Torrential rain that could threaten lives is falling across southeast Queensland, with a swathe of the state’s west also braced for flash flooding.
On the Gold Coast, where rivers have become heaving expanses of white water, police on Monday were rushing to evacuate residents from two adjacent streets after major landslips there.
Parts of the Gold Coast recorded falls in excess of 200mm to 9am on Monday, including 263mm at North Tambourine, in the Gold Coast hinterland.
This would equal almost three months worth of average rainfall for the Gold Coast region, with more than 100mm forecast for Tuesday.
Brisbane city and surrounding suburbs also saw widespread falls of 100mm. Beachmere, north of Brisbane, recorded 208mm.
Water gushes underneath a Currumbin Valley bridge on Sunday
Street signs went under water as the Queensland coast was flooded
Some theme parks, including Dreamworld, have closed as the weather worsens, with the Gold Coast, Brisbane, and the Sunshine Coast on high alert, along with Channel Country communities as far west as Birdsville.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has urged Queenslanders to get home safely and stay there, with the worst of the weather not expected until later on Monday evening.
‘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.’
Police are helping people leave their homes in Crest Hill Drive and the adjacent Lanes Road at Wongawallan. It’s unclear how many households will need to leave.
Officers say the situation is still unfolding, but the foundations of at least one home have been severely eroded, leaving it perched precariously on a hillside. Fences have also toppled over.
A vehicle drives through a flooded causeway on the Gold Coast
The Coomera Valley Rural Fire Brigade was called to help deal with the flooding
The soccer fields of Emmanuel College at Emerald Lakes on the Gold Coast
Water rushes across the Curtis Falls intersection, one of Mount Tamborine’s busiest spots
Some low-lying homes have also been inundated on the Gold Coast, but it’s not clear how many, Queensland Fire and Emergency Services said. They include properties at Tallai and nearby Carrara.
A flood watch is current for a wide band of southern Queensland stretching from the South Australian border to the southeast coast.
Heavy falls and flooding is expected across western and southern Queensland from Monday afternoon, extending to the southeast coast on Tuesday.
Falls of 50-70mm are likely across the entire area, but there are likely to be isolated falls of 100-150mm in some areas, which will be compounded by bursts of storm activity.
Numerous cars were flooded or washed away in the flooding on the Queensland coast
‘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 warned on Monday afternoon.
Catchments likely to be affected include the upper and lower sections of the Brisbane River, and major rivers and creeks on the Gold and Sunshine 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 bureau has warned.
The torrential rain caused wide spread flooding up and down the Queensland coast
9News Queensland posted this warning – after heavy rains had already fallen, dumping more than 100mm on Hinterland areas on Sunday. More rain fell causing flash flooding
Inland communities are also braced for potential flash flooding. At-risk communities include Warwick, Toowoomba, Dalby, Roma, Charleville, Birdsville, Emerald, Stanthorpe and Goondiwindi.
Seqwater is closely watching inflows at the dams it operates in the southeast but at this stage does not believe it will have to release water from Wivenhoe, Somerset and North Pine dams.
But un-gated dams are overflowing pushing water into already swollen waterways. On Monday night, Seqwater said Nindooinbah Dam near Beaudesert had started spilling.
The rain has been relentless in Queensland, causing chaos for commuters
Tallai Home Timber and Hardware store was flooded as the rains poured down
The State Emergency Service has received hundreds of calls for help since the rain set in over the weekend, and crews have been forced to stage at least six swift water rescues, four involving people trapped in cars.
One man was plucked from a tree in the southeast after having to abandon his car in floodwaters.
‘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 co-ordinator Brian Cox has told AAP.
‘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.’
These cars were trapped after their owners attempted to drive through water in the car park of Wacol train station, in Brisbane’s south-west