Saturday, February 4, 2023

Weipa the wettest place on the Cape

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There’s still two months of wet season to run and Weipa is out to an early lead in the rainfall stakes.

The three rain gauges based around Weipa have recorded more rain this wet season than any other weather station in the region.

Cape York wet season
Images: Matt Nicholls

The Rocky Point site holds the lead with 848mm tipped out since October 1.

In second place is RAAF Base Scherger, which has recorded 727mm in the same period.

The bulk of the rain fell on the Western Cape this season, with Aurukun and Kowanyama also near the top of the leaderboard.

On the east coast, Cape Flattery has been the driest site, with just 271mm recorded since October.

Road closed

Authorities are urging motorists to obey road closures and avoid driving in Cape York in wet conditions.

Flooded Laura River
Waiting at the Laura River has become a wet season tradition in Cape York as local travellers look to head south over the school holidays
Photo: Matt Nicholls

The Department of Transport and Main Roads has closed the Peninsula Developmental Road due to wet patches and water across bridges and causeways.

A boghole on the PDR near the Aurukun turnoff has already claimed several victims, while a number of cars have been stuck in floodwater at various crossings.

‘Leave it open’

Not everyone is rapt about the road closure, though.

Rob Woods from Hann River Roadhouse said it should come down to personal responsibility as there were many capable of traversing the PDR in wet conditions.

“Common sense has gone out the window. I understand that most people shouldn’t be driving, but the road is driveable for the most part,” he said.

“People need to know to wait when there’s floodwater over the bridges but they shouldn’t close the road.

“TMR is just worried about people taking legal action.”

When the road is closed, most car insurance companies won’t pay claims if an accident occurs.

Mr Woods said the priority for TMR should be building more bridges in the Cape.

“There’s no point sealing the road if you still can’t get through in the wet season,” he said.

Cape York Weekly

“The bitumen is great but we need more bridges.”

This article appeared in Cape York Weekly, 18 January 2021.



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