Authorities on Queensland’s Western Downs have issued an emergency flood alert to Jandowae residents with falls of more than 100 millimetres overnight in the region, as the deluge across the state’s south-east continues.
- Western Downs Mayor Paul McVeigh says residents should remain alert to flood warnings
- Tropical Cyclone Uesi is predicted to pass about 600km off the south-east coast on Thursday
- It is not expected to impact the mainland but will generate some strong winds along the coast
The Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) said the Western Downs Regional Council has warned Jandowae Creek is expected to peak today due to the heavy rainfall, which might lead to major flooding in the area.
It said properties are likely to be affected and that Jandowae residents should secure belongings, prepare to leave, and warn neighbours.
The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) said Myall Creek at Dalby was also expected to exceed the minor flood level of 2 metres later today.
The top rainfall total was at Woleebee, north-west of Miles, which recorded 125 millimetres in 24 hours since 9:00am yesterday, and north of Dalby at Jinghi Jinghi, 102 millimetres was recorded.
Western Downs Mayor Paul McVeigh said emergency crews were door-knocking residents in Jandowae.
“We do expect these waters to rise very quickly and [we’re] letting everyone know to take precautions,” he said.
“Jandowae is quite an amazing town, it does get quite wet, but there are probably about six homes potentially — depending on the height of this water — that will have water above their floor boards.”
Cr McVeigh said despite the flooding many people were happy to see the rain.
“I think that it’s the old saying isn’t it? What’s the best thing to break a drought and it’s a great flood and I think we always say in agriculture, there’s great benefits to rain,” he said.
Police Inspector Graeme Paine said floodwaters had cut off roads in and out of Jandowae.
“We’re liaising with the community and some of the service providers … to manage some of the issues that are arising,” he said.
“Certainly the road situation changes quite frequently — at this stage there is water at the road but with the flow of water, that can change quite quickly and open the roads up — we don’t foresee any long-term issues.”
Jandowae grazier David Greenup said he received 130 millimetres of rain overnight.
“It started here at around 10:00pm or so, and it went pretty much, reasonably solidly, all the way through until about 5:00am,” Mr Greenup said.
“We sent messages to people last night, after midnight, to say that there was water coming [down Jandowae Creek].
“People are always saying we need a follow-up [of rain]— well, we’ve had that over the last two weeks.”
Dams levels rising
The rainfall has been topping up dams across the south-east, with Seqwater saying the combined capacity of the water grid is now more than 60 per cent, up more than 5 per cent in the past 12 days.
Meanwhile, near Bundaberg, Sunwater said there was no risk to the public from added pressure on the city’s Paradise Dam.
The dam was reduced to 42 per cent capacity last year amid concerns about its stability, and it is now 54 per cent full.
Sunwater chairman Leith Boully said water would be released from the dam in coming weeks.
“Under current and forecast conditions there is no safety risk for the community,” she said.
“We will be able to reduce the level of the dam back to 42 per cent within a reasonable period of time, probably three to four weeks depending on how much water actually flows in from this point of time.
“We want to maintain the water level at 42 per cent for two reasons: one, to reduce the pressure on the wall, and secondly, we need it at that level to be able to undertake the works to reduce the wall by 5 metres.”
Tropical Cyclone Uesi whips up waves
BOM forecaster Matt Bass said rain was much lighter in the Brisbane region.
“A few falls in the range of 20mm to 50mm down towards the Scenic Rim and the back of the Gold Coast and some around 50mm at the back of the Sunshine Coast as well, but for Brisbane itself generally light falls up to about 22mm up to about Samford,” he said.
BOM also said Tropical Cyclone Uesi was unlikely to have much of an impact on Queensland, as it weakens as it moves across the Coral Sea towards Lord Howe Island.
The category three system is about 365 kilometres west of Noumea and is expected to track south-westerly towards Australia’s east coast.
It is not expected to impact the mainland but could generate winds of up to 120 kilometres per hour late tomorrow as it approaches Lord Howe Island.
Tropical Cyclone Uesi is likely to pass about 600 kilometres off the south-east coast on Thursday, possibly generating some strong winds along the coast.