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'Best thing since sliced bread': Rain brings relief to Southern Qld


Drought-affected areas in the central and southern parts of Queensland have lapped up welcome rainfall for the past two days, with more expected to follow.

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On Wednesday, Roma received 105 millimetres through the day, and another 40 millimetres over the past 24 hours up until 9:00am Thursday, according to the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM).

Areas further south including Wiembilla, west of Condamine has experienced 71.6 millimetres over the past 24 hours, BOM says.

Deputy Mayor of the Maranoa region Councillor Geoff McMullen said it was “the best thing since sliced bread – the rainfall has really put a spring in everyone’s step.”

The Maranoa region has been drought declared since 2013, so the rainfall comes as a relief to farmers and residents alike.

“Some areas were missing out on previous rain but this time around it has been very widespread and steady, not really causing any problems,” McMullen said.

“There haven’t been any reports of serious flooding concerns, only roads and things being potentially cut off, but that is manageable,” he said.

Grazier Noel Chiconi told the ABC he had received 76mm of rain over the past two days at his property, Taylors Plains, about 100 kilometres north of Mungallala.

“We’re up to 250mm for March so far which puts us in front of our previous highest March total for the last 18 years,” Chiconi said.

“It looks like a good season is coming up for us.”

Chiconi said it was fantastic to see widespread rain across drought-affected areas including the Darling Downs, Maranoa, and South Burnett, after the regions missed out on rain forecast for the La Niña weather event.

“We’ve been waiting for a while. They spoke about a wet winter last year, then a wet spring, then a wet summer,” he said.

“We have been waiting in anticipation and anyway it’s finally come through.”

Cattle farmer Brett Conroy said the grass was looking green on his property, 25km south of Roma, after days of decent rain.

Conroy said he hoped the wet weather had hit patches that were previously missed.

“The farming areas had sort of missed out on rain,” Conroy said.

“There’s the odd one that got some good rain and the odd ones just miss out. Now they should have a very good start to winter.

“There will be a lot of oats being planted now and I’d say hay crops will be sown.”

Conroy said the rain had boosted spirits already.

“The landholders start spending a bit of money, buying new machinery or getting stuff fixed up,” Conroy said.

“Lawnmowers are going through the door really quick because the grass is growing like crazy.”

With the widespread rainfall, the Bureau Of Meteorology has issued weather warnings for central and southern Queensland.

Minor flooding warnings have been issued for the Maranoa River at Mitchell and Springfield, Bungil Creek catchments, as well as the Balonne River downstream of Surat to Beardmore Dam.

Locals are being warned of localised flooding which could cut roads in these areas over the next few days, with further rainfall expected throughout the week.

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