BRISBANE, Australia (AP) — Almost a foot (300 millimeters) of rain in just a few hours renewed flood fears in Australia’s already waterlogged Queensland state Saturday, sending a surging river over its banks and into another large town.
Officials said about only 20 buildings in Maryborough, where about 22,000 people live, were expected to be flooded after the river burst its banks in the overnight downpour. The waters were expected to peak on Sunday.
“A number of businesses … will have floodwaters in their basements,” Mayor Mick Kruger said.
But the new flooding was a reminder that the state has almost no capacity to absorb more heavy rains after weeks of drenching tropical weather submerged an area the size of Germany and France combined.
Heavy rains fell in eastern Australia on Thursday, bringing fresh misery to flood-hit communities as the mayor of the flooded city of Rockhampton warned it could take up to a year to recover from the worst flooding in decades.
US wheat futures rose heavily yesterday as concerns grew that Australian wheat growers will be unable to deliver their harvests as a result of the devastation. Australia is the world’s fourth largest exporter of wheat after the USA, Canada and Russia.
At the Chicago Board of Trade, the price of wheat for March delivery rose over 3pc, at one point hitting $8.25 (£5.30) a bushel, the highest since last August. Warnings over impending cold weather in the US were also cited as reasons for the rise.