Rain brings much-needed relief during Australia fires, but flooding becoming an issue

Posted at 12:55 PM, Jan 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-19 13:55:36-05

Heavy rain and severe thunderstorms have swept across parts of Australia, bringing much-needed relief to help contain massive bush fires.

But it's also causing flash flooding in some areas.

Employees at a reptile park in Somersby needed to evacuate some of their animals due to the water.

Fires have scorched vegetation that would normally soak up the precipitation.

And the land is so parched in some places, the rain is just running off the ground.

Authorities also had to rescue several people due to the flooding in the Australian states of New South Wales and Queensland Saturday.

The Bureau of Meteorology's Peter Markworth said the rains were a "one-in-a-hundred-years" event.

"We saw some one-in-a-hundred-year threshold being met over southeast Queensland (state), but at this stage that may be a few locations which saw the highest daily rainfall, but it's not very widespread," Markworth said.

The fires have claimed at least 28 lives since September, destroyed more than 2,600 homes and razed more than 25.5 million acres.