Heavy rain has caused a driving hazard at Fairfield Road in Yeronga. (ABC News: Andree Withey)
Always a state of extremes, Queensland’s gone from heatwave to doona-grabbing weather in only a matter of days.
Heavy rain is now causing havoc along much of the state’s coastline, with a month’s worth of rain heading for parts of the south-east in coming days.
The weather bureau is warning of falls of between 100 millimetres and 200 mm in the central east and northern parts of the state as well as the south-east.
So basically, from Townsville to the border.
Since midnight, Mount Gravatt on Brisbane’s southside has received 108 millimetres and Boreen Point on the Sunshine Coast has had 170 millimetres.
Falls in excess of 80 millimetres have been recorded at Archerfield in Brisbane, and Rainbow Beach, and Brisbane City has had more than 60 millimetres.
So far, public transport and flights are operating as normal but a number of roads are underwater and police are urging motorists not to attempt to drive through flooded crossings.
Stranded driver rescued from car roof
Heavy rain saw two drivers stuck in fast flowing floodwaters in Bundaberg late yesterday.
Sydney man Adrian Hastwell-Batten, who was visiting the region, said he got a shock when he came over a ridge and plunged into water.
His car sank and he was left stranded on the roof for about an hour before being rescued by a swift water rescue team.
“I was fine, I did not panic at all. I did not want it to rain as I was wet enough,” he said.
Adrian Hastwell-Batten sits on his car which sank in floodwaters near Bundaberg yesterday. (Supplied: Bundaberg News Mail)
Meanwhile a 60-year-old female driver had to be rescued in floodwaters near Waterloo. Her car was badly damaged and had to be towed away.
Queensland Fire and Emergency Services officer Ross Findlay said she mistakenly thought it was safe.
“Being a local she thought it was safe to drive through, only shallow,” he said.
Flood watch on the Sunshine Coast
A flood watch is current for coastal catchments between Maryborough and Caboolture, including the Sunshine Coast.
BOM tweet: Flood Watch issued for coastal catchments between #Maryborough and #Caboolture including the #SunshineCoast. Widespread rainfall in the 50-100mm range on Friday and Saturday, with isolated falls of up to 150mm possible
Widespread rainfall is predicted in the 50mm to 100mm range on Friday and Saturday, with isolated falls of up to 150mm possible.
At least four roads have been closed, with water covering Colemans and Vee Roads at Yandina, Mayers Road near Nambour, and Boyle Road at Belli Park.
Drivers have also been warned of flash flooding on Gympie Kin Kin Road at Kin Kin.
Senior forecaster Michelle Berry said Kin Kin had had more than 160 millimetres of rain since 9:00am on Thursday.
“A lot of rainfall already occurred on the Sunny Coast at Noosa itself, up around 94 millimetres. So yeah certainly some locally heavy falls up that way.
“I do think we’ll see a continuation of these showers today and they will be heavy at times,” she said.
Parts of Brisbane could also end up sodden over the next few days.
Suburbs on alert include Daisy Hill, Calamvale, and Regents Park, with falls of over 100mm expected.
The Gold Coast is also bracing itself for a mass of rain, with 150mm forecast, possibly flooding areas like Carrara, Varsity Lakes and Elanora.
Cool weather to continue into the weekend
The heavy rain will also see the mercury plummet to five to six degrees below average in the south-east.
Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Andrew Bufalino said Brisbane usually hovered around 27 degrees this time of year.
“Cooler-than-average conditions are to stick around for next couple of days, then we will get a pretty strong ridge push up the coast and that will keep temperatures well below average once again,” he said.
“So for the daytime grab a jacket — and a doona for overnights,” he said.
“There is no hot air mass to pass over us so enjoy the cool weather while we have it for the brief amount of time.”
Minister due to visit storm-hit community
Meanwhile, residents in Moranbah in central Queensland continue to clean up after Tuesday’s freak storm ravaged the town.
Wind gusts of over 110 kilometres per hour tore parts of roofs off homes and shut down the township.
Fence palings skewered a Moranbah bathroom during the intense storm. (Supplied: Nicholas Martorana)
Trees came down on cars, trampolines and swing sets flew through the air, and fence posts were hurtled through walls.
The region is in the firing line for more heavy rain in coming days.
Emergency Services Minister Craig Crawford is flying into Moranbah this morning to inspect the level of destruction.
The minister said the region would qualify for state and federal disaster assistance if the damage bill exceeds $240,000.
Isaac Mayor Anne Baker said early estimates put the emergency clean-up and repairs well above that figure.
“It is outstanding the rapid response we have had from all levels of government,” she said.
“The debris and green clean-up is going to take a long time.”
The region’s schools have been closed for two days, but may re-open today after a safety audit.
Ms Baker said the town was nervous about severe storm forecasts for the next few days.
“It is unbelievable last month we had some stifling heat 43 degrees, absolutely stifling,” she said.
“I have lived here for over 20 tears and I have to say it is really very significant temperatures.
“Now we’ve gone from one extreme to the other.”
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