News State QLD News Man swept to his death after ex-cyclone Owen’s record rain, as crocs let loose

Man swept to his death after ex-cyclone Owen’s record rain, as crocs let loose

flood warning as ex-cyclone owen dumps heavy rain
Parramatta Park resident John Irving, 81, had his front door sandbagged by his son Steve Irving. Photo: AAP
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A man has been swept away and died at a Queensland swimming spot that was hammered by rain from ex-tropical cyclone Owen.

It comes as Queenslanders are warned of roaming crocodiles on the move after “incredible” rain as much as 681 millimetres near Ingham.

Police pulled a man from Big Crystal Creek in Mutarnee, near Townsville, shortly after 4.30pm on Sunday.

“He was pulled from the water by police who commenced CPR, however he couldn’t be revived,” a spokesperson told The New Daily.

Police said the man was swept away in rapids that were swelled by recent rain and flooding.

Earlier on Sunday, Queenslanders were warned to watch out for crocodiles and other displaced wildlife in the aftermath of Owen.

“There are a lot of crocodiles that are being sighted at the moment so be careful on the roads and please don’t go near the crocodiles,” Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said.

Police came across a crocodile in the middle of a road near Tully on Saturday night.

Meanwhile, a woman has thanked a truck driver in a viral Facebook post with more than 35,000 likes who helped them in a severe storm on Thursday.

Emily Clarke and her partner Jay were driving through Proserpine when water started “lapping both sides of the Bruce Highway” and covered the road in parts.

“We noticed the truck driver [in front of us] moving over to the left and I asked Jay, do you think he is pushing the excess water off the road for us?” Ms Clarke wrote on Facebook.

“It was so bad that I could see only his brake lights at one point. It was unsafe to stop so I committed and tucked in behind the truck and he guided me, braking frequently and putting his indicator on the side that there was an upcoming hazard.”

Ms Clarke’s partner got out to thank the Melbourne driver named Footsie when he turned off near Mackay.

“He said I could see more than you, and if you were my family, I would only hope that another truck driver would do that for them,” Ms Clarke wrote.

Owen made landfall south of Kowanyama about 3am on Saturday as a Category 3 tropical cyclone before being downgraded to a tropical low.

The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) expects the system to sit offshore of the Mackay coast on Monday and slowly shift north again on Tuesday and Wednesday.

There is a small chance it will redevelop into a tropical cyclone in the Coral Sea on Tuesday.

Yesterday we encountered one of the most severe storms while driving through Proserpine in North Queensland.The driver…

Posted by Emily Clarke on Thursday, December 13, 2018

“The heaviest falls are expected to continue easing over the next two days, however coastal communities between Mackay and the northern Wide Bay are still likely to experience heavy rain,” said BOM Queensland weather services manager Richard Wardle.

Record rain

It comes after Halifax, near Ingham in north Queensland, received a whopping 681 millimetres in the 24 hours to 9am Sunday.

Of that, 122 millimetres fell in a single hour and 394 millimetres was recorded in the six hours to 1am Sunday.

Cardwell Range recorded 552 millimetres, Lucinda was hit with 500 millimetres and Ingham received 485 millimetres in the 24 hours to 9am Sunday.

The totals are new daily records for Halifax and Cardwell Range, while Lucinda received the most rain for a December day.

The town received wind gusts of up to 100km/h.

Wild weather continues

BOM has issued flood warnings for the Bohle River, Herbert River lower Diamantina River and coastal catchments from Ayr to St Lawrence.

A severe weather warning was also in place for the Central Coast and Whitsundays, Capricornia and Wide Bay and Burnett areas.

Heavy rainfall was expected overnight with scattered six hourly totals of between 100 and 200 millimetres, or higher in isolated areas.

BOM was expecting it to hit Bowen, Proserpine, Mackay, Moranbah, Rockhampton, Gladstone, Biloela and Bundaberg.

Samuel Hill recorded 100 millimetres in the two hours to 1pm on Sunday.

Severe weather is also moving through southeast Queensland.

Severe, slow-moving thunderstorms were threatening the Toowoomba area on Sunday evening.

Darling Downs and Granite Belt also had a severe thunderstorm warning for heavy rain.

Terraine Alert, east of Inglewood, was hit with 89 millimetres in one hour on Sunday.

Authorities reminded motorists not to drive in floodwaters and stay at home where possible.

For emergency assistance contact the SES on 132 500. In an emergency, call triple-0.

-with AAP

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