Residents flee as ‘really scary’ floods deluge homes, streets

Dangerous flooding after storms lash SE Queensland

Water up to a metre deep has swept through houses while roads have been flooded as downpours lashed south-east Queensland – with a new region in the firing line on Tuesday afternoon.

Swiftwater rescue firefighters rescued 13 people as flood waters rose across the Moreton Bay, Somerset, Lockyer Valley and Darling Downs regions overnight.

Eight of those rescues were in the Moreton Bay region alone, including in the suburb of Bray Park, where residents woke to find water running through their homes.

Bray Park local Hannah Waldock said the water rose quickly.

“It was just up to the wheels on all the cars on the front street. It was really scary. It took half an hour and then it was through the house, about a metre up,” she told the ABC.

“My car is a write-off.”

Other residents have told of fleeing with their dogs, and hanging onto street signs as the water rose.

Another Bray Park resident, Catherine Crabb, told The Courier-Mail that she fled into the flooded street after the water inside her house rose in just 15 minutes.

“I got up to the street sign and, I kid you not, I was hanging onto it and there was a small amount of pole left. That was just crazy, [so] I thought I’d swim more,” she said.

“The current was so strong it was starting to take me into a different direction, so I swam back to a pole that was under the water.”

Crab and a neighbour who rushed to help were among the 13 people rescued from floodwaters overnight.

Elsewhere, Morayfield Shopping Centre in Brisbane’s north was also partly flooded. Astonishing pictures on social media showed its carpark and a lower level under water on Tuesday – although management confirmed in a post on Facebook that the centre remained open.


Samford Valley was one of the worst hit in the region, getting lashed with 300 millimetres of rain in three hours.

Queensland Premier Steven Miles warned Moreton Bay residents that conditions might not improve soon.

“I’m told it’s raining right now and that flash flooding could get worse,” he said.

“Really, our message, particularly if you’re in Moreton Bay, is please take care and certainly if the road is flooded, forget it.”

The SES also responded to 28 calls for help in the Moreton Bay region overnight.

More than 20 schools across south-east Queensland were closed on Tuesday, along with dozens of local roads.

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services issued emergency alerts for Laidley, and the Lockyer Valley and Forest Hill, west of Brisbane. The main street of Laidley, a town of just under 4000, was underwater on Tuesday.

It came as the weather bureau issued a new warning for the Sunshine Coast and Wide Bay regions.

“Severe thunderstorms are likely today over the south-east, and are possible elsewhere over central and western parts. Heavy to intense rainfall, which may lead to flash flooding, is the primary hazard,” it said.

An evacuation centre was to open on Tuesday at the Laidley State High School for those seeking shelter.

Flood warnings remained current for large parts of central Queensland, as well as the south-east.

There were also flood watches for parts of western Queensland, as well as much of central and south-east of the state and north-east NSW.

The bureau said forecast rainfall in those areas could lead to flash or riverine flooding in the next 48 hours.

“In the worst case it could lead to inundation of homes, properties, businesses and agricultural land,” the bureau warned.

Kevin Walsh from QFES said flash flooding remained one of the biggest dangers across the state’s south-east.

“The biggest concern is the whole of south-east Queensland is absolutely saturated, so when we get these quick, intense rainfall events, the water rises very quickly and people can become caught unaware,” he said.

Ex-Tropical Cyclone Kirrily is also bringing more wet weather in Queensland’s north-west, days after crossing the coast.

West of Winton towards Boulia, the Middleton community has had about 450 millimetres since the weekend.

“The Boulia road through to Alice Springs has currently got three metres of water over the crossings,” Winton Mayor Gavin Baskett said.

“Some of the crossings are at the highest [flood levels] some graziers have ever seen them.”

Winton’s local disaster management group has been activated with some properties bunkering down for a long, isolated period in floodwaters.

“They are all graziers out there, lucky it isn’t tourist season,” Mr Baskett said.

The Bureau of Meteorology said the ex-tropical cyclone was expected to linger between Mount Isa and Longreach for some days.

-with AAP

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