Heavy rains and deluge has sparked flood warnings across Queensland with more wet conditions forecast around the state on Tuesday.
There are four moderate and major flood warnings across the state’s rivers including the Dawson, Condamine, Macinityre, Balonne, Weir and Paroo rivers, while a severe weather warning remains in place for the Coalfields, Darling Downs, Burnett, Granite Belt and Central West.
On the banks of the Macintyre river, in Goondiwindi west of Brisbane, Mayor Lawrence Springboard says there’s no immediate threat to any towns or villages, but the next 24 hours will be key.
“We’ve had quite a lot of rain, all of our catchments are completely saturated, our dams are full — they’re overflowing — and rivers and streams are running quite high,” he told AAP.
“From that perspective we don’t have much freeboard. It doesn’t take a lot of rain at the moment to change things quickly very dramatically.
“But we’ve got good flood planning here and we’re in a constant state of readiness for these circumstances.”
A truck driver was rescued by SES crews early on Tuesday morning near the town after his vehicle was swept off the Cunningham Highway.
That was one of 77 requests SES crews responded to in the last 24 hours, with up to 300 road closures around the state.
Further north in Mackay, schools were closed and sandbags deployed as the tropical north received 300mm of rainfall in some parts.
Workers from the Kestrel coal mine in the region were evacuated to a nearby town and moved to fly-in, fly-out procedures for 124 staff as the Gregory Highway was flood-ridden.
With the Bureau of Meteorology predicting more wet weather in the coming days, Premier Annastacia Palasaczuk said Queenslander’s need to prepare themselves for a storm season that’s come early.
“The Central and North Coast regions were the worst affected areas, with a small number of requests in the Brisbane, south-east and south-west regions (in the last 24 hours),” she told parliament.
“With catchments swollen due to recent rainfall, this means that localised flash flooding will remain a threat throughout Queensland over the next week.
“I encourage all Queenslanders to prepare for storm season now. Look out for weather alerts on the Bureau of Meteorology website and contact the SES if you need assistance.”