Residents across flood-affected areas in Queensland are being warned to remain alert as waters continue to rise.
Residents suffering through Queensland’s latest flooding event will be able to access disaster assistance as heavy rain and rising waters continue to inundate businesses and homes.
The Bureau of Meteorology has warned a weather system which was supposed to clear will actually dump more rain over the Gympie and Scenic Rim regions.
Emergency alerts were issued for residents in the areas on Friday as heavy rain inundated the already overflowing catchments.
Multiple warnings remain in place on Saturday for Cressbrook Creek, the Scenic Rim and Gympie.
There are fears the Mary River could peak as high as 15m after it rose to more than 12m on Friday, prompting the urgent flood alerts for surrounding areas as rain continued to batter the regions overnight.
A major flood warning remains in place for the Mary River at Tiaro and a moderate flood warning for the river at Gympie.
BOM has said the river levels are rising in Gympie and are expected to remain above moderate flood levels overnight on Saturday.
“Peak levels are expected late Saturday afternoon,” BOM said.
The Bruce Highway has been closed in both directions with diversions in place and emergency services warning of delays for motorists.
The list of emergency warnings is continuing to grow, with severe weather, major flooding and hazardous surf alerts in place for multiple areas.
“Major flood warnings are current for the Condamine, Logan and Bremer Rivers and Warrill, Laidley and Lockyer Creeks,” BOM said.
“The Condamine, Logan and Bremer rivers all peaked above major levels on Friday and are expected to fall to moderate flood levels on Saturday.”
Minor flooding is also occurring at the Lower Brisbane River, which is expected to peak at minor flood levels of 1.7m during Saturday and Sunday.
Queensland’s Fire and Emergency Services Minister Mark Ryan on Saturday announced disaster assistance for 12 Local Government Areas suffering through the flooding event.
Personal hardship disaster assistance will be available for residents in the Lockyer Valley and Southern Downs to cover the costs of immediate essential needs such as food, temporary accommodation, clothing and medication.
In addition, the Brisbane, Fraser Coast, Gladstone, Gold Coast, Gympie, Lockyer Valley, Logan, Moreton Bay, North Burnett, South Burnett, Southern Downs and Toowoomba LGAs will be able to access counter disaster operations assistance to cover the costs of the immediate clean-up efforts.
Australia’s Emergency Management minister Bridget McKenzie, said the government would always stand with Queenslanders after a natural disaster.
“This has been an unseasonal deluge and comes on the back of a long disaster season in Queensland but we will continue to work with the Queensland Government to ensure that people affected have the support they need,” Minister McKenzie said on Saturday.
The rainfall is expected to ease across Queensland on Saturday, as light to moderate showers continue throughout the weekend, according to the bureau.
There are also possibilities of isolated thunderstorms.
“Communities across southeast Queensland can expected rainfall total of 5-20mm for the remainder of Saturday, with isolated falls of 20-50mm. Sunday rainfall easing further to 5-10mm, with isolated falls of 10-20mm,” BOM said.
“Due to the saturated catchments across the state, any further rainfall may increase creek and river rises.”
Queensland Fire and Emergency Service co-ordinator James Haig said there were 14 flood rescues across the state overnight.
“We had about 120 calls for assistance to the SES from sort of Brisbane north, largely, but across the whole of the southeast really,” he said on Saturday.
“So, still very busy.”
In addition, the State Emergency Service responded to up to 120 calls for help overnight.
More than 500 roads are closed across the state as the heavy rain moves north towards the Sunshine Coast.
BOM is warning communities in the Sunshine Coast hinterland to stay alert for intense rainfall.
Meanwhile, residents in the Lockyer Valley have begun cleaning up after the “soul-destroying” flood left hundreds of homes underwater.
Large parts of South East Queensland received more than 100mm throughout Thursday and Friday
The largest recording was 290mm, which fell on Wilsons Peak, 80km west of the Gold Coast.