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Australian weather: Rain and flash floods rock Queensland and New South Wales

A severe storm hit southeastern Australia overnight, with a total of 250 mm of rainfall recorded in just three hours.

The Bureau of Meteorology warns that severe thunderstorms are likely to bring winds, heavy rain and flash flooding across Queensland’s Gold Coast region through Friday morning.

Potentially affected locations include Coolangatta, Miami and Southport.

Helensvale’s Big 4 campground had to evacuate in the middle of the night when campers woke to find their tents flooded.

They had to rush to higher ground immediately, and one drenched camper said it happened in the space of just 20 minutes.

“I was already awake and my sister yelled at me to get up.

“We were on our knees within minutes.

“It was chaos… panicked. Dozens of people tried to escape at once.”

Queensland fire and emergency services crews were dispatched overnight to five incidents involving vehicles stuck in flood waters.

Two ships had to be deployed to rescue people from cars. No injuries were reported from either incident.

Queensland Emergency Service (SES) crews also responded to 12 calls about leaking roofs from 6pm on Thursday.

496 Energex customers in South East Queensland lost power at 7:30am due to inclement weather.

Tweed Valley Adventist College had to close Friday after the school grounds were flooded.

“School closed today due to local flooding! Hope you are all safe,” the school said.

Campers at the CMC Rocks Music Festival in Ipswich also had a blistering night after their campsite was soaked.

“I would like to thank all the staff and campers for last night’s bad weather,” said CMC Rocks.

“Everyone was kind to each other and let the spirit of CMC Rocks shine through the storm.

“Although there is plenty of sunshine on the way, it takes time for the campsite to absorb water.

Several roads in the Gold Coast region were closed Friday morning due to conditions.

  • Maudsland Rd, Maudsland
  • Beaudesert Boonah Rd, Coulson
  • Hardy’s Rd, Mudgeeraba
  • Clagiraba Rd, Clagiraba
  • Birds Rd, Guanaba
  • Signart Drive, Helensvale
  • Hotham Creek Road, Willow Vale
  • Lanes Rd, Wongawalan

Landslides have been reported along the Pine Creek Road, but strong wind warnings have also been issued for waters off the Gold Coast.

Total rainfall of up to 250 mm was recorded in some areas during the night, in just three-hour intervals, according to the agency.

“There has been widespread thunderstorms across the south coast catchment area, with heavy rainfall totaling 150-250mm recorded over the past three hours,” it said.

“Heavy rains caused river and stream water levels to rise rapidly, causing mild to moderate flooding in some areas.”

Significant overnight precipitation in south-east Queensland:

  • Clagiraba Rd 1 hour from 104 mm to 11.54pm, 2 hours from 118 mm to 12.18am
  • Upper Springbrook
  • Hotham Creek 90 mm 1 hour to midnight
  • Naminbha Valley 1 hour from 89mm to 11:03pm, 2 hours from 124mm to 11:57pm
  • Oxenford Weir 79 mm for 1 hour to 12:35 am, 100 mm for 2 hours to 1:09 am
  • Canungra Army 107mm in 3 hours by 12:34am
  • Tamborine Mountain 1 hour to 11:37pm 69mm, 2 hours to 11:49pm 95mm
  • Pacific Pines 2 hours 12:50 am 77 mm
  • Little Nerang Dam 90 mm in 2 hours to 1:02 am, 111 mm in 3 hours to 1:00 am

Queensland Police and SES are advising affected residents to avoid flooding, follow the latest information throughout the day and adapt to the situation.

A severe weather warning was issued in New South Wales after “heavy rain” flooded the Northern Rivers area overnight for several hours.

Flood monitoring is in place in the area and the areas that may be affected are: Lismore, Tweed Heads, Murwillumbah, Byron Bay, Ballina, Casino.

By 6am on Friday, NSW SES crews had completed 14 flood rescues and received 193 calls for assistance in the last 24 hours.

With 22 flood warnings issued statewide, SES warns residents to be prepared to minimize damage and consider evacuation as an option if severe flooding is forecast.

Total Significant Precipitation Overnight:

  • Couchy Creek 85mm in 1 hour to 10.41pm, 155mm in 1 hour to 12.10am, 222mm in 3 hours to 12.40am
  • Chillingham 1 hour 74mm to 11:34pm, 2 hours 129mm to 12:36am, 3 hours 171mm to 12:48am
  • 108mm in 2 hours by 11:52pm, 133mm in 3 hours by 12:51am

The low is forecast to weaken off the northern coastline late Friday or early Saturday morning, but flash flooding remains a significant risk throughout the day.

NSW SES Commissioner Carlene York urged residents to stay vigilant and be prepared.

“We have pre-deployed personnel, high-clearance vehicles and air assets in the Port Macquarie and Lismore areas and have local forces ready to assist communities,” she said Thursday.

“A local incident management team has been established in Gooneraba to conduct planning and intelligence operations, and to work with community liaison teams to ensure that the public is also prepared.

“The number of flood rescues continues to grow as people are stuck in their cars. Monitor road conditions and if you come across a flood-affected road, make a safe decision and turn around. I am calling again to find another route.”

The agency has advised that severe weather is no longer occurring in the Mid North Coast, so the warning for the district has been withdrawn.

first published as Severe storms cause ‘turmoil’ in Queensland and New South Wales

Australian weather: Rain and flash floods rock Queensland and New South Wales

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