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Saturday, 1 January 2011

It's hard to believe that it actually rained again this morning. Last night, as the fireworks went off at Mooloolaba in front of the tourist holiday lets, there was more light rain a-falling. It got heavier towards midnight and the streets were wet this morning. Then more sprinkles of precipitation around breakfast-time. It's a sign the drought has broken.

Up north, they say that an area the size of New South Wales is under water. Other pundits in the media say it's an area the size of France and Germany combined. All that water, which fell over the past week, sometimes in veritable torrents that crashed from the sky accompanied by thunder and lightning, is now draining seawards down creeks and rivers that have swollen to record volumes. Houses and businesses are expecting the flood to subside in Emerald in the next few days. Down the Fitzroy River - which they say constitutes Australia's second-largest catchment after the Murray-Darling system - seaside Rockhampton (pop 75,000) waits for the water to arrive.

Those in the food industry will tell you that prices for vegetables in Australia's major south-eastern cities will rise as a result of the wash-out. We can also expect that some of the water will have started to drain toward the wouth-west, toward Lake Eyre in South Australia, where already last year heavy rain brought water not seen thereabouts in a decade. While some will applaud because the drought has finally broken, others will short-term rue the deluge and raise their fists in anger at the gods. Eheu! At least the grass is thriving.

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