Queensland Hit By Flash Floods

In Australasia, Floods & Storms, News Headlines

Emergency Management Queensland (EMQ) says torrential rain that has caused chaos around the state’s south-east on Tuesday is only going to get heavier.

Hundreds of millimetres of rain has been dumped across the Gold and Sunshine coasts and Brisbane, bringing flash flooding, landslips and hundreds of road closures.

Evacuation centres have been opened at Narangba and Deception Bay, north of Brisbane, with about a dozen homes evacuated in Burpengary.
The Bureau of Meteorology says flooding could worsen in some areas with more rain expected across the region overnight and wet weather forecast for the rest of the week.

Police have reported dozens of traffic incidents since the big wet began and officials are warning people to stay out of floodwaters.

EMQ director of operations Warren Bridson says the situation is deteriorating.

“The rain is going to get heavier particularly between Maroochydore and Brisbane city in the next couple of hours, which means our State Emergency Service personnel are escalating their response,” he said.

“We’ve had about 500 calls for assistance up until now and of course that is increasing all the time.”

Mr Bridson says emergency crews will work through the night.

“The predictions are… more rain tonight and again tomorrow. I would expect the disaster management systems will escalate tomorrow if that transpires therefore there will be more activities around the local disaster management groups,” he said.

He says it will be a long night for residents throughout the south-east.

“We’re asking the community to really be aware tonight about what’s predicted,” he said.

“To take care on the roads and to be patient if they make calls to the State Emergency Service because it’s going to be a long, hard night for the SES people in the south-east.”

Weather bureau spokeswoman Michelle Berry says the wet conditions are likely to continue until next Tuesday.

“This is certainly quite a severe event that’s occurring throughout south-eastern Queensland at the moment,” she said.

“We can get these very moist air streams through the summer months.

“It doesn’t have the same depth of moisture as what we were seeing through January of last year but it’s certainly a very severe event ands that’s why we are warning for it continuing into tomorrow also.”

Twelve homes were evacuated as a precaution at Burpengary, north of Brisbane, and another dozen homes have been flooded further north on the Sunshine Coast.

About 275 millimetres has fallen at Caloundra since 9am AEST Tuesday.

Fox Rogers from the Sunshine Coast regional council’s disaster management centre has told ABC local radio in Brisbane there are fears some small towns could become isolated.

“If the rain continues to fall at the current rate, yes it’s quite likely that some of these small townships will be isolated,” he said.

“That can happen fairly quickly; the water comes up as it rains, and then the water can also go down. It really will depend on the amount of rain that keeps falling over the next few hours.”

Thunderstorms were also dumping heavy rain across the north of the state, with more than 100mm recorded near Innisfail and more than 140mm near Mackay since Monday.

Areas between Bundaberg and Goondiwindi are also bracing for falls of more than 200 millimetres over the next 24 hours.

At Boondall, in Brisbane’s north, a childcare centre was inundated and the downpour also caused delays at Brisbane airport.

Three people escaped after their car was stuck on a flooded road in Brisbane’s south-west and cars were seen floating on some streets in the inner city.

In a very short space of time you can be in difficulty and lose your lives.

Fire and Rescue Service spokesman Bruce Byatt
Energex says power has been cut to 9,500 homes and businesses across the south-east.

The downpour has prompted SEQ Water’s flood operations centre to order releases from Leslie Harrison Dam and North Pine Dam.

There are no releases planned yet for Wivenhoe Dam, which is at 76 per cent and capacity and rising.

Elsewhere, homes are being sandbagged in Ipswich, west of Brisbane, while a motorist had to be rescued from a flooded road this morning on the Gold Coast.

Nearly 200 millimetres of rain was recorded in the Gold Coast hinterland in 24 hours.

Swift water rescue specialists are on standby with localised flooding expected to worsen on the Gold Coast.

Queensland Fire and Rescue Service spokesman Bruce Byatt has warned people to stay out of floodwaters.

“In a very short space of time you can be in difficulty and lose your lives,” he said.

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