Life threatening torrential rain has been experienced across southeast Queensland, as parts of the state’s western side braces for flash flooding.
Along the Gold Coast where rivers have turned into overflowing stretches of white water, emergency crews and police are busy evacuating people from two adjacent streets hit by massive landslides.
Several theme parks Dreamworld included, have been shut down as the weather worsened, with Brisbane, the Sunshine Coast and the Gold Coast remaining on high alert as well as communities along the Channel Country, extending to the far west areas of Birdsville.
Premier Annastacia asked Queenslanders on Monday evening to get to their homes safely and remain there.
“We are in for a severe weather event. If you do not need to be on the roads, please don’t. We have already heard reports of some land slips that are occurring, especially in the Gold Coast hinterland,” she stated.
Police have been working around the clock to help residents in Crest Hill Drive and the adjacent Lanes Road at Wongawallan.
The foundations of several homes were seriously eroded leaving the properties suspended dangerously on a hillside. The raging flood waters also left fences toppled over.
Some homes in low-lying areas were also inundated along the Gold Coast, but it’s unknown how many have been affected, the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services stated.
These included property within Tallai and around Carrara.
A flood watch is in place for a wide band south of Queensland extending from the South Australian border to the southeast coast.
Heavy rain and flooding are expected, expanding to the southeast coast later on Tuesday.
Showers measuring 50-70mm are forecast in the entire region, though more isolated showers of 100-150mm could be experienced in various areas, along with explodes of storm activities.
“Minor to moderate flooding across rivers and creeks is likely over the next few days with isolated areas of major flooding possible,” the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) advised on Monday afternoon.
Catchment areas set to be affected include the lower and upper parts of the Brisbane River as well as major creeks and rivers on the Sunshine and Gold coasts.
“The situation is likely to pose a serious risk to already affected and flooded areas. In some areas, the situation may become life threatening,” the BOM warned.
Inland communities are also bracing for possible flash floods. Communities at risk include Toowoomba, Warwick, Roma, Dalby, Birdsville, Charleville, Stanthorpe, Emerald and Goondiwindi.
Seqwater is closely monitoring inflows into the dams in the southeast but there’s no cause for worry about water being released from the Somerset, Wivenhoe and North Pine dams.
Notably, un-gated dams are already overflowing, delivering water to the completely swollen waterways.
The State Emergency Service has been receiving hundreds of calls for assistance since the showers started during the weekend, and emergency crews have had to stage at least six speedy water rescues, with four of these involving people trapped inside cars.
One man had to be rescued from a tree he had climbed after abandoning his car in floodwaters in the southeast.
“There’s been inundation to homes, roof damage, trees down. Some of those calls involved multiple problems – water through the roof, coming up through the floor,” SES Queensland state coordinator Brian Cox has told Storm Assist.
“We’re nervous because there’s more severe weather predicted, and with the landscape already saturated it means we’re twice as likely to see more flash flooding.”
Various areas in the Gold Coast received rain above 200mm in hours leading to 9am on Monday, with 263mm being received at North Tambourine in the Gold Coast’s vicinity.
Brisbane city and the neighbouring suburbs also experienced widespread rain of 100mm. The gauge in Beachmere situated north of Brisbane stood at 208mm.
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