‘Life-threatening’ storm floods Gold Coast theme parks, cuts off major highways and leaves two people stranded – but downpour puts out 49 active fires
- ‘Life-threatening’ flash flooding in southeast Queensland after downpour
- Major highways between the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast have been cut
- Two people are stranded and more than 50 different reports of flooded roads
- Theme parks MovieWorld and Wet’n’Wild Gold Coast closed due to flooding
- Rain helps exhausted firefighters put out 49 bushfires in NSW in one week
Major highways have been cut and residents flooded as up to 300mm of torrential rain bucketed down on southeast Queensland overnight.
Two people were stranded after trying to drive through ‘life-threatening’ floodwater on the Gold Coast, with police receiving more than 50 reports of flooded roads across the city on Saturday morning.
The deluge hit the Gold Coast the hardest with 325mm of rain falling at Loders Creek and more than 200mm in the Gold Coast Hinterland with floodwater closing the M1 at Helensvale.
Theme parks MovieWorld and Wet’n’Wild Gold Coast were shut Saturday due to the flooding
1500 NSW volunteer firefighters out battling blazes on Saturday rejoiced in the rain which has helped them put out 49 fires since last Saturday
Torrential rain pelted Southeast Queensland as this rain radar image shows
Major highways have been cut at the Gold Coast suburb of Helensvale
The Bureau of Meteorology warned of ‘life threatening’ flash flooding at 6.15am
MovieWorld and Wet’n’Wild Gold Coast theme parks are closed due to the flooding.
The Cunningham Highway and the M1 have both been closed at Helensvale.
The Gold Coast suburb of Coomera, southeast of Brisbane, was inundated with 90mm of rain in just one hour, the Bureau of Meteorology reported.
‘Very dangerous storms are producing intense rainfall around Coomera,’ the Bureau warned on Twitter at 6.15am
‘Dangerous and life threatening flash flooding is likely.’
Parts of the Gold Coast received triple the monthly rainfall overnight with the slow-moving cell impacting northern NSW before starting to move offshore.
Chaos hit Queensland roads as the rain bomb dumped precipitation on the Gold Coast
The rain bomb comes as gentler falls over the past few days have helped exhausted volunteer firefighters extinguish more than 40 bushfires down the east coast of New South Wales.
More than 1500 firefighters were working to contain 75 bushfires in NSW on Saturday morning of which 25 were uncontrolled.
The onset of rain over the state has helped the firefighters put out 49 fires since last Saturday when there were 124 major fires burning in the drought-ravaged state of which 47 were out of control.
Bureau of Meteorology NSW duty forecaster Rob Taggart said the rains so far had been heavier in the state’s northeast and had brought little relief to the south coast bushfires, but that was likely to change on Monday.
‘Another system is coming through on Monday that is more promising for the southern firegrounds … including the southwest slopes and snowy mountains area,’ he said.
The widespread showers and thunderstorms that have brought relief to the state over the past week are expected to continue until Monday.
Central NSW and the state’s northeast are expected to cop a soaking on Saturday with the potential for heavy rainfall on the north coast and parts of the Central Coast, Bureau of Meteorology meteorologist Zach Porter told AAP.
Heavy rain caused flash flooding in parts of the state on Friday with the Australian Reptile Park on the Central Coast forced to close for the day as a result of the huge deluge.
Killabakh on the mid-north coast received the most rain with 98mm falling on Friday while Audley in southern Sydney copped 59mm.
The rain didn’t reach the bushfire-ravaged South Coast and Snowy Mountains where the highest rainfall amount recorded was 11mm in Bodalla on Friday, Mr Porter said.
NSW SES assistant commissioner Paul Bailey said there had been 323 call-outs overnight on Thursday including some for surface flooding in Parkes and Dubbo in the state’s central west.
Mr Bailey said fire-affected areas may see an increase in tree falls due to weakened soil, debris flowing into creeks and flash flooding due to a lack of vegetation.
The rain is expected to ease on Sunday with thunderstorms and showers forecast on Monday before windy and dry weather is due on Tuesday.
There’s a potential for elevated fire danger later in the week with warm weather forecast, the BOM said.