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Yamba’s wettest March on record

Meanwhile Yamba SES volunteers Kumal Pandit (shovelling) and Brendan Wren prepared sandbags last week in preparation for the worst. Yamba SES controller Michelle Fraser said the sandbags had and were being supplied to those in need upon request. Bags were deployed to prevent surface water entering various buildings and or properties as the rain event unfolded. Image: Geoff Helisma
March 2017 is the wettest that has been recorded at the Yamba weather station on Pilot Hill. The highest March rainfall recorded by the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) between 1877 and 2017 was 617.5mm in 1974: Yamba’s March 2017 rain total is 728.8mm. The average March rainfall in Yamba is 186.9mm. There were three major rain events recorded during the month: 149mm on March 16, 155.8mm on March 18 and 261.4mm on March 31, which fell short of the highest daily total of 300mm recorded in March 1999. March 2017’s total of 728.8mm is the second wettest month on record, exceeded only by the 753mm recorded in May 1921. There is only one other month that has recorded more than 700mm of rain; 707.5mm was recorded in July 1950. Yamba’s rain records show that there have now been four 24-hour periods that have recorded more than 260mm of rain: February 21, 1954 (270.5), March2, 1999 (300mm), May15, 1921 (273.1mm) and March 31 2017 (261.4mm). The Clarence Valley was lucky to evade the disastrous fates of various locations to the valley’s north, Lismore in particular, as a result of the effects of ex-tropical cyclone Debbie. The river system catchment areas that flow through Lismore are about 100 kilometres east of the Clarence River’s vast 22,716 square kilometres catchment area, which stretches from the NSW/Qld border to Dorrigo in the south and Glenn Innes and Tenterfield to the west.