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Queensland weather: Eight rescues as torrential rain floods state's south-east

By Lexy Hamilton-Smith, Friday February 23, 2018 - 22:10 EDT
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A flooded playground and park in Nambour on the Sunshine Coast. - ABC

Eight people have been rescued after being caught in flash flooding on the Sunshine and Fraser Coasts as much of the state continues to be hammered by heavy rain.

The most dramatic rescue was at Nikenbah in Hervey Bay where four people were trapped in two cars.

Queensland Fire and Emergency's Sean Murphy said they got into trouble trying to cross a flooded creek on Thursday night.

"They have done something that is dangerous, caused by a dangerous act," he said.

"If the roads are flooded don't drive through it."

They group was rescued by a passing tow truck driver, an act Sean Murphy described as heroic, but extremely risky.

"We can't recover the cars as it is putting other vehicles into a dangerous situation again," he said.

"The people are out of the cars that is the main priority."

Another two people had to be rescued from floodwaters at Maleny, while a woman were rescued from their car after it was swept away by floodwaters at Kobble Creek north-west of Brisbane.

In Brisbane, cars have been stranded in low-lying areas, where drivers continued to ignore safety warnings.

Mt Gravatt had the most rainfall with 112 millimetres over Thursday night into Friday.

On the Sunshine Coast, Nambour reported 96mm on Friday morning.

But most of the severe weather system was starting to impact the Gold Coast.

The highest falls have been in the hinterland, Mount Tamborine received 145mm in 6 hours on Friday.

A minor flood warning is in place for the Logan and Albert Rivers where there was 150mm of rain on Friday.

Minor flooding is possible over Friday night into Saturday if falls are heavy

There was also a flood watch in place for the Upper Brisbane River, and the Pine and Caboolture Rivers.

A severe weather warning remains in place for the Sunshine and Gold Coasts, with up to 300mm of rain forecast down to the border over the next 24 hours.

The weather bureau's job has been made harder with the main Mount Stapylton radar going offline due to outages again.

Forecasters have to rely on radar coverage from Marburg until the issue is fixed.

Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate was urging residents to take the severe weather warning seriously with "a whole month of rain due in four short days".

The Hinze dam is at 99 per cent, and was expected to start spilling later on Friday.

No beaches were expected to be closed over the weekend.

Meanwhile, graziers in central Queensland have welcomed the rain.

At the livestock sales at Gracemere, Brad Mulvhill said rain meant "grass and increased prices".

"The rain's been late, but better late than never," he said.

Grazier Bruce Henderson said his property had had 100mm so far this month.

"We hope to get a lot more before it clears out. We need more, we are a bit behind, we need more to set us up for the rest of the year," he said.

"When it rains everyone gets a positive attitude when it is dry everyone is down in the doldrums.

"So the rain is the best tonic for rural people."

A severe weather warning is also in place for the north west and gulf country.


© ABC 2018

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