and closed the Forgan Bridge but it didn't stop families lining the southern side of the Pioneer Bridge at high tide at 11.33am.

They were still there an hour later watching the fast flowing water full of logs and who knows what else.

Meanwhile, BOM has issued an alert stating the Pioneer Basin has received 1000mm of rain in the past 48 hours, an incredible amount considering the catchment usually has 1500-2000mm in a year.

Kahn O'Brien from North Mackay, bored after Cyclone Debbie cut off his electricity, drove across the bridge before it was closed to see Pioneer River break its banks at Blue Water Quay.

"It is pretty wild, I have never seen (the Pioneer River) this high before," he said.

"I'll probably never see it this high again."

Meg Wright and Dana Adams were enjoying the day off school to sight-see in Mackay.
Meg Wright and Dana Adams were enjoying the day off school to sight-see in Mackay. Campbell Gellie

"We just drove around sight-seeing (this morning)," Meg said.

"(The Pioneer River) is moving pretty fast and pretty chokers."

Julianne Brown came from Hay Point hadn't seen the Pioneer River like this before.
Julianne Brown came from Hay Point hadn't seen the Pioneer River like this before. Campbell Gellie

And lots of people were after the essentials.

Coles at Sydney St Markets had ran out of branded bread by midday and there was line of people taking Coles' own bread as soon as it was sliced.

There was a long line of people waiting to buy cigarettes and every third trolley leaving the centre had a carton of Great Northern beer.

There was no branded bread left at Coles on Sydney St.
There was no branded bread left at Coles on Sydney St. Contributed

 

EARLIER 10am:

BUREAU of Meteorology is keeping a close eye on the Pioneer river with it supposed to reach more than 2m above the moderate flood warning height this morning.
 

"We have had a huge amount of rain in the catchment upstream from the Pioneer River, 600mm, 500mm, 400mm, there is 300mm in all of these gauges," BOM's meteorologist Adam Blazak said.

"We are currently forecasting an 8.2m river rise which is 2m above moderate flood warning which is on the high tide.

"The hydrologists are looking at it now and there could potentially be another peak of the river at the next high tide tonight."
 

Mr Blazak said the river still had a further 2m to hit the major flood warning level where homes would start to be inundated.

But he advised people to keep on eye on the bureau's Pioneer River flood warning updates.

"It will be spilling over in places," he said.

"Filling parks and roads."

 

 

 

EARLIER 10am:

A FLOOD warning has been issued for Mackay and a Moderate Flood warning continues to be issued for Mirani.

The Pioneer River is swelling every minute and is at 6.55m high as it continues to bucket down in the catchment area and Mackay CBD with it expected to peak at 8.2m at high tide.

The river is currently 2.9m below the Forgan Bridge and rising, 3.16m above the Old Bridge and rising towards a 5.8m high tide at 11.33am.

The water at Mirani is 4.87m above the weir there and continuing to rise and 6.41m above the Marian Weir.
 


Last night the residents of Cremorne just on the northern side of the Forgan Bridge were told to evacuate but this morning it still appears as if their homes haven't been inundated by water.

Police have blocked off access to the Mackay Boat Ramp with the Pioneer River still rising.

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

Over the past 48 hours there has been widespread rainfalls totals of 200-600mm in the Pioneer River catchment with some places recording 800-1000mm.

The deck at Maria's Donkey is just above the water and has stopped branches on the way out of the Pioneer River.
The deck at Maria's Donkey is just above the water and has stopped branches on the way out of the Pioneer River. Campbell Gellie

"Totals in excess of 200mm have been recorded over the middle reaches of the Pioneer River in the past three hours," BOM's flood warning reads.

"Further downstream, minor to moderate flood levels are rising in the lower Pioneer between Dumbleton Rocks and Hospital Bridge.

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

The unusual heights of the Pioneer River

The height of the Pioneer River is anything but normal this Wednesday morning.
The height of the Pioneer River is anything but normal this Wednesday morning. BOM

UPDATE 8am: 

THE Pioneer River is brown, has debris flowing down it and very full despite being three and a half hours from a high tide. 

There has been widespread rainfalls between 200-500mm all over the Pioneer River Catchment with some isolated areas receiving between 800-1000mm. 

This rain has continued to run south creating major flood warnings for Mirani and Sarich's Weir, moderate flood warnings at Blacks Creek at Whitefords and Cattle Creek at Finch Hatton. 

Widespread rainfall totals of 200-500 mm have been recorded over the Pioneer River catchment in the past 48 hours, with locally heavier falls of 800-1000 mm recorded over the ranges.

The Pioneer River is current 6.55m high at the Forgan Bridge, which is 3.05m under the bridge with the water level still rising for a 5.8m high tide at 11.33am. 



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