Albany’s wettest day in 143 years

By Ashleigh Fielding | posted on August 6, 2020

ALBANY recorded its wettest August day in more than a century this week as the south coast was battered by an unusual winter weather event.

Albany received 81mm of rain on Monday alone, making it the wettest August day since 1877 according to the Bureau of Meteorology.

Within the past 20 years, the closest figure to this amount was in 2003 when 40.4mm of rain fell, and in 2011 when 37.6mm fell.

An unusual south-easterly swell peaked at just over 7m on Monday night with south-easterly wind gusts reaching 80km/h in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

King River broke its 16-year highest daily rainfall record, measuring 95mm of rain on Monday.

Denmark also broke a record, this one 124 years old with Monday now its highest August rainfall day with 49.6mm.

That night, power went out in Albany affecting 4,400 residents.

Areas with the most intense rainfall over the 24-hour period were Bremer Bay (122mm), Manypeaks (108.2mm) and Cheynes Beach (93.6mm).

A number of roads were impacted by flash flood- ing including Denmark- Mount Barker Road and Border-Bremer Bay Road.

Emergency Services received more than 44 calls for help from 11am on Monday, primarily to report flooding and roof damage.

A car was left stranded up to its windows in water on the corner of Havoc Road and Henry Street in Milpara, Middleton Beach’s Eyre Park lake overflowed, and Albany Saddlery’s Ulster Road equestrian facility in Collingwood Heights became a pond.

Gnowangerup farming sisters Danielle Smith and Chantelle Varley said their dried up dams soaked up a bit of the south coast’s storm front, recording 25mm of rain on Monday.

Ongerup recorded 23mm of rain and Jacup picked up approximately 20mm of rain.

Katanning recorded a top of 37.2mm at 9am on Monday and Walpole recorded 40.8mm on Tuesday morning.

But it wasn’t just the Great Southern dealing with chilly, wet weather. Perth shivered through its coldest day in 15 years on Monday and as such, set a winter peak electricity load of 3,665 megawatts at 6.20pm.

Western Power officials said the new record only just nudged past the 2016 record of 3,628 mega-watts.