Floods cut roads, train lines in epic downpour

 

THE weather bureau has issued a severe storm warning for Brisbane after emergency crews were forced to pluck stranded motorists from cars as torrential downpours lashed the southeast overnight.

Heavy rain this morning brought widespread flash flooding across southeast Queensland, with Mt Lindesay Hwy closed at Browns Plains and police saying the Logan Mwy could be closed at short notice.

Several roads across Brisbane's southside and in the city's west have been closed or partially closed due to flash flooding.

The Ipswich line between Wacol and Gailes has been closed in both directions due to flooding, with commuters told to expect delays of up to 90 minutes. Buses have replaced the train services.

BRISBANE ROADS AFFECTED BY FLASH FLOODING

- Mt Lindesay Hwy, Browns Plains

- Vulture St, South Brisbane

- Beaudesert Rd, Rocklea

- Granard Rd, Archerfield

- Gap Creek Rd, Kenmore Hills

- Illaweena St, Drewvale

- Main Ave, Coorparoo

- Compton Rd, Slacks Creek

- Fairfield Rd, Yeerongpilly

- Paradise Rd, Larapinta

An emergency alert was issued for Dalby residents, with Myall Creek reaching moderate flood levels, peaking at 3.15m at 6.00am. It is expected to remain above 3m throughout Sunday morning as floodwaters continue to arrive.

Residents have been advised to monitor the situation, notify neighbours and take action to protect lives and property, if necessary.

The New England and Cunningham highways have been cut by flash flooding near Mount Marshall and Glengallan, north of Warwick.

DALBY REGION ROAD CLOSURES

- Bunya Hwy, Dalby. Approximately 9km north of Dalby. All lanes affected.

- Drayton St - Myall Creek Bridge, both lanes affected.

- Tara/Wieambilla - Chinchilla Tara Rd, Day St, Sara St

- Warkon - Warkon Rd, Litani Rd

- Noorindoo - River Rd, Yuleba Surat Rd

- Wallumbilla North - Kangaroo Creek Rd

- Dargal Road - Bungeworgorai Lane

- Bungil - Roma Southern Rd

- Ballaroo - Naldera Rd, Maranoa Rd

- Wycombe - Roma Southern Rd

GOLD COAST ROAD CLOSURES

- Maudsland - Birds Rd (Coomera River Causeway flooding)

- Clagiraba - Clagiraba Rd (Coomera River Causeway flooding)

WARWICK REGION ROAD CLOSURES

- Warwick - Killarney/Morgan Park - Warwick Killarney Rd

- Allora - New England Hwy

The Toowoomba area bore the brunt of the chaos overnight, with at least nine separate rescues last night, including two 19-year-olds who were taken to hospital as a precaution after being saved from a car in Greenmount.

Tourists sucked into 'sinkhole' after deluge

Where the rain is going to hit next

Falls of up to 145mm were recorded in the region, cutting multiple roads. Many areas around Toowoomba received more than 100mm, including Oakey.

The Gold Coast was also hammered, with more than 180mm falling at Coolangatta, while further north Amberley was drenched by more than 75mm.

Flash flooding in Central Toowoomba, the region has been slapped with heavy storms. Photo: 7 News Townsville/RACQ.
Flash flooding in Central Toowoomba, the region has been slapped with heavy storms. Photo: 7 News Townsville/RACQ.

The weather bureau earlier said the rain had been having little impact on dam levels and arrived too late to save many farmers from a disastrous summer.

Heavy falls are set to continue today and tomorrow, with Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast beaches facing a potential pounding from a looming Coral Sea cyclone.

Parts of the south-east have had more rain in the past three weeks than all of last year, but the deluge has barely registered when it comes to topping up dams drained by the drought.

While smaller dams are spilling over, Wivenhoe - the region's biggest - was at 42.6 per cent capacity after a rise of just 0.1 per cent.

Despite falls of more than 200mm in some catchments, combined dam levels in the south-east's water grid had risen less than 1 per cent yesterday to 56.6 per cent. That level is expected to change as inflows arrive.

 

Forecast rainfall of more than 100mm across the region in the coming days was expected to add just 1 per cent to combined dam levels - two weeks' supply - and Seqwater is urging people to continue to conserve water.

Brisbane and Northern NSW was also lashed with heavy downpours last night, while the Scenic Rim, Southern Downs, Toowoomba and Lockyer Valley had storm warnings in place.

Roads were closed across the Southern Downs, with flash flooding closing two streets in central Toowoomba. Flooding also closed parts of the Cunningham Highway between Warwick and Inglewood.

Paul O'Sullivan recorded a reported 61mm in 25 minutes in Southwood, Toowoomba. Picture: Paul O'Sullivan
Paul O'Sullivan recorded a reported 61mm in 25 minutes in Southwood, Toowoomba. Picture: Paul O'Sullivan

Darling Downs farmer Kim Bremner said his 480ha property had received more rainfall in the past three weeks than all of last year.

"Total rainfall from January to December last year was 130mm and we've had 170mm in the last three weeks," he said. "It's been a godsend, because it was really bad before Christmas. Hardly any summer crops were planted across the Downs."

But Mr Bremner said the rain had arrived too late to save the summer crops.

Emma Arkinstall, 7, was dancing in the rain after her Christmas wish was granted.

Like many of her neighbours in Running Creek, near Rathdowney, she could not wipe the smile from her face when the rain began.

 

Her family's farm has received 200mm this year alone. It only had 240mm of rain last year. Emma's father, Matthew Arkinstall, said the green countryside had slowly returned.

"By the end of February we should have made last year's total," he said.

 

The heaviest falls have been on the Gold and Sunshine coasts, with Tin Can Bay recording almost 400mm in the past week. Coolangatta had more than 170mm and Brisbane almost 190mm.

A severe thunderstorm warning remained current overnight for the Capricornia, Wide Bay and Burnett and parts of Central Coast and Whitsundays, Central Highlands and Coalfields, Darling Downs and Granite Belt and Southeast Coast forecast districts.

Another warning was cancelled for residents of the Ipswich, Scenic Rim and Brisbane council areas.

A severe weather warning for heavy rain and flash flooding also remained current overnight for parts of the southeast coast forecast district including Gold Coast, North Stradbroke Island and the Gold Coast hinterland.

 

CURRENT RAIN TOTALS

 

Darling Downs

Athol Westbrook Creek - 145mm

Wellcamp Airport - 129mm

Oakey - 126mm

Goomburra - 123mm

Warwick - 87mm

Toowoomba - 63mm

 

Southeast

Coolangatta - 107mm

North Stradbroke Island - 87mm

Brisbane - 76mm

Ipswich - 65mm

Tallebudgera - 52mm



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