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Brisbane Floods 2011
A series of floods hit Australia, beginning in
December 2010, primarily in the state of
Queensland including its capital city, Brisbane. The
floods forced the evacuation of thousands of
people from towns and cities. At least 70 towns
and over 200,000 people were affected. Damage
initially was estimated at around A$1 billion. The
estimated reduction in Australia's GDP is about
A$30 billion. Queensland Treasurer Andrew Fraser
said it was not possible to put a figure on the damage; "other than to say the damage bill is going to
start with a b and not an m".
Three-quarters of the state of Queensland was declared a disaster zone. The 20102011 floods
killed at least 31. As of 14 January, an additional 40 are missing in or around Grantham. The
Queensland floods were followed by the 2011 Victorian floods which saw more than 50 communities
in western and central Victoria also grapple with significant flooding.
The floods were a result of heavy precipitation caused by Tropical Cyclone Tasha that
combined with a trough during the peak of a La Niña event. The 2010 La Niña weather
pattern, which brings wetter conditions to eastern Australia, was the strongest since 1973.
This La Niña event caused a prolonged period of heavy rainfall over Queensland river
Record or near to record sea surface temperatures were recorded off the Queensland coast
in late 2010. December 2010 was Queensland's wettest on record, with record high rainfall
totals set in 107 locations for the month.
The state average rainfall level of 209.45 millimetres (8.25 in) exceeded the previous record
of 200.1 millimetres (7.88 in) set in 1975.
2010 was also recorded as the state's wettest spring since 1900 and the Australian
continent's third wettest year.
Isolated flooding started across parts of the state in early December.
On 24 December a monsoonal trough crossed the coast from the Coral Sea, bringing
torrential rain that fell in a broad swath from the Gulf of Carpentaria to the Gold Coast.
The widest range of intense rainfall occurred on 27 December with very high daily totals
recorded on 25 December near where Cyclone Tasha crossed the coast.
Flooding was widespread across Queensland from mid December 2010 with several
separate rain events causing rivers to rise over a three week period.
Many places, including Condamine and Chinchilla were inundated by flood waters on multiple
As of 14 January 2011, 30 deaths have been attributed to the floods, 15 of which are from
the Toowoomba and the Lockyer Valley area.
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Additionally, 14 people are listed as missing, after the catastrophic flash flood struck
Toowoomba, Lockyer Valley, Brisbane and Ipswich.
The first death was reported on 20 November 2010, when a woman drowned in her vehicle
near Dysart. In the following weeks, five others died from similar circumstances. Nine people
drowned after being caught directly by the flowing waters, and thirteen people died in
other circumstances.…read more