Melbourne floods: Albert Park copes well

I managed to get down to Albert Park this morning (twice) to take some photos of the Grand Prix circuit after the rain last night.

In Bentleigh East I’m up to 140mm (5 inches and a fair bit of change in the old money) in my gauge (12km SE of T13).  Melbourne City (3km North of T6), got about 82mm in about 10 hours, including 50mm (2 inches) in about three hours.  Keep in mind that Melbourne’s average February monthly rainfall is less than 50mm.

St Kilda, the suburb adjoining Albert Park to the south, was underwater in a lot of places. They even opened up an evacuation centre in St Kilda for some time last night, and Beach Road according to all reports is still unpassable.  Additionally, in Glenhuntly Road off Beach Road in Elwood, somebody was paddling a kayak down the street!

All the pictures are here:

Generally, the circuit has coped quite well, and you could easily run a Grand Prix there at 5pm today, even with some more rain.

Most of the places where there is water is in places where gravel traps will be at race time (e.g. outside of T14, where the synthetic soccer pitch has not absorbed the water that it normally would and created a mini lake.  After that, there’s no real issues other than some standing water on the entry to T6.

Remember that there’s been no “race day maintenance” on the track (i.e. efficient Australian marshals with brooms), so the fact that there is virtually no standing water on the track only 5 hours later is amazing.  With only two or three exceptions, the kerbs have drained well and the drainage holes are generally free of debris.

T15 and 16, where I had water going in the top of my shoes at 5am, were pretty much dry at 10am.

The new section of track, from the exit of T7 through T10, is unaffected by the water, and looks in tip top condition.

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