MARYBOROUGH, Australia -- After Tropical Cyclone Seth unleashed heavy rain in Australia last week, a damaged levee system failed which caused water to inundate downtown Maryborough, Queensland. If the flooding was not enough, a bull shark was spotted swimming through the murky waters.
Tropical Cyclone Seth brought extremely heavy rainfall to the central and southeastern coast of Queensland late last week and into the weekend. Around 24 inches (600 mm) of rain fell in parts of southeast Queensland and sparked major flooding along the Mary River in and around Gympie and Maryborough.
On Saturday, a valve within the levee protecting the central business district of Maryborough was damaged which lead to water rushing into downtown parts of the city. Emergency evacuation orders were promptly issued for more than 30 downtown city blocks.
Maryborough has a population of about 15,000 and is located about 130 miles (215 km) north of Brisbane.
There has already been one death attributed to the flooding, according to Yahoo News. Another 14-year-old girl remains missing after she was swept away by floodwaters while abandoning a flooded car.
As if the floodwaters were not enough, a video showed the fin of a small bull shark swimming through the waters at one of the city’s parks.
"I do want to remind people about the dangers of floodwaters," said Queensland Fire and Emergency Services Commissioner Mike Wassing. "We've had the shark in the park, we've got contaminated water, you've seen what can occur with roads in the local areas and how dangerous that is.”
In nearby Gympie, Mayor Glen Hartwig said “very significant damage” had already been discovered, according to The Guardian. “I’ve been in this area for 40 years, and we haven’t seen anything like it,” he said.
As of Sunday evening, floodwaters were cresting along the Mary River around the Maryborough area. Upstream areas are seeing floodwaters recede, which is expected to translate into the Maryborough area. Without significant additional rainfall in the forecast, AccuWeather meteorologists expect the flooding around Maryborough to slowly fall in the coming days.
Meanwhile, northern Queensland on Monday was under siege from Tropical Cyclone Tiffany, after gaining strength in the Coral Sea over the weekend.
At its peak, Tiffany became a Category 2 Tropical Cyclone, with winds of 59 mph (95 km/h) which is equivalent to a tropical storm in the Atlantic and East Pacific Ocean Basins. As Tiffany made landfall on the Cape York Peninsula Monday evening, local time, the cyclone lost wind intensity and was downgraded to a Category 1 Tropical Cyclone.
Tiffany is forecast to continue bringing flooding rainfall across the Cape York Peninsula through Tuesday as it continues to track westward, before reemerging over water in the Gulf of Carpentaria.
"It is not out of the question that Tiffany could start to increase in wind intensity over the open water, before impacting the Northern Territory with heavy rain and gusty winds later this week," said AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Jason Nicholls.
Adam Douty is a meteorologist for AccuWeather.