There’s finally some relief for those battling against the Australian bushfires, which have been raging since last summer. Since Thursday, an incredible amount of rain has swept over the affected areas—some of which have been facing droughts for years. While the downpours didn’t put out all of the fires—82 are still burning—it did manage to extinguish a quarter of what was blazing. Across the country, people are celebrating this onset of rain, but there are some issues arising because of the sudden storms.
As the rain settled in, with some areas reportedly getting a month’s worth in a few hours, there were concerns about flash floods. And as forecasters predict more rain in the coming days, the flood threat increases. Part of the issue is that in many areas affected by the long period of drought, as well as those burned in the bushfires, there is a lack of vegetation to soak up the water. This causes the rain to simply run off the ground, washing debris and ash onto the roads. Additionally, trees that have been weakened by the fires are at risk of falling.
In Victoria, the State Emergency Service posted several photos of the wreckage on Facebook, including a photo of a massive, 13-foot-deep sinkhole that opened up. However, there’s no doubt that, even with these issues, the rain is what many have been praying for. For those suffering in the fires, as well as the firefighters working to put out the flames, there’s no better gift.
“This will be all of our Christmas, birthday, engagement, anniversary, wedding and graduation presents rolled into one,” New South Wales RFS posted to Twitter. “Fingers crossed.”
Firefighters are embracing torrential downpours that are assisting their efforts to combat the Australian Bushfires.
Relief is here for a number of firefighters working across NSW. Although this rain won’t extinguish all fires, it will certainly go a long way towards containment. This footage was captured down at the Good Good Fire burning near Cooma. #nswrfs #nswfires pic.twitter.com/fxV9u2hN6K
— NSW RFS (@NSWRFS) January 16, 2020
However, the rain has also caused its own issues, including fallen trees and massive sinkholes.
But overall it’s good news, with those affected by fires and drought are also celebrating.
— DrCarolineHong FAICD (@CarolineHong) January 16, 2020
— Pamela Poovey (@poovey_pamela) January 16, 2020
— anthony ackroyd (@anthonyackroyd) January 17, 2020
I’m in the Manning Valley which was hit by #AustralianBushfiresDisaster in November (and ever since), near the town of Bobin which was destroyed.
Today’s #SydneyRain is very welcome here. Its raining cats & dogs = I’m out jumping in poodles (dad joke)
Have a great day 😅 pic.twitter.com/VQtXj1UbBV
— 💧 Mark Anning 🔥🔥🔥 (@1EarthMedia) January 16, 2020