More rain forecast for Ipswich

THERE will be no reprieve from the soggy conditions which have plagued the lead-up to Christmas, with the Ipswich region to endure another week of solid rainfall.

With heavy rain, big tides and Wivenhoe Dam releases already topping the Brisbane River up to its breaking point, further flooding is almost a certainty on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and beyond.

The Bureau of Meteorology’s six-day forecast paints a dim picture of rain, rain, rain, rain, rain and rain.

Senior forecaster Geoff Doueal said the Ipswich region could expect as much as 200mm of it between today and next Tuesday.

“There’s a lingering upper trough over western Queensland,” Mr Doueal said.

“It’s bringing those moist easterly winds.”

Although there is no definitive answer on when south-east Queenslanders can expect a bit of sun this summer, Mr Doueal said there were some signs that the rain clouds might begin to part next Tuesday.

“Beyond that, it is hard to say,” he said.

More than 320,000 megalitres of water have been released from Wivenhoe Dam since the gates were opened last week.

That water has caused the closure of several Brisbane River crossings, including Colleges Crossing and the Kholo Bridge, which was about 1m under yesterday.

A spokesman from the South East Queensland Water Grid said it was expected that all gates would be shut by mid-afternoon yesterday, provided there was no further significant rainfall.

Operational releases from Wivenhoe via the cone valves will continue, however.

“Local councils have been consulted and it is expected that major downstream crossings will be open by (Friday),” the spokesman said.

Wivenhoe and Somerset dams are open for water-based recreational activities, so long as there isn’t significant rain today.

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