HIGH WATERS: A ute drives through the water over Edward St weir yesterday.
HIGH WATERS: A ute drives through the water over Edward St weir yesterday. Nicole McDougall

Ex-TC Debbie drenches Dalby

DALBY hasn't escaped the wrath of ex-Severe Tropical Cyclone Debbie, with the large system bringing sheets of rain across the town in a 24-hour period.

Roads were cut off, properties were isolated and businesses closed yesterday during the deluge.

The system has been tracking south since it made landfall in north Queensland on Tuesday morning.

But it wasn't all bad news, with the region's farming land receiving a welcome drink.

Western Downs Regional Council Mayor Paul McVeigh said that aside from the few flooding issues, the rain had been great for the Western Downs, especially for the agricultural sector.

"A lot of people have already planted oats and there are those that'll take the opportunity to plant more,” Mr McVeigh said.

"The river is going to get fresh water through it, which is good for irrigators.

"We always feel for those that have been devastated up north but, as they say, it's an ill wind that blows nobody any good.”

Bureau of Meteorology spokesperson Nicholas Shera said the town had been through the worst of it as of Thursday afternoon.

"Dalby has received 62mm in the past 24 hours and is expected to get another 25-50mm in the next 24hours,” Mr Shera said.

"Modelling shows that the majority of the system has already cleared to the south-east of the town.

"There is also a flood watch in place for the eastern Darling Downs region.”

Mr Shera noted that March has seen three times more rainfall than usual and that flooding would play havoc with the town and surrounding areas.

"Dalby has received over 160mm of rain in March, when the monthly average is usually 53mm,” Mr Shera said.

"There is a severe weather warning in place, with heavy rainfall and destructive winds.

"I'd advise people to move their car undercover, stay away from trees, creeks and storm drains.

"Most importantly, if it's flooded, forget it.”

The Moonie Hwy had to be closed near Moonie during the peak of the rainfall.

Roads weren't the only things affected by the weather, with schoolchildren collected early for safety reasons.

Stonestreets Coaches was the first company to decide to collect kids early, with the bus line wanting to take no risks.

"We have a duty of care to our students and our drivers,” a company spokesperson said.

Dalby Christian College also made the decision to close their doors early, with safety at the forefront of their minds.

Administration officer Shelley Wieden said that in the morning they never expected the day to unfold as it did.

"The decision was made after Stonestreets Coaches said they were going to come get everyone at 1pm,” Ms Wieden said.

"So we followed their lead for safety's sake.

"It was very unexpected, we communicated with the families and told them what was going on.”


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