Australia Supermarkets ready north Queensland supply chains ahead of La Niña storm season
BOM's severe weather outlook signals wet summer ahead, with flooding and more cyclones likely
Expect a mixed but generally wet bag this summer in terms of weather, delivering a big change from last year.In the fortnight since La Niña was announced, there has been widespread rain and it looks like flooding is something we are going to have to get used to, according to the BOM's October to April outlook.
As Queensland prepares for a substantial wet season, major retailers say they are stocking up warehouses in the state's north to guarantee food security in the flood-prone region.
After decades of delays trucking food north during wet seasons, supermarkets are filling northern warehouses ahead of a predicted wet spring and summer.
The Bureau of Meteorology'sand a likelihood of flooding due to La Niña conditions.
The Roar’s NRL expert tips and predictions: Preliminary finals
Spots in the NRL grand final at the end of the craziest season in history go on the line this weekend. Here to tell you who is going to the big dance and why are The Roar’s NRL expert tipping panel. With the Roosters and Eels dropping out of the premiership race after losses to the Raiders and Rabbitohs respectively, the competition arrives at its final four, with just three games remaining in the season.
Woolworths has doubled the size of its Townsville Regional Distribution Centre, which services 39 supermarkets from Sarina to Weipa on Cape York Peninsula.
Chief supply chain officer Paul Graham said the $12 million expansion would improve resilience in centres that could become isolated if the Bruce Highway was cut by floodwaters.
"When disaster strikes we will actually have a lot more stock locally — both in the Townsville area and that north Queensland customer base," Mr Graham said.
"We will have more availability of toilet rolls."
Better prepared after 2019 floods
Linfox, which transports and stores goods for retailers including Coles, is in the process of stocking its Townsville and Cairns warehouses with an additional 800 pallets of goods ahead of storm season.
BOM forecasts flooding, hail and damaging winds as La Niña-fuelled wild weather descends on east coast
Flooding, hail and damaging winds are all on the cards for the east coast over the coming days, with the La Niña ready to make its presence felt. But how that could affect the grand finals is still uncertain.The La Niña is making its presence felt with moisture streaming in from the Coral Sea — as that moisture collides with instability over central Australia, it is forecast to trigger widespread thunderstorms over the eastern half of the continent late this week.
Queensland intermodal general manager Aaron Carter said the business was implementing lessons learned during the , when hundreds of refrigerated semis were lined up on the inland highway for days waiting for floodwaters to subside so they could get supplies to Townsville.
"We feel better prepared again having operated through the very challenging conditions … in 2019," Mr Carter said.
"We were very pleased with how the supply chain performed in terms of using a mix of road and rail transport and adapting that as certain sections of the Queensland Rail line became available."
The company's focus this year was to use two-way loading on its transport systems so fresh produce and manufactured goods from northern Queensland could make it to southern markets on the same transport systems used to bring supplies north.
"So that those growers and businesses can continue to operate and hit their southern markets despite the supply chain being cut," Mr Carter said.
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Coles said it was well prepared for the conditions during the current La Niña and had comprehensive contingency plans in place.
"We consider this planning part of our core operating model," a spokeswoman said.
"Every year, like many Australians, we actively prepare for flood and fire seasons.
"Customers will see increased stock on the shop floor when weather events like floods or fires are forecast."
The 2010–2011 La Niña event in Queensland brought widespread flooding that claimed 33 lives.
The Queensland Flood Commission of Inquiry report found 78 per cent of the state was declared a disaster zone with 97 communities flooded or isolated.
Protecting food deliveries from coronavirus
The coronavirus pandemic created challenges for Linfox — unusual spikes and lulls in demand have required the transport company to be responsive to changes.
Mr Carter said a lot of work had been put into protecting their operations from the virus, so the goods they delivered were not an infection risk.
"Implementing protocols so that we can ensure that coronavirus didn't find its way into our supply chain," he said.
Mr Carter said preparation and planning were the key to operating during storm season and the company constantly monitored weather as part of that planning.
"We can see risks of these events occurring before they happen, so that gives us an ability to be ahead of the game as opposed to reacting once those events unfold," he said.
Hurricane Zeta is ashore in resort zone of Mexico's Yucatan .
CANCUN, Mexico (AP) — Hurricane Zeta, the 27th named storm in a very busy Atlantic season, made landfall on the Caribbean coast of the eastern Yucatan Peninsula late Monday while whipping the resorts around Tulum with rain and wind. The U.S. National Hurricane Center said Zeta came ashore just north of Tulum with maximum sustained winds of 80 mph (130 kph). Quintana Roo state Gov. Carlos Joaquín had warned that “nobody should be on the streets ... you shouldn’t go out anymore” until the hurricane passed.Zeta was predicted to lose some power while crossing the peninsula, before regaining hurricane strength in the Gulf of Mexico on Tuesday while heading for the central U.S.