Drought to flood in 7 hours- W. Australian town decimated by ‘freak’ flood waters

February 5, 2011W. AUSTRALIA – “Floods often produce harrowing stories and the recent Gascoyne flood was no exception. Mooloo Downs station, located 280 kilometres east of Carnarvon, sits on the Mooloo Creek and Jim and Jenny Caunt estimate between 300mm and 400mm of rain fell over about seven hours. In the few days after, as the Caunts began to take in exactly how much damage the flood had caused on their property, they were confronted with shocking images. They found dead cattle stuck in trees, pushed there by the sheer force and speed of the water. That is only one story, and other pastoralists had similar experiences. “In seven hours it went from the worst drought to the worst flood,” Jim said. “In just a few hours, this place was transformed.” When the downpour started, the Caunts measured 70mm of rain in only half an hour, then recorded another 200mm before the rain gauge was swept away. In the two days prior to the flood, Mooloo Downs station had only recorded 39mm of rain. “The rain stayed at that intensity for six to seven hours, which was pretty unusual,” Jim said. Jenny said they had time to seal the doors and windows of the kitchen so only a small amount of water managed to seep inside but outside the water got as high as the windows and up to a metre in some rooms. He said their property was under water for only three or four hours but it was the force of the water which actually caused the most damage. “Full grown gum trees were pulled out of the ground,” he said. – Farm Weekly
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