10 May 2023

Lockhart River the wettest place on the Cape

| Matt Nicholls
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The eastern Cape community recorded 560mm in April to surge to the top of the table and notch more than 2.3 metres of rain for the season.

Weipa experienced one of its wettest Aprils on record – certainly the dampest in a decade – and had 250mm for the month.

It took the airport gauge’s tally past the two-metre mark since the start of the wet season in October.

Horn Island started the wet season slowly and was the only other place to record more than two metres of rainfall.

Bamaga locals said they had just as much rain, if not more, but there is no Bureau of Meteorology site in the Northern Peninsula Area.

The big wet season and the late April rain has caused havoc for local residents and tourists.

The Archer River last week rose more than six metres above the causeway, while the Wenlock and Pascoe Rivers were unable to be crossed at the time of print.

Motorists were beginning to cross the Archer on Sunday.

The PDR is still closed from Musgrave to Weipa, although the dry weather looks to have arrived for the long haul.

The Department of Transport and Main Roads said it would begin its opening grade of the PDR as soon as it was possible.

Experienced Cape York locals said it was likely the road would be opened by Monday next week, as long as there was no more rain.

Some sections of the road will still be damaged, but TMR road crews and contractors will attempt to make safe passages around them before getting to work on repairs.

In Weipa, tourism operators are expecting the first tour groups to arrive around May 13.

More than a dozen golfers had to cancel their trip to the Weipa Open on the weekend as a result of the road closures.

The golfers would have arrived from Mossman and Atherton.

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