This Day in Weather History ~ May 6th, 1996: Australia Floods

Looking Back at the 1996 Severe Storms that Ravaged Eastern Australia

This Day in Weather History ~ May 6th, 1996: Australia Floods
Photo by Jack B / Unsplash

Severe storms and heavy rain on May 6th, 1996 struck New South Wales and Queensland. As communities faced widespread damage and flooding, this stormy day left a lasting impact on the affected areas.

The skies over eastern Australia grew ominously dark on the morning of May 6th. A powerful combination of atmospheric conditions set the stage for severe storms to unleash their fury upon the eastern Australian communities. Despite forecasts of bad weather, the magnitude of the rain proved hard to predict.

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The day progressed with torrential rain battering New South Wales and Queensland. Rivers, creeks, and drainage systems were overwhelmed by relentless rain. As a result, floodwaters engulfed towns and cities, causing widespread chaos and disruption. Roads became impassable, homes flooded, and essential services were cut off.

Communities were in grave danger from the storms, with rising water forcing residents to evacuate. Emergency services were stretched to their limits as they scrambled to rescue stranded individuals and provide aid to those affected. Amid the chaos, volunteers and emergency workers showed resilience and determination as they worked tirelessly to save people and livestock.

The unrelenting rains and storms damaged infrastructure and property. Bridges collapsed, homes washed away, and power lines were downed. Agriculture and industry suffered significant setbacks due to floodwater damage. It would take a long time to overcome the human economic toll of the severe storms.

Many rainfall records were broken, including 395mm falling in 3 days at Brisbane Airport and 698mm falling in the same period at Mt Tamborine. In addition, 1,054 mm fell in one day at Mt Glorious in Queensland.