Queenslanders in the state’s rain-sodden southeast are daring to hope they have seen the worst of the extreme weather event that has soaked towns and seen rivers break their banks.
Between 200 and 300 millimetres fell across the state over the past 48 hours, the Bureau of Meteorology said on Saturday, but the rain dropped away on Friday night with only 10 to 20 millimetres falling over a six-hour period.
“That easing trend is good news and it will continue through today,” the bureau’s Matthew Collopy told reporters.
Meanwhile, Queensland residents in 12 flood-affected local government areas will be eligible for disaster relief.
Payments of up to $180 per person have been set aside for Lockyer Valley and Southern Downs residents to cover the costs of immediate essential needs, like food, temporary accommodation, clothing and medication.
Additional funding to cover clean-up costs has been allocated to people in the Brisbane, Fraser Coast, Gladstone, Gold Coast, Gympie, Lockyer Valley, Logan, Moreton Bay, North Burnett, South Burnett, Southern Downs and Toowoomba areas.
There are still major flood warnings in place for the Condamine, Logan, and Bremer rivers, and the Warrill, Laidley and Lockyer creeks.
There is a moderate flood warning for the Mary River, while a minor flood warning is in place for the Brisbane River.
Most of those waterways have already peaked or will peak later on Saturday, Mr Collopy said, with flood warnings easing over the next few days.
‘Don’t get complacent’
But Acting Deputy Police Commissioner Shane Chelepy has warned residents not to get complacent.
“While we’re seeing the rain easing today, we still have a number of creeks that are flowing,” Mr Chelepy said on Saturday.
“It is highly likely that you’ll still see road closures. Please don’t enter those roads.
“I know the weather’s improving but it allows the emergency services to focus on those areas that we need to focus on. We just ask people in other areas to please take care.”
Eighty-seven buildings have been affected by flood waters in Warwick, with 49 people using shelter services due to the Condamine River breaking its banks.
Recovery efforts set to begin
“The district disaster group and the local disaster group are meeting today,” Mr Chelepy said. “As the river drops further, they’ll be moving in towards those recovery efforts.”
Emergency services are also preparing for moderate flooding at the Mary River to hit the town of Gympie on Saturday.
“We are expecting some minor impacts to businesses in the CBD,” Mr Chelepy said. “But we’re not expecting the predicted peaks (or) any significant impacts particularly to dwellings in the area.”
It comes after hundreds of homes in Queensland’s southeast and more than 700 roads were affected by flood waters on Friday.
Queensland beaches remain closed on Saturday and families are being advised to avoid lakes and creeks.