SES volunteers Arama Samuel and Wayne Wilds repair a roof in Bayview Heights that started leaking during the heavy rain. PICTURE: ANNA ROGERS
SES volunteers Arama Samuel and Wayne Wilds repair a roof in Bayview Heights that started leaking during the heavy rain. PICTURE: ANNA ROGERS

Tropical Cyclone Owen’s on the way back

UP TO 300mm of rain and winds topping 100km/h have lashed the Far North in the past four days with more wild weather likely later this week.

Eyes are trained on ex-cyclone Owen and its next move with weather boffins predicting it to boomerang back to the east coast from its current westerly track before reforming into a cyclone tomorrow.

A lull in gale force winds is expected today, however more rain and storms are likely.

While some are enjoying a reprieve from the big dry and searing heat of the past few weeks, others are waiting for power to be restored.

 

Late yesterday Ergon Energy had restored power to about half of the 7000 customers affected by outages across the region.

Supply was being restored to about 1850 customers at Edge Hill, 810 at Port Douglas and 395 at Tully Heads but power was still out in parts of Atherton, Kuranda, Mossman and Cassowary Coast.

Tjapukai founder Judy Freeman said she was without power for more than 14 hours at her Kuranda home.

"I live in a village in India for part of the year and just got back a couple of days ago," she said.

"In our village all of the electricity is all hooked up to one pole, and even there we've never had the power go out for 14 hours. I was quite surprised."

The Barron Falls flow spectacularly after strong rain fall. PICTURE: SARAH LATHAM
The Barron Falls flow spectacularly after strong rain fall. PICTURE: SARAH LATHAM

Ms Freeman lives on the bank of the Barron River, and said she could see the rapid rise of the water as the rain fell.

"It came up by about 3m. I had to run down and rescue the furniture," she said.

"You do see the river rise with the rain, but it's usually well after Christmas. This is very early."

Uli Walter, of Germany, was one of many to visit swelled waterways across the region.

Mr Walter, who is visiting family at Caravonica and staying at the Lake Placid caravan park, said he couldn't believe how quickly water levels had risen.

"I know that in the wet season there is a lot of rain but I was surprised that so much water came overnight and so quickly," he said.

Water laps beside the road at Ryan Weare Park in Freshwater PICTURE: ANNA ROGERS
Water laps beside the road at Ryan Weare Park in Freshwater PICTURE: ANNA ROGERS

Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Nicholas Shera was confident in modelling predicting an east coast track of ex-Tropical Cyclone Owen and its reformation into a cyclone.

"We do expect a fair bit of weather to be associated with that. It is quite a way out yet so the track map could change but it is likely to produce areas of quite heavy rain," he said.

It's clear the associated weather has already begun, with incredible rainfall totals tallied over the weekend.

Flaggy Creek, about 25km west of Palm Cove, recorded a phenomenal 283mm of rain between 9am Sunday and 7am yesterday, during the harshest storm period.

The rainfall totals were equally staggering across the rest of the Cairns region, with Copperlode Dam receiving 243mm of rain, while Tinaroo had a healthy 107mm dousing in the same time frame.

Fallen trees and power lines have forced several road closures across Douglas Shire. Council crews are working hard to clear roads and make them safe for motorists. Picture: Douglas Shire Council
Fallen trees and power lines have forced several road closures across Douglas Shire. Council crews are working hard to clear roads and make them safe for motorists. Picture: Douglas Shire Council

Cairns Airport's 167mm over a 26-hour period beat the site's mean rainfall of 174.7mm for December.

A watch zone has been declared in the Gulf of Carpentaria as meteorologists keep a keen eye on ex-cyclone Owen today.

Flood warnings have been issued for the Mulgrave River, which was at 9.25m and rising late yesterday.

However, the river was falling at The Fisheries and Peets bridges.

"The Mulgrave River at Peets Bridge is likely to remain below the minor flood level (5m) during Monday, however renewed rises below the minor flood level are possible with further rainfall," the bureau said yesterday.

A flood warning is in effect for the Tully River and a flood watch warning is in place from Rollingstone, north of Townsville, to Cairns.