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South East Queensland rain forecast as Dalby residents clean up flood damage

Monday February 10, 2020 - 20:47 EDT
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The residents at this house at Dalby say it will take a while to bounce back from the flood which covered their home in mud. - ABC

Residents at Dalby in Queensland's Darling Downs have spent the day cleaning their homes in the aftermath of muddy floodwater that hit the town on Sunday.

Piles of furniture, including mattresses and sofas, have been left on the side of the road, damaged beyond repair.

Mike Grove was among those flooded in the early hours of the morning when Myall Creek reaching a peak of nearly 3.2 metres.

He said he woke up at 4:00am to his son shouting that the house was being flooded.

"I ran down the front stairs, because you couldn't get down the back," Mr Grove said.

"We waded through the water and I was lucky to get my car out, only one of the cars.

"And we just left, went to the boss's house.

"There was no warning, I was up at 12 o'clock and the creek still looked normal," he said.

When Mr Grove returned, he found five of his motorbikes, two other cars, as well as tools, all damaged by the floodwater.

Mr Grove said his wife was in South Africa following the death of her mother, and that he would have to tell her that her car had been destroyed.

Resident Charmaine Miller said she was caught by surprise by the flood yesterday.

"We were alerted at 4:00 by a loud horn and we jumped up, there was water everywhere, there was no time to move cars or anything so we continued to try and move everything as best we could," she said.

Ms Miller said they've been pulling out sodden clothes and other items from under the house.

"[It's] very messy. We're still working at it, we've got lots to do, but we'll get there eventually."

She said she was holding out hope that things would dry up before the next downpour.

"Hopefully this little bit of water can get away before the next lot comes through."

A moderate flood warning is still in place for the Condamine and Balonne Rivers.

More storms forecast after the deluge

Over the weekend of heavy downpours and flooding, the State Emergency Service received 473 callouts between Friday night and Monday morning, including 112 in Brisbane.

Of those, 289 were flood related.

There were also 32 callouts for swift-water rescues over the weekend.

Some of the biggest rainfall was at Coolangatta, which recorded 201 millimetres in 24 hours on Saturday.

In the past seven days, Coops Corner near Tin Can Bay received 407mm, while Brisbane got 220mm.

Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) forecaster Lauren Pattie said more patchy showers and storms were likely in the coming week.

"They will increase as we go into this evening but we will start to see a little bit of sunshine between those showers and storms," she said.

"Some of those storms — particularly as we go into this evening — there is potential for them to be severe again so we could see some more heavy rainfall but they are becoming a little bit more isolated."

Ms Pattie said it wasn't enough to break the drought in the south-east and Darling Downs.

"It is still well below their average in terms of the amount of rainfall you'd expect over the last couple of months — so you still need a fair bit more rain," she said.

"It is definitely not drought-breaking … and we need a little bit more before we get onto an even keel again."

"You need multiple events for it to really soak in because we have been in such deficit."

"Sometimes with flash flooding, that rain runs off and it is not captured as well as it could be," she explained.

By 7:30pm on Monday, rain over Brisbane and further north brought falls of 102mm in an hour west of Kilcoy.

'Everybody's thrilled' with water for dams

Water levels at Leslie Dam — the main water supply for Warwick — have increased.

Southern Downs Regional Mayor Tracy Dobie said it now had two-and-a-half years' worth of supply — up from eight months' supply at the start of the year.

"Everybody is thrilled with the rainfall," she said.

About 70 to 80 millimetres of rain was recorded over the Wivenhoe Dam catchment.

SEQwater CEO Mike Forster said it is now at 57.7 per cent capacity, "which is close to a 2 per cent increase — or about six to eight weeks additional supply".

"Certainly not talking drought-breaking rain and we really need the rainfall to hit that Wivenhoe and Somerset catchment if we're going to see our totals really start to increase," he said.

"We got rain in the catchment — so the catchment is nice and wet but very little inflow.

"We do have a number of our dams that have reached capacity and are spilling but they're mainly on the coast.

"While we love them dearly they are relatively small compared to our really big storages — Wivenhoe and Somerset.

"Our coastal dams definitely got the best of it over the last four or five days."

Stanthorpe, which has been trucking in drinking water, got about 100 millimetres of rain over the catchment of Storm King Dam.


© ABC 2020

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