Australia Weather News

Last week the north-west Queensland town of Mount Isa was worried about water security, with dam levels dropping below 50 per cent.

But on Sunday the local river is running and Mayor Joyce McCulloch is smiling from ear to ear.

What was a bone-dry riverbed is now flowing at an incredible speed, cutting off all but one of the bridges from one side of town to the other.

"There was absolutely not a spot of rain in the riverbed, but overnight we've suddenly got a very full river," Ms McCulloch said.

"All of our crossings last night were closed and they're still closed this morning, except the Grace Street Bridge."

The rain may have cancelled the council's Australia Day pool party, but the Mayor says no-one is knocking it back.

"The rain we've received has come down in the most significant area to fill the [Lake Moondarra] dam," she said.

"We were a bit concerned at the dam level, starting to get very concerned because it was under 50 per cent, but this rain will mean we'll have some good percentages back in the lake, which is brilliant."

'It's changed everyone's outlook'

At Thorntonia Station, 200 kilometres north-west of Mount Isa on the Camooweal to Burketown Road, 50 millimetres of rain has done more than just lift spirits for Lloyd Hick.

"It's been a terrible tough year this year," Mr Hick told ABC North West.

"It's certainly the driest year and the toughest year that I've experienced.

"We had 50mm here yesterday which is certainly our biggest fall since the third of March last year, and it fell beautifully — it was grass-growing rain."

Mr Hick said the rain was exactly what graziers ordered.

"We had some little isolated storms, very narrow ones, that ran a bit of water just after new year, but in the last two or three days it's just started to improve a bit," he said.

"It's changed everyone's outlook on life a bit.

"It was heavier than a drizzle, but it wasn't just destructive heavy rain that ran down the creek, it was rain that soaked into the ground and did us a lot of good."

As for his Australia Day plans, Mr Hick said it was pretty much business as usual.

"We always have the same old jobs every day, but being Sunday and Australia Day we will try to have a bit of time at home too," he said.

Roads closed, for now

A campervan was towed to Camooweal yesterday after its owner attempted to drive through flooded water.

Camooweal's police officer in charge Sergeant Amit Singh said he made the decision at 3:00pm yesterday to close the road to the Northern Territory after NT police told him around 40 cars were stuck on either side of a crossing near Sedan Station, 150km west of Camooweal.

"We made the decision to stop the traffic from Queensland going that way, because once trucks get up there they can't turn around because it's a very narrow road," Sergeant Singh said.

"I went there to check it out and give them assistance, but there was a lot of water over the road, but when I was coming back I was stuck about 20km from the border in flash flooding.

"They're very unpredictable roads, so we're closing them until we know what's happening."

The town of Camooweal has accommodation available, one petrol station, a pub, and a post office.

LocationOvernight totalsMount Isa  85mmCarters Bore rain gauge near Mount Isa 119mmCamooweal 145mmMay Downs100mmCloncurry33mmLake Julius28mmWinton 37mm