Weather Queenslanders get crocodile warning after Cyclone Owen does its worst
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Queenslanders get crocodile warning after Cyclone Owen does its worst

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South Yarra train station is seen flooded in Melbourne on Friday, December 14. Photo: AAP
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On top of flooding, storm damage and power outages, Queenslanders are confronting another hazard spawned by Cyclone Owen: crocodiles.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the predatory reptiles had been spotted in floodwaters and urged people to take precautions.

Sandbags protected these Cairns residents from Cyclone Owen – and crocodiles as well, should any come calling. Photo: AAP

“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,” she said.

Police conformed at least one crocodile was spotted in floodwaters close to a woman during a successful rescue effort on Saturday night.

Ex-tropical Cyclone Owen, now downgraded to a tropical low, has crossed Cape York and headed out to sea, but the Bureau of meteorology warns there is a moderate chance it could re-form off the state’s east coast.

The big blow was moving away from the coast on Sunday morning, when it was located about 80km offshore near Cooktown.

The BoM sees Tuesday as the danger date if what is left of the Owen draws enough strength from the Coral Sea’s warm waters to regain its strength andre-form.

Despite the warning-level reduction, the remnants of Owen’s weather system continue to produce gusts of up to 85km/h, plus thunderstorms and heavy rainfall.

A second front of severe weather is now moving through southeast Queensland.

The BoM has issued thunderstorm warnings for both north Queensland’s central coast and the southeast corner as slow moving cells produce heavy rain.

The bureau said “incredible” amounts of rain fell on Sunday night, with Halifax, east of Ingham, recording an incredible 681mm of rain.

Flash flooding is expected to remain a threat with more than a dozen roads closed to traffic.

Residents are urged to follow emergency service advice until the system dissipates.

After days of wild, wet and wind-lashed weather, regions all over Australia are taking stock of the damage and disruption.

Victoria

The outskirts of Melbourne, including the Yarra Valley, were hit by lightning and heavy rain about 1pm on Saturday in and around Yarra Glen.

The deluge came on the back of biblical-level flooding in the city with more than 37.2 millimetres of rain dumped in just 60 minutes on Friday afternoon, flooding roads and Flinders Street station.

Parts of regional Victoria had falls of up to 13 millimetres in five minutes in the early hours of Saturday.

Melbourne, Shepparton, Bendigo, Maryborough, Kyneton, Ballarat, Daylesford, Traralgon, Bairnsdale and as far south as Warrnambool and Colac endured severe thunderstorms and more torrential rain.

 New South Wales and ACT

Thunderstorms brought havoc to Sydney with tens of thousands of homes plunged into darkness as toppling trees brought down power lines.

At the height of tempest more than 40,000 lightning strikes lit up the sky.

Tasmania

“Heavy bursts” of rain, thunderstorms, flash flooding and rainfall totals soaked the Apple Isle.

In the 24 hours up to late afternoon on Saturday rainfall totals reached 94 millimetres at Gray (on Tasmania’s east coast), 85 millimetres at the north-eastern settlement of Pyengana and 67 millimetres at Flinders Island Airport.

The east coast and north-east of Tasmania are expecting heavy rain and flash flooding during Saturday and Sunday, with a severe weather warning issued for the Furneaux Islands, North East, East Coast and parts of the Central North districts.

“A very moist east to north-easterly airstream with embedded thunderstorms is being directed over Tasmania today until Sunday afternoon,” the BoM said.

South Australia

A strong wind warning remained in effect Sunday morning for the state’s far west coast.