ADVICE from the Bureau of Meteorology at 5pm on Tuesday indicates that major flood levels are rising at Gympie.
At 4.10pm on Tuesday the river was at 17.14 metres.
Further river rises will occur during Tuesday evening with a flood peak up to 19 metres in the early hours of Wednesday morning.
This forecast peak is below the January 28 flood peak of 19.98 metres.
Residents and business operators in localities which may be impacted are urged to monitor river height bulletins, stay tuned to local radio stations and take action to evacuate to higher ground if required.
Highway expected to be cut at Kybong for next 24 hours
SUNSHINE Coast Local Disaster Management Coordinator Alan Rogers said the Bruce Highway will be closed at Kybong for the next 24 hours to traffic heading north to Gympie.
"There is also no access for heavy vehicles or cars to Gympie via Kin Kin," Mr Rogers said.
"Six Mile Creek is over roads at Cooran and Kin Kin which is preventing vehicular access from Pomona northbound into Kin Kin.
"Heavy vehicle drivers, travellers and visitors to the region will not be able to get through to Gympie and will need to make alternative travel arrangements.
"An evacuation centre is open at Nambour Civic Centre, 60-64 Currie St, Nambour. For more information call council's customer contact centre on 5475 7272.
"Importantly, remember, if it's flooded - forget it."
Mary expected to peak at 18m late Tuesday
INFORMATION received from the Bureau of Meteorology indicates that the Mary River is expected to peak at 18 metres later in the evening of Tuesday 26th February.
Road and bridge closures are in force throughout the Region as a result of flash flooding and inundation by floodwaters.
The Normanby Bridge is now closed to traffic as a result of flooding.
Gympie Regional Council staff and Emergency Services personnel are positioned on Gympie's Southside and in Gympie City.
Road closures are in place throughout the region and will be put in place in business districts and other localities as required.
"I strongly discourage residents and visitors from sightseeing and driving into localities where evacuations may be underway. Having unnecessary traffic and people in these areas is both a hazard and hindrance to businesses who are in the processes of evacuation," Cr Dyne said.
"I urge people to take heed of weather warnings, stay indoors if they can, drive to the conditions, and avoid flooded or closed roads. The simple message is: If it is flooded - forget it."
The Gympie Region Local Disaster Management Group (LDMG) met this morning at 8am.
40 businesses expected to flood as Gympie hits 18m peak
ALMOST 40 businesses are expected to impacted by Gympie's 18m flood today with the local disaster management group in full swing.
Gympie Region Local Disaster Management Group (LDMG) Chair Cr Ron Dyne, said the group was activated at 9pm on Monday night.
"Information received from the Bureau of Meteorology indicates that the Mary River is expected to peak at 18metres later in the evening of Tuesday 26th February,'' the mayor said in a statement released just after 815am today.
"Road and bridge closures are in force throughout the region as a result of flash flooding and inundation by floodwaters.
"Businesses and residents in low lying areas which are likely to be impacted are implementing flood plans and evacuating where necessary.
"Early estimates indicate that up to 39 businesses are likely to be impacted.
Evacuation centres throughout the Gympie Region are on standby with the Southside Centre at the Gympie Show Pavilion currently in operation.
The Disaster Coordination Centre hotline has now been activated.
All enquiries about flood related information and assistance in the Gympie Region can now be directed to 075482 6399.
The LDMG is monitoring the weather situation and Mayor Dyne urged residents and visitors to put safety first.
"I urge people to take heed of weather warnings, stay indoors if they can, drive to the conditions, and avoid flooded or closed roads," Cr Dyne said. "The simple message is: If it is flooded - forget it."
Gympie Hospital cancels scheduled appointments
GYMPIE Hospital has cancelled scheduled appointments for Tuesday and Wednesday because of flooding.
The following clinics have been cancelled:
- Specialist outpatients
Hospital staff have been able to contact most but not all patients who had scheduled appointments today and tomorrow.
The patients will be contacted during the week for rescheduling.
The hospital has apologised for the inconvenience.
Mayor tired of dealing with Gympie's floods
UPDATE: It is a town that "knows how to do floods", but after up to five of them in just two years, Gympie Mayor Ron Dyne is tired of it.
Already the Bruce Highway at Traveston, to the south of the town, has been cut with authorities warning it could remain blocked until this afternoon.
More rain is expected, even after 320mm fell in the upper Mary catchment in the past 24 hours.
Speaking to ABC Radio on Wednesday morning, Cr Dyne said businesses were "not coping real flash" and needed support as the town again faced down serious inundation.
"People are sick of the rain - we've had enough," he said.
"Only last week there was minor flooding and a couple weeks before that on Australia day there was 20.3m flooding.
"It had a major impact on business in the CBD."
Cr Dyne said he had heard no reports of any businesses considering leaving the town, but added the council was preparing a flood mitigation strategy.
"People say that Gympie is used to flooding and we know how to do floods," he said.
"But it's something we would rather not be known for."
Evacuation centres are open at the town's Pavillion conference centre and civic centre.
Kidd Bridge closed due to flooding as businesses evacuate
UPDATE 4.40AM: Kidd Bridge has been closed due to flood waters and Normanby Bridge will go under today as the Bureau of Meteorology predicts a major flood of 18m in Gympie.
Businesses and sporting clubs spent last night evacuating premises in wet conditions while emergency services activated the Gympie Local and District Disaster Management Group as a result of the heavy rainfall in the area.
Police have advised that the Normanby Bridge will be cut by flood waters around 9am Tuesday.
The Bruce Highway is closed at the Kybong/Traveston area south of Gympie.
Police would like to remind motorists to drive to conditions and delay unnecessary travel.
According to Energex, about 320 homes were without power overnight.
The Bureau of Meteorology at 4AM issued its latest flood warning for the Mary River.
Widespread rainfall totals of up to 320mm have fallen in the upper Mary catchment in the last 24 hours. Further rainfall is forecast for today.
Mary River upstream of Gympie:
Minor to moderate flood levels are rising along the upper Mary River between Bellbird Creek and Gympie.
Major flood levels are rising along Six Mile Creek at Lake MacDonald. Moderate flood levels are rising at Cooran, with major flood levels unlikely without further heavy rainfall.
At Gympie, river level rises up to 18 metres are likely late Tuesday evening (2 metres above the major flood level).
Mary River downstream of Gympie:
Moderate flood levels are rising between Fisherman's Pocket and Miva with rises to the major flood level likely during Tuesday. Minor flood levels are rising at Home Park with major flood levels possible during Wednesday. River levels are rising at The Barrage, with minor flood levels expected later this week.
Minor to moderate flood levels are occurring in Wide Bay Creek and Munna Creeks, with further rises expected as rainfall continues.
Major flood levels will continue to rise along Tinana Creek at Tagigan Road during Tuesday morning. Minor flooding is expected at Bauple East during Tuesday.
Minor flood levels are possible at Maryborough during Wednesday. A peak forecast will be provided once upstream peaks are observed.
Predicted river heights and flows
Moy Pocket: Moderate flood levels are rising, with major flood levels possible during Tuesday morning.
Dagun Pocket: Minor flood levels are rising with major flood levels expected during Tuesday morning.
Gympie: Rises up to 18 metres (major flood) are likely during Tuesday afternoon.
Miva: Moderate flood levels are rising, with major flood levels expected during Wednesday.
Tiaro: Moderate flood levels are expected during Tuesday morning.
Maryborough: Minor flood levels are possible during Wednesday (5 metres).
Higher levels are possible but dependent on further rainfall.
Gympie Regional Council Mayor Ron Dyne said people should apply caution and put safety first.
"I urge people to take heed of weather warnings, stay indoors if they can, drive to the conditions, and avoid flooded or closed roads," Cr Dyne said.
"The simple message is: If it is flooded - forget it."
For full warning details, visit www.bom.gov.au.
River height bulletins and road closure information are available through Gympie Regional Council's website www.gympie.qld.gov.au - "Local road network updates" and "Current weather events" tab.