Torrential rain continues to fall in Brisbane ahead of Magic Round – the NRL football festival at Suncorp Stadium.
Brisbane received a month of rain in one day before the Magic Round, which kicks off at Suncorp Stadium on Friday evening.
Wivenhoe Dam, Brisbane’s main water supply, is over 100 per cent capacity after days of heavy rain and the Bureau of Meteorology has warned residents to expect the Brisbane River to overflow downstream west of Brisbane.
Brisbane received 67.7mm of rainfall as of 9am on Friday – above the city’s May average (61.1mm) – leaving ferries and CityCat services suspended.
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The Bureau of Meteorology issued a severe weather warning for southeast Queensland early Friday morning, but updated its warning just before midday to exclude Brisbane.
Still, moderate to locally heavy falls could lead to flash flooding in Brisbane on Friday, according to the Bureau of Meteorology.
A very high chance of rain is also forecast for Saturday and Sunday.
The wild weather could spell trouble for the NRL – this weekend eight games will be played at the same ground, Suncorp Stadium, as part of the Magic Round.
Brisbane-based weather reporter Justin Noonan said the stadium’s playing surface could be damaged by the end of the weekend.
“Ground staff have a huge challenge ahead. It is flowing well but will be cut badly by Sunday evening,” he wrote on social media.
Ground staff at Suncorp Stadium typically prepare for Magic Round weeks in advance, and the stadium has four large water tanks on site to collect rainwater.
Earlier this week, NRL head of football Graham Annesley said he was confident the ground would hold up.
“It’s a great site up there with one of the best drainage systems in the game,” he said.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has reassured Queenslanders that Wivenhoe Dam has yet to approach the levels it reached in February when Brisbane reported 887mm of rainfall for the month.
“Wivenhoe is 110%. In February it was 185%, so there is still plenty of storage available,” she said.
“They’ve had some controlled releases and they’re actually going to shut that down in the next short period when we see these major floods.”