An emergency warning is in place for the remote town of Sapphire in central Queensland where heavy downpours have led to rapid increases in the Retreat Creek as major floods are forecast.

Heavy storms and rainfall are battering NSW and Queensland today as other regions prepare for floods. An emergency warning is in place for the remote town of Sapphire in central Queensland where heavy downpours have led to rapid increases in the Retreat Creek as major floods are forecast.

“Properties in low-lying areas are likely to be impacted. Council advises residents to warn neighbours, secure belongings and move to higher ground now,” the warning from Fire and Emergency Services read.

The central and southern parts of Queensland affected by drought have been enjoying their welcome rains this week, with some places recording their heaviest drops in three years.

During the 24 hours to 9am Tuesday morning, falls ranging between 30-60mm were received in a large area from the Maranoa and Warrego District to the Central Highlands and Coalfields as well as the Wide Bay, Burnett and Capricornia coasts. Other areas received rainfall above 100mm.

The 103.2mm received in Maryborough in the 24 hours to 9am Tuesday was the highest daily total recorded for the area since early 2018.

This total also surpasses the total rainfall received in the city in the first two and a half months of this year. Rockhampton recorded 32mm, the best daily rainfall since this year began.

Despite recent showers being welcome, it remains inadequate in quenching the rainfall deficits that accumulated over several months, and in some areas, years.

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