‘Stupid’ tourists desperate to get home risked their lives racing through raging floodwaters on the Gold Coast hinterland after a main street suddenly became a raging river
- Darren Jack’s opal store was surrounded by sudden floodwater on Sunday
- The shopowner watched a minivan full of people drive through the torrent
- Mount Tamborine on the Gold Coast had one of the area’s highest rainfall totals
- Other areas of the Gold Coast remain inundated and subject to flash flooding
- The rain is not expected to ease until at least Wednesday this week
Visitors to the Gold Coast hinterland had a narrow escape when parts of the popular tourist route suddenly became a raging river.
The owner of a shop on Mount Tamborine in the Gold Coast Hinterland took video from the front of his shop on Eagle Heights Road as the torrent of water turned the busy intersection of the street with Geissmann Drive into a raging river of brown water on Sunday.
‘It was concerning to see a mini-van full of passengers try to go through it,’ Darren Jack of Australian Outback Opals told Daily Mail Australia.
‘I thought that was a bit stupid.’
‘There was a massive branch over the road and the van drove closer to the edge to avoid it. It started slipping at the back wheels and I thought, “you’re just panicking to try and get through and get home”.’
Mr Jack films a car fording its way through the torrent of water outside his shop on Sunday
Mt Tamborine received more than 250mm from Sunday morning until about 10am Monday morning.
Mr Jack said the intersection, also known as the Curtis Falls intersection, turned into a river within 10 minutes of heavy rain beginning to fall.
‘It was a Sunday, always our biggest day for tourists up on the mountain, so there were lots of cars and buses up here and unfortunately, some of them made silly decisions, trying to get through the water.’
‘If the van was a bit deeper those people would have been in big trouble, they were extremely lucky,’ said Mr Jack.
Water rushes across the Curtis Falls intersection, one of Mount Tamborine’s busiest spots
The Mount Tamborine intersection went underwater within 10 minutes of heavy rain falling
Mr Jack took the video from the balcony of his opal shop on Mount Tamborine
By Monday morning the SES Queensland had answered more than 300 calls for help on the Gold Coast as a result of the flooding rains. Four swift water rescues had also been necessary,
Localised flooding had affected a number of suburbs, including Mudgeeraba, Tallebudgera, Currumbin, Pimpama, Carrara, Worongary and Robina.
Gold Coast beaches are closed and some school principals had asked students to stay home as the rain continues to fall.
Theme parks such as DreamWorld and Wet’n’Wild had also been closed.
The emergency declaration in Currumbin, Tallebudgera and Mudgeeraba announced at 3.45pm on Sunday afternoon has since been cancelled.
Cars were submerged and some were seen floating away in Mudgereeba and also Springbrook in the hinterland as roads turned to brown rivers on Sunday.
A cow stranded at the Nerang-Broadbeach Road roundabout at Carrara on the Gold Coast
The soccer fields of Emmanuel College at Emerald Lakes on the Gold Coast
Queensland Police said the extreme weather had now contributed to eight deaths on the roads of south-east Queensland on the weekend.
Gold Coast City Council is keeping sandbagging stations at Pimpama, Burleigh Heads and further south at Bilinga open as flash flooding is expected to continue. Flood warnings remain in place for the Coomera and Nerang rivers.
Bureau of Meteorology, Queensland spokesperson Kimba Wong predicted the rain will continue in the Gold Coast area until Wednesday before it begins to ease.
‘We’re nervous because there’s more severe weather predicted,’ said SES Queensland state co-ordinator Brian Cox. ‘And with the landscape already saturated it means we’re twice as likely to see more flash flooding.’