26 Apr 2013, 1:39 AM UTC
Homes flooded as SE Queensland cops drenching
Homes are being evacuated north of Brisbane as widespread torrential rain causes flooding across south-east Queensland. Hundreds of millimetres have been dumped across the Gold and Sunshine coasts and Brisbane, flooding homes and causing chaos on roads. The Bureau of Meteorology says flooding could worsen in some areas with more rain expected across the region this afternoon and wet weather is forecast for the rest of the week. Twelve homes are being evacuated as a precaution at Burpengary, north of Brisbane, and another dozen homes have already been flooded further north on the Sunshine Coast. At Boondall in Brisbane's north a childcare centre was inundated and the downpour has been causing delays at Brisbane airport. Three people escaped after their car was stuck on a flooded road in Brisbane's south-west and cars were seen floating on some streets in the inner city. Energex says power has been cut to 9,500 homes and businesses across the south-east. The downpour has prompted SEQ Water's flood operations centre to order releases from Leslie Harrison Dam and North Pine Dam. There are no releases planned yet for Wivenhoe Dam, which is at 76 per cent and capacity and rising. Evacuate Elsewhere, homes are being sandbagged in Ipswich, west of Brisbane, while a motorist had to be rescued from a flooded road this morning on the Gold Coast. Nearly 200 millimetres of rain was recorded in the Gold Coast hinterland in 24 hours. A home at Jacob's Well was been flooded and the owner forced to evacuate. "An inch is the most through the house in certain spots and then in other spots it's half an inch," he said. "I just got out of Jacob's Well - at the Pimpama-Jacobs Well Road the water's lapping at the side of the bridge and it's halfway on the road in some spots. "I've got a four-month-old baby and wife away - they are going to come home to a wet house." On standby Police spokesman Andy Morrow says a number of roads are closed across the south-east. "Whilst the rain has fallen we've had something in the order of 48 traffic accidents that have occurred around the state," he said. Swift water rescue specialists are on standby with localised flooding expected to worsen on the Gold Coast. Queensland Fire and Rescue Service spokesman Bruce Byatt has warned people to stay out of floodwaters. "In a very short space of time you can be in difficulty and lose your lives," he said. The SES has received almost 400 calls for help across the state in the past 24 hours - mainly for fallen branches and leaky roofs. No respite Michelle Berry from the weather bureau says large parts of the state are being drenched but south-east Queensland has had the heaviest falls. "We were seeing hourly rainfall totals of at least 80mm," she said. "We're expecting these rain bands to just keep moving off the water and also extend inland and generate some heavy falls. "Further 24-hour totals in excess of 150mm are expected." Thunderstorms are also dumping heavy rain across the north of the state, with more than 100mm recorded near Innisfail and more than 140mm near Mackay since Monday.