Flood watch continues, river at highest for a decade

The Katherine River is falling. Source: Bureau of Meteorology.
The Katherine River is falling. Source: Bureau of Meteorology.

The Katherine River is falling fast from its peak of 15 metres but heavy showers have returned to the town today.

The Bureau of Meteorology has confirmed it is the highest level the river has reached for a decade.

As well, the bureau said the average annual rainfall for Katherine is 1061.9mm, and so far this year recorded rainfall is 1007.4mm.

The highest annual rainfall totals was 2220.6mm in the 2003/04 wet season.

Monthly average for February is 231mm with the highest being 719.3mm in 2004 – so far Katherine has had had 193.4mm.

The bureau this afternoon said the recent active monsoon has brought weekly rainfall totals of 150-200mm to many areas across the Top End, with a focus on eastern and western coastal areas

Katherine River at this morning's peak.

Katherine River at this morning's peak.

Localised flash flooding, which may make some roads impassable, is expected to continue during this week, as even relatively small amounts of rain on already saturated areas can create hazardous conditions quite quickly

The monsoon trough remains over the base of the Top End and showers and storms are expected to continue around the trough this week, with a focus on the south western and south eastern Top End areas

A Flood Watch for the North West and Carpentaria Coastal Rivers is current as many rivers in the watch areas are rising in response to the recent rainfall

There is a moderate flood warning for the Daly River which is expected to reach the moderate flood level on Tuesday evening

A Minor Flood Warning for the Katherine River Gorge Road  which is expected to remain above the minor flood level today

A Minor Flood Warning for the Roper and Waterhouse Rivers where minor flooding is possible later today at Beswick Bridge

The north and north western areas of the Top End (including Darwin) will see some more sunshine during the next couple of days with a few showers and storms about, but a return to the monsoonal cloudy and wet weather is forecast for later this week.

Roads impacted by the rains, according to the NT Government are:

Carpentaria Hwy - closed with damage at several locations;

Roper Hwy - closed with most bridges under water and water levels still rising;

Central Arnhem Road - closed between Barunga and Bulman due to flooding;

Buntine Hwy - open with restrictions;

Victoria Hwy – open with multiple pavement failures;

Buchanan Hwy - remains closed between Stuart Hwy and Top Springs. Weight    restrictions between Buntine Highway to Victoria Highway. Dashwood Crossing is currently impassable;

Gorge Road - closed due to flooding at Maud Creek;

Numerous roads in the Dundee area have been impacted with sections of Mermaid Circuit impassable or requiring 4WD due to water over the road or boggy conditions;

Fog Bay Road – periodically impassable at Rocky Creek due to flooding;

Port Keats Road – closed due to flooding;

Oenpelli Road – impassable at Magella Creek and closed at Cahills Crossing;

Fountain Head Road – closed because of culvert collapse, urgent repairs in progress;

Litchfield Park Road – closed at Lower Finniss River crossing;

Shady Camp Road – closed due to boggy conditions;

Channel Island Road – open but with severe potholes;

Central Arnhem Road closed due to flooding at Wilton and Waterhouse Rivers.

Urgent temporary repairs have been carried out to culverts that collapsed on Fountain Head Road and Dorat Road, as well as flood damage at Rocky Creek and Charlotte Rivers on Fog Bay Road, Mermaid Circuit and unsealed roads in the Douglas Daly area; 

Channel Island Road – severe potholes. Repair crews have commenced work.