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An “unseasonable” weather system has delivered around three to five months’ worth of rain to parts of the state, Weatherzone said.
Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) State Operations Centre Coordinator James Haig said flooding risk is not “just about the millimetres, it is about how wet the ground already was and where the water has to go”.
He warned waterways around Brisbane are displaying rapid rises this morning.
The Bureau confirmed minor to moderate flooding also occurring along Lockyer, Laidley Creek and Bremer River, Warrill Creek, Lower Brisbane River.
“As soon as we get rain, rivers are rising quickly,” Haig said.
“The Bureau is telling us, for instance, there is rapid rises out west of Brisbane in the Lockyer area. That’s telling us, yep, conditions are really wet.
He said residents need to “pay attention to conditions” and “plan their routes carefully”.
Lake forms in outback Queensland as downpour soaks state
Communities in north cut-off by flooding
South Johnstone, Hughenden in the outback, and Townsville in the far north were among the hardest hit towns yesterday.
South Johnstone, in the Cassowary Coast Region, received 313.2 mm in 72 hours.
“(There was) 102 mm in 24 hours at Townsville Airport, three times the May monthly average and the 2nd wettest May day on record.”
Hughenden was lashed with 85 mm of rain, recorded in 48 hours.
“This is 4.8 times their May monthly average,” Weatherzone said.
May rainfall records were broken in the North Queensland town of Charters Towers, which received 123.0 mm.
As rain inundated towns, water rose and swallowed roads, highways and bridges – which has left communities cut off from one another.
Transport and Main Roads Queensland shared two images of Bushy Creek in Julattem swallowing a bridge.
The photos were taken less than an hour apart.
Queensland Fire and Emergency Services said it serves as a warning about how fast floodwaters can rise.
“Floodwater can rise in days, hours or even minutes. Know your local risk,” it wrote.
Two passengers with her managed to escape and alert swiftwater rescue crews. Her body was located in the submerged car after an extensive search for her.
She was still wearing her seatbelt.
‘More rain on the way’: System tracking south
As heavy rain eases in the Queensland’s north, residents in the south are now the ones on edge.
9News presenter Mia Glover said south-east Queensland has received high rainfall totals since the rain event began.
With more rain forecast it’s prompting fears of flash flooding, especially around “low-lying areas of Brisbane, particularly the Moggill Creek area”.
“Around 130mm in the Sunshine Coast hinterland and here in our hinterland on the Gold Coast, around 100mm fell and more is on the way over the next 48 hours.”
A further 25 to 50mm is forecast to fall in Brisbane today.
CityCat and ferry services have been suspended ahead of dam releases from the Wivenhoe Dam.
Beaches on the Gold Coast were closed yesterday as the coast was battered by rough swell.
“Around six metre wave heights have been recorded off Stradbroke Island and here off the Gold Coast beaches,” Glover said.
Wind gusts of 60 to 70km/h are tearing through the Gold Coast adding to the dangerous surf conditions.
The winds were so strong Glover observed them moving a houseboat that sunk yesterday “left to right”.
New South Wales is also copping a deluge as the system makes its way down the coast.
The Bureau has warned there’s a threat of significant rain for the Northern Rivers.
Sydney recorded the biggest rainfall totals in five weeks and another soggy weekend on the way.
It comes as the Insurance Council of Australia revealed this year’s deadly flood crisis in NSW and Queensland is set to become Australia’s costliest flood ever; the damage bill is estimated at almost $3.35 billion.
The 2011 floods cost $2.4 billion.