Whether the weather will hold

Image: Dust - Cecil Plains Road Source: Bev Lacey - The Chronicle

Image: Dust – Cecil Plains Road
Source: Bev Lacey – The Chronicle

After nearly exploding my brain last week looking for Hermitage Reserve I thought I’d do an easy topic this week. Like all good country people when looking for something to talk about you can always fall back on the weather. This year is the 6th anniversary since the “Red Dawn” dust storm that covered half of the east coast of Australia, and so I thought I’d look at some of the other wild weather that we’ve had.

The Red Dawn dust storm saw people waking up to a red tinged twilight morning. The dust storm swept across New South Wales and Queensland and on 23 September the dust plume measured more than 500 kilometers in width and 1,000 kilometers in length and covered dozens of towns and cities in two states. During the height of the storm Oakey’s visibility reached a low of 100 meters. This isn’t the first major dust storm to come through the Downs. In November 1915, during a “dry spell”, storm clouds built up rapidly from the southwest picking up dust and fine sand. The result of the storm was described as “Two points of rain, three inches of dust”.

Upper Yarraman is no stranger to wild weather. In December 1974, the top area of Upper Yarraman was hit by a severe hail and rainstorm. Although the hailstones were only as big marbles it left piles six inches (15cm) deep, and flattened gardens and stripped local crops. The storm also dropped a lot of water at the head of Yarraman Creek, which sent a rush of water down stream washing away small farm bridges and fences alike.

Image: Bakers Shop 1952 Source: Margaret Menkins

Image: Bakers Shop 1952
Source: Margaret Menkins

And last of all, probably one of the most extreme weather events to have hit the district was the Acland Tornado in December 1952. It took only four minutes for the storm to virtually level the entire township of Acland. The storm, which was accompanied by torrential rain, splintered timbers, smashed window and twisted iron roofs or ripped them right off. In one case a section of roofing iron had penetrated half its length through the chamfer boards of a verandah. It was estimated that £30,000 worth of damage was done, but most miraculously there was no casualties.

With storm season fast approaching, Council have put together a community safety “preparing for emergencies” web page. http://www.tr.qld.gov.au/community-business/community-safety/be-prepared-for-emergencies/6125-links-to-emq

That’s all for this week I’ll see you next time.

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