Rain drives shopping spree
WET blessings have fallen on the Fraser Coast for the past few days and the persistent showers are not expected to ease until much later in the week.
People relying on rainwater tanks have welcomed the constant rain, even though the falls have been minor.
Showers fell across the Fraser Coast throughout the day yesterday after Hervey Bay recorded 8.2mm and Maryborough 10.8mm in the 24 hours to 9am. Between 9am and 3pm, Hervey Bay received 25mm and Maryborough recorded just 2mm.
While the sound of raindrops on the roof provided the perfect soundtrack for a lazy day in, not everyone wanted to spend the day tucked away at home.
Businesses that opened for yesterday’s Boxing Day public holiday were packed with people keen to spend up on post-Christmas bargains.
“Products that are moving well include plant care and fertilisers. People are trying to capitalise on this rain we’re getting,” busy Bunnings manager Ben Hawkshaw said after the new Maryborough store proved a popular retreat from the rain.
He said staff were run off their feet with customers, many of whom redeemed products on Christmas gift cards.
“Our paint products are also selling, with a lot of people doing painting projects through the holidays.
“And barbecues and accessories are popular too – everyone likes to crack out the barbie during the festive season.”
Local cinemas also welcomed the holiday crowd with open arms.
Bigscreen Cinemas at Hervey Bay had several screenings sold out, manager Brenda Day said.
“We’ve got a wonderful crowd and there’s just as many adults as kids here,” she said.
“It’s been one of our biggest days of the holiday season, particularly because of the rain.
“Avatar 3D has been the best selling movie and other popular ones are Alvin and the Chipmunks 2, Sherlock Holmes and Old Dog.”
Maryborough’s Plaza 4 Cinemas was also packed, supervisor Sara Collins said.
“We’ve been very busy – about triple the average day – with a lot of families coming in. Alvin and the Chipmunks 2 and Old Dogs seem to be very popular.”
Shops and cinemas can look forward to a couple more days of rain-induced crowds, according to the Bureau of Meteorology.
Weather forecaster Michelle Berry said showers were likely to continue today, developing into thundery rain this afternoon.
“A ridge is expected to develop over the coast from a high pressure system pushing out into the Tasman Sea,” she said.
“We’ll see winds tending south-east to north-east and isolated showers. The weather won’t clear but it will be easing, with isolated showers from Wednesday through to the weekend.”
Temperatures are expected to remain in the mid-to-high 20s.
Despite the current wet, the bureau has predicted a drier than average March quarter for 2010.
Keep up-to-date with the latest weather information for the Fraser Coast region.