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Once Every 100 Years Flooding for Sunshine Coast

By By Eric Leister, Meteorologist
March 25, 2012, 3:24:36 AM EDT

Torrential rainfall led to record flash flooding across the Sunshine Coast of Australia on Thursday.

The Sunshine Coast is a tourist and vacation hot spot located 40 to 60 miles north of the Brisbane, the state capital.

A cold front that swept through the region on Thursday caused slow-moving thunderstorms with heavy rainfall to migrate over the Sunshine Coast. The combination of the heavy storms and slow movement led to flash flooding.

The Australian Bureau of Meteorology recorded 5.12 inches (13 cm) of rainfall in the town of Kawana in only an hour during the worst of the storms. "Those sorts of rainfalls, when it occurs in one hour, we'd expect that to have a frequency of occurrence of once every 100 years or greater," according to a bureau spokesman.

As much as 15 inches (40 cm) of rainfall was reported in the region. Rainfall at the Sunshine Coast Airport was 6.97 inches (17.7 cm) during the evening, according to the Australia Bureau of Meteorology. This marked the heaviest rainfall of the year thus far.

The flooding caused widespread problems ranging from flooded homes and businesses to cars being swept away by raging flood waters.

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