Severe thunderstorms have caused flash flooding south-west of Brisbane, with the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) issuing warnings for parts of Ipswich, Logan, and the Scenic Rim.
Springfield Lakes recorded 136mm of rain in three hours to 7am, with 118mm falling in just two hours, while Jingle Downs recorded 83mm in two hours.At 9am, BOM said heavy rainfall had temporarily eased, though moderate totals were still possible and further thunderstorms could impact broader parts of south-east Queensland later today. Julie Donnelly from Springfield Lakes woke to water “lapping” at her back door as rain continued to fall.
“We went through severe hail storm in 2020 with a lot of damage and was thanking our lucky stars now that the roof held up this time,” she said.
Camira resident Janelle Ryan said it only took two hours for parts of her property to be inundated with water.
“At 2 o’clock this morning there was nothing there… within a two hour period, it went from being on that side of the fence to all the way over there,” she said. “Both our neighbours have been here 30, 40 years and they’ve not seen it this bad.”
The weather bureau’s Shane Kennedy said much of Queensland would face unsettled weather today.
“It’s pretty much only far south-west that should stay mostly sunny today, just around the Birdsville area, so elsewhere [is] likely to see at least some showers and quite likely some thunderstorms inland for the majority of the state,” he said.
“We’re seeing them all the way into the far north-west around the Mount Isa region and [there] is the potential we could see more severe thunderstorms, most likely with heavy rainfall today, extending all the way up to Western Cape York Peninsula, extending through Longreach, Charleville, Roma and the Darling Downs.
“We could also potentially see, for the southern Darling Downs, some locally damaging wind gusts and some large hail, so [it’s] likely to be a pretty active day once again today.”
Temperatures are expected to range in the low to mid-30s across the state except for the far south-west where Birdsville is heading for 39 degrees. Mr Kennedy said the thunderstorm risk was expected to lessen tomorrow.
“Just lingering around that south-east Scenic Rim, border ranges area tomorrow, but still likely to be quite active across the far north and we could see a bit more rainfall across the north tropical coast,” he said.
“Expecting a little bit of a lull towards the second half of the week … but likely start to see the monsoon developing over the far north-west by the weekend.”
South-east Queensland’s combined dam levels are currently at 70.8 per cent, a 2.6 per cent increase in the past week. Cedar Pocket, Leslie Harrison, Little Nerang, Nindooinbah, Lake Kurwongbah and Wappa dams are all at more than 100 per cent capacity and spilling. Hinze Dam, in the Gold Coast hinterland, is at 99.2 per cent and also spilling.
Clean-up across south-east Queensland a ‘massive job’
The federal and state governments have announced a fresh round of disaster payments in response to recent severe weather, with an additional $20 million set aside to assist recovery efforts following the south-east Queensland storms and ex-Tropical Cyclone Jasper.
Grants of up to $75,000 have been activated for primary producers, while small business owners and non-profit organisations in the south-east will be eligible to apply for up to $50,000. Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said it had been a “very difficult period” for the state.
“Particularly coming as it did around Christmas and the New Year, a time when people look forward to celebrating their relationships, not going through the tough times that they have,” he said.
“My heart goes out to all those who’ve been directly affected… governments — federal, state and local — will be here with you, but importantly as well, your fellow Australians’ thoughts are with you.”
Queensland Premier Steven Miles said while the clean-up had picked up pace, there was still a significant amount of work to do.
“The sheer number of trees on footpaths, in parks, in schools and in people’s backyards that need to be cut up, hauled to a location, mulched up, and reused — that’s a massive job and with this funding… we can get that clean-up done.”
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