A huge area in North and West Queensland is still on flood alert, with regional communities such as Charters Towers and Innisfail in North Queensland being inundated by today’s downpour.
Video footage shows several people running towards partially sunken vehicles or trying to drive through floodwaters before getting trapped, despite emergency warnings.
Severe weather is expected to continue throughout the week, with several SES crews ready to help those in need.
“The SES has prepared sandbags, we have water on the roads as we speak now, we expect the next two days to be quite rough,” Charters Towers mayor Frank Beveridge said.
Residents have been urged to exercise caution and avoid flooding after a man in his 20s was rescued from Mount Isa, in the state’s northwest, last night.
The man was transported to Mount Isa Hospital in stable condition with hypothermia.
9News understands that the man became trapped and had to cling to reeds for 30 minutes.
Longreach was also soaked, with some areas covering more than 100mm per day.
Resident Alex Graham said the downpour was highly unusual for the outback region.
“Right now it looks beautiful outside,” he said.
“Everything has become greener since the last rain shower.
“This bit on top will make a nice wonderful winter here.”
Outback Queensland soaked for the second time in weeks
Local Jenny Gordon said the rain hasn’t eased since midnight.
“It started around 12:15 pm and won’t stop. Will (the meter) measure at 9:00 am,” she said.
Longreach Mayor Tony Rayner said community paddocks haven’t had this much rain in years.
“We have a wonderful season ahead of us for the agricultural sector and also for tourism. I mean Lake Eyre Basin will have a miraculous flood through it in the lower basin,” he said.
Weatherzone said some parts of the state could be hit by “several months of rain in one day.”
“This weather pattern is very unusual for May,” the weather service said.
“Much of Queensland could pick up more than 100mm of this system and some areas could see more than 300mm.”
Townsville Mayor Jenny Hill said residents are on high alert as “significant drainage” is expected tomorrow.
“Weather is already starting to come in. We had about 50mm yesterday, which is pretty easy,” she said.
“Tomorrow is the day when we expect something well above 200 mm.
“The big problem for us is that the Bureau can only give us a certain degree of accuracy. We can handle 200mm if it falls all day.
“It’s very difficult if you fall 100mm, 150mm in an hour or two hours. That’s the risk for everyone.”
Residents of the coastal town are urged to ‘stay in their place’.
“We don’t want people crossing the street to leave their homes when the roads are flooded,” Hill said.
Meteorologist Laura Boekel said: “It doesn’t take a lot of rain for watersheds to react really quickly.”
“That’s when we can see flash flooding and that’s when we see the situations that become life-threatening,” she said.
Ahead of the wild weather, Queensland Fire and Emergency (QFES) urged residents of affected areas to develop a “Plan B”.
“So you know what to do when faced with flooded roads on your usual way to work, home or school,” it wrote last week.
“Remember, if it’s flooded, forget it.”
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The wet weather is caused by a high trough above central Australia.
Rain will be heaviest over central parts of the state today, before the system heads toward the coast tomorrow.
Dangerous surf “up to three meters” is expected to develop in Queensland later this week.
South East Queensland is also on the lookout for serious falls† but meteorologist Jackson Browne said yesterday the worst weather is expected in the central regions and the north coast.
Heavy rain is also expected in areas in NSW later in the week.
“The forecast modeling really doesn’t indicate exactly how far south the heaviest rain will move,” Davies said.