Urgent warning as torrential rain causes ‘life-threatening’ floods forcing schools to close and leaving drivers stranded
- Torrential rain could bring ‘life-threatening’ flash flooding to North Queensland
- Schools and highways were shut as rain dumped more than half a metre of water
- A severe weather warning has been issued for parts of the state’s Gulf Country
- Tropical low pressure system is expected to intensity throughout Tuesday
Torrential rain could bring ‘life-threatening’ flash flooding to North Queensland, the bureau of meteorology has warned.
Schools and highways were shut on Tuesday after monsoonal rain dumped more than half a metre of water, south of Townsville.
A severe weather warning has been issued for parts of the state’s Gulf Country as a tropical low pressure system is expected to intensity throughout Tuesday.
‘Severe thunderstorm warning for intense rainfall isolated over southern parts of the Herbert and Lower Berdekin District,’ the bureau said.
‘Intense and prolonged rainfall may be dangerous and may lead to life-threatening flash flooding.’
On Tuesday morning, the bureau said more than 500mm of rainfall was recorded in the last 24 hours around Ayr, south east of Townsville.
The rain has closed the Bruce Highway in both directions at Ayr, while eight schools and two early childhood centres in the state’s north shut their doors.
Townsville Mayor Jenny Hill warned residents to be cautious.
‘The community does need to be mindful, and remember if it’s flooded forget it,’ she told AAP.
She said there were no concerns at this stage that the low pressure system would cause a repeat of the devastating floods of February last year, which caused more than $1billion of damage.
‘At the moment it’s acting like a typical wet season where we see downpours with significant breaks in between,’ she said.
‘Last year we didn’t have those breaks, it just kept raining and raining and raining.
‘So far it’s pretty much been business as usual.’
Flood warnings of various levels have been issued for rivers throughout the state’s interior.
Isolated heavy falls in catchments upstream have flooded the Paroo River – in the state’s southwest – with bridges cut at Eulo.
The river is expected to reach a moderate flood level by mid-week.
Paroo Shire Council Deputy Mayor Suzette Beresford said the rain was very welcome after six years of drought.
‘It’s been patchy, with some properties receiving a bit more than others,’ she told AAP.
‘As long as it keeps coming.’
Glenore Weir, near Carpenteria, has seen 193mm fall in the past 24 hours.
Winton, in central Queensland northwest of Longreach, has recorded 117mm of rain.
More to come