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Streets turn to brown rivers

Thursday, 9th December, 2010

Jason McIntosh in Williams Street Jason McIntosh in Williams Street

Pelting rain turned the city's streets into wild rivers yesterday.

After the rain struck around lunch time SES crews were called out to homes that were inundated.

"A lot of sandbags are being filled all over town," the SES's Lesley Harvey told the BDT.

Homes in Mercury, Cobalt and Argent streets were most affected by the flooding, Ms Harvey said.

At one stage the Town Square resembled a swimming pool and flooded creeks also cut off the road to Silverton.

Local weatherman, Phil Mew, said the city received 13.8 millimetres of rain in 40 minutes to 1pm yesterday.

"This was a very powerful storm," Mr Mew said. "We had a funnel cloud as well as the thunderstorm that went through."

Mr Mew said a funnel was not a tornado, but comes out of a cloud and doesn't reach the ground.

The storm was caused by the continuous heat, moisture in the air and cloud moving in from the north-west, he said.

Mr Mew said this year's rainfall was the second highest in 122 years of record keeping, and now stands at more than 541mm.

"Back in '74, we had 838mm for the year," he said.

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