Oct 17, 2022 - Energy & Environment

Flood-hit Australian communities warned "a lot more rain is on the way"

Emergency workers look at a submerged car on a flooded street in the Melbourne suburb of Maribyrnong on October 14.

Emergency workers respond to flooding in the Melbourne suburb of Maribyrnong, Australia, on Friday. Photo: William West/AFP via Getty Images

Australia's east coast was facing the threat of more heavy rains as floodwaters inundated the states of New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania on Monday.

The big picture: Widespread flooding in Australia this year has killed more than 20 people, with two deaths confirmed in the latest deluge that's forced thousands of people to evacuate.

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese notes in a tweet that Forbes, New South Wales, has been hit by flooding five years in a row.
Photo: Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese/Twitter

Threat level: Flooding has displaced more than 11,000 people in Victoria and up to 34,000 homes could be inundated in the state, officials said on Monday.

  • The northern Victorian town of Kerang could be "isolated" for up to a week, with the nearby Loddon River not expected to peak until Wednesday or Thursday, Tim Wiebusch, Victoria State Emergency Service chief of operations, said at a news conference.
  • Federal Emergency Management Minister Murray Watt told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation the threat of more rain in Victoria meant Australia's second-most populous state was likely to "see a flood peak happen and waters recede, followed by another peak, as different river systems come together."

In New South Wales, a disaster has been declared in over 30 local government areas due to flooding, said NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet during a visit to affected communities — noting Australia's most populous state expected "more challenging weather" this week.

What we're watching: "Flood warnings are current across southern Queensland, New South Wales and northern Victoria," Australian Bureau of Meteorology meteorologist Dean Narramore said on Monday.

  • "Unfortunately, a lot more rain is on the way for these areas later this week. ... we could see isolated heavy falls in excess of 100 millimeters (3.9 inches)."

Context: Climate change worsens the downpours and associated floods, while La Niña conditions present for a third consecutive year in the Pacific have also played a major role in the extreme weather that's hitting Australia, according to climate scientists and the BOM.

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