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Threat of severe weather eases as low remains further off south-east Queensland coast

Monday April 5, 2021 - 02:16 EST
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People at scarped beach at Burleigh Heads due to wild weather off the coast. - ABC

A severe weather warning for south-east Queensland has been cancelled as a low pressure system sits further offshore, the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) says.

BOM forecaster David Grant said a sub-tropical low off Fraser Island was moving southwards slowly.

He said the system had remained further off the coast keeping the heaviest falls out to sea.

"Although the peak period of severe weather has probably passed overnight, severe weather still remains," he said.

"It should start to abate as we move into tonight and Tuesday.

"A lot of catchments are saturated and will respond quickly to any further rainfall over the next 24 hours and we're still going to have quite a lot of shower activity around." 

Eleven campers and a dog were rescued from Byfield National Park, north of Rockhampton, last night as floodwaters rose.

Deputy Premier Steven Miles said Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service rangers and State Emergency Service volunteers responded last night.

"They became stranded when a creek rose around their campground ? they're all safe," Mr Miles said.

'It's just not worth it': Lifesavers mull flags

Maroochydore, Kawana, Dicky and Mudjimba beaches on the Sunshine Coast have been closed.

Sunshine Coast locals Cameron Brown and his three-year-old daughter Stevie decided to have a banana bread breakfast picnic while sheltering in the back of their car watching the large surf at Maroochydore Beach.

On the Gold Coast, lifeguard supervisor Luke Ingwersen said lifeguards would be keeping a close eye on beach conditions throughout the day.

"All the beaches are open at the moment, but as conditions change throughout the day, we might need to close some beaches if conditions do become as bad as we think they might be," he said.

"There is a lot of rain hovering off the Fraser Coast at the moment ? if that hits as well, conditions are going to deteriorate."

Mr Ingwersen said conditions were very rough but lifeguards expected some beachgoers would still enter the water.

"At the moment, they're no worse than yesterday and no worse than they have been throughout the whole week," he said.

"If we can find a place to put the flags and look after people in one area, it's much easier than people going everywhere."

He said lifeguards wanted to give people the opportunity to swim, but if conditions worsened beaches would be closed. 

"Conditions are always rough ? it's never a swimming pool ? but if we think we can manage the conditions for the time being, then we will put the flags up," he said.

"But when conditions get too bad, then we take that opportunity away ? it's just not worth it."

Meanwhile, Brisbane had felt the brunt of '"annoyance" rain for most of the Easter long weekend, with totals over 24 hours lingering at just 5 to 15mms.

"It was a little heavier in Wide Bay and the coast, with some areas recording closer to 40 and 50 millimetres," Mr Hanniffy said.

Lady Elliot Island, north-east of Bundaberg, recorded 142mm in the past 36 hours, while much of the Wide Bay region missed out on the forecast rainfall totals.

Lady Elliot Island's custodian Peter Gash said it had been a challenging Easter.

"I can't recall an Easter like the last three days and it was tough, because we just went through the Brisbane lockdown," he said. 

"It didn't stop raining from 5:00am yesterday until 5:00am this morning.

"We've got a re-vegetation project on the island and we planted over 10,000 trees ? you can hear them crying out with joy because it soaks down ? the birds all love it."

SES Wide Bay area controller Jenny Millers said there had been a steady stream of requests for assistance.

"We've responded to 29 jobs since Friday ? most of those have been flooding," Ms Millers said.

"There have only been five structures damaged and that's usually roofs.

"It's been a great event for people to be aware of what they do need to ensure their homes are safe."

In the north of the state, the low had brought totals of 100mm to 120mm over Ingham, following steady rainfall over much of the tropics.


© ABC 2021

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