Weather Fears for occupants as car swept away in Qld floods

Fears for occupants as car swept away in Qld floods

inglewood floods
Several towns across Queensland's south, including Inglewood, remain on flood watch after 24 hours of downpours. Photo: Twitter
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There are fears for the driver of a submerged car that was washed off a causeway by floodwaters in southern Queensland, as severe thunderstorms are expected to bring more dangerous rain.

Emergency services have been so far unable to reach the vehicle, which was swept off a causeway and into a creak at Yalangur, north of Toowoomba, about 10am on Wednesday.

The Queensland Fire and Emergency Services said rescuers in boats were unable to check if anyone was inside the car due to the dangerous conditions.

“It’s submerged and obviously due to the amount of water, they’re unable to conduct a full search. They’re waiting for that water to recede so … they can conduct a search of that vehicle,” a QFES spokesperson said.

There were also reports on Wednesday afternoon of another car swept from a flooded road on the Darling Downs. Its occupants were all safely rescued.

Meanwhile, floodwaters are receding in one town where about 1000 people were evacuated, but other towns and villages in southern Queensland are on alert amid a continuing deluge.

An emergency was declared in the border down of Inglewood, in the Goondiwindi local government area, on Tuesday night.

Goondiwindi Mayor Lawrence Springborg said the focus was on flood mitigation as the waters slowly receded on Wednesday.

“It’s fallen as quickly as it rose, and it rose very, very quickly last night,” he said.

“There’s some residual showers around. We’re informed that the bulk of the rainfall is gone, but we’re now dealing with the consequences.”

More than 50 gauges recorded 100 millimetres of rain in the past 24 hours in south-east Queensland alone, said the Bureau of Meteorology.

On Wednesday afternoon, a severe thunderstorm warning was issued for parts of Sunshine Coast, Brisbane City and Moreton Bay Council areas, with cells detected the area south-west of Noosa Heads, Cooroy and Mud Island.

“These thunderstorms are moving towards the south to south-east. They are forecast to affect Maroochydore, Palmwoods and Mapleton,” the alert said.

There were also major floods in two other towns on Wednesday, while two more are likely to be inundated overnight.

The State Emergency Service was involved in more than 30 swiftwater rescues and had responded to more than 320 calls for help in the 24 hours to 9am on Wednesday.

Police Deputy Commissioner Steve Gollschewski said an emergency alert had been issued for 200 residents who will be evacuated in the town of Yelarbon.

“We are ahead of the game with that,” he said on Wednesday

“We have confidence that we’ll be able to execute that quite well.”

The Bureau of Meteorology reports the Logan River is flooding at Beaudesert, south of Brisbane, for the second time in four days.

Floodwaters peaked at 10.1 metres in the town of 6400 on Saturday, above Beaudesert’s major flood level of 8.3 metres.

The forecaster expects the river to peak in the town at 10.2 metres on Wednesday after up to 100 millimetres of rain in parts of the already soaked catchment in the past 24 hours.

Closer to Brisbane, heavy rainfall is causing major flooding along Warrill Creek, with about 600 residents in Harrisville on alert.

The creek was at 5.02 metres on Wednesday afternoon, above the town’s major flood level of 5 metres, and was still rising.

Near the NSW border, the Dumaresq River is also putting homes and businesses in the town of Texas at risk of major flooding.

More than 840 residents of the southern town are preparing for the river to exceed a major flood level of eight metres on Wednesday night.

About 870 residents in Taroom are also being warned that the Dawson River could peak above a major flood level of seven metres overnight.

South-east of Brisbane, the Bremer River is in moderate flood at the towns of Rosewood and Walloon, and the Ipswich suburb of Amberley.

Police Minister Mark Ryan urged people to keep an eye on local weather forecasts and not to drive into floodwaters.

“Queensland is so saturated right now that it doesn’t take a whole lot more rain to start localised flash flooding,” Mr Ryan told parliament.

“There are rivers already subjected to major flood warnings.

“While Queenslanders have been through these scenarios many times before the potential dangers don’t go away, we keep on saying it but it is so crucial to adhere to that slogan: If it’s flooded forget it.”

-with AAP