Chaos has ensued in Hobart as cars were seen floating down the streets while homes and businesses quickly evacuated in the wake of flash floods that hit Hobart.
For the first time ever in the month of Mat, Hobart recorded over 100 millimetres of rain in a single day, doubling the previous record.
State Emergency Service has described the situation as an “an extreme weather event”.
Hobart resident Monte Bovill narrated that the streets appeared like rivers.
“Macquarie Street, which is the main street in Hobart, had probably two dozen cars just lying there on the road, that had been swept down,” he said. “It was really crazy to see what used to be a road was literally a river.”
All southern campuses of the University of Tasmania (UTAS) have also been shut down because of flooding.
UTAS spokesman Jason Purdie stated that the campus was a no-go zone.
“We have had buildings been inundated and the vision is pretty dramatic,” Purdy said. “The other thing is parts of the suburb, including our campus are without power.”
Bovill, who is a student at the University of Tasmania, was on campus when the flooding began.
“A lot of people had to be evacuated and I know that a number of rooms have been flooded. It just seems so eerie at the campus. All the alarms were going off. All the doors were open, but there was [no-one] around, just rushing water just coming down into the buildings.
Heavy rains were concentrated on the state’s east coast yesterday. However, a violent storm hit Hobart and the south of the state by 8:30 p.m. Lightning storms lit up the sky above the city for most of the night and strong winds bellowed across the southern part of the island.
The rain fell heavily and flooding hit the core of the city, transforming Campbell Street in the CBD into a river. Portions of Salamanca, South Hobart, Sandy Bay, New Town, Blackmans Bay and Kingston were much the same way.
Royal Hobart Hospital open despite flood damage
Damage was seen at Tasmania’s Royal Hobart Hospital because of the leaks and flooding but remains open, said a health spokesman.
Department of Health and Human Services spokesman Michael Pervan relayed that the emergency department remains operation.
“None of the areas that have patients in them were inundated … there were some leaks and some water came through into areas like the [intensive care unit] and paediatric medicine day surgery has had some major leaks in it.”
He also reported that floodwater had already been removed and no patients were moved.
All elective surgery was on going as scheduled, and a spokeswoman for the hospital said all day surgery was also unhampered by the storm.
She said anyone who had an outpatient appointment would be contacted if their appointment had been cancelled, and anyone who could not get to the hospital today would have their appointment rescheduled.
Tasmania’s water and sewage authority TasWater is said to be receiving a high volume of calls to its call centre. A spokesman explained that crews dealt with the most urgent cases first and reminded the public that floodwaters may have sewage and it would be best to avoid contact.
A spokesman for Hobart Airport said flights were ongoing, although there were delays because of ground crews being unable to get to work.