26 Jan 2013

Flood alert in south-east Queensland

11:40 am on 26 January 2013

South-east Queensland is on flood alert as torrential rain from ex-tropical cyclone Oswald continues to fall.

The ABC reports the weather poses a serious threat to the Moreton Bay region just north of Brisbane, where high tide is due at around 9am (AEST) on Saturday. AAP reports that up to 1600 houses are in danger.

Moreton Bay Regional Council Mayor Allan Sutherland said on Friday night that sandbags were available at SES depots on Bribie Island, at Deception Bay and Redcliffe

The Bureau of Meteorology has issued a severe weather warning: winds, heavy rainfall, abnormally high tides and dangerous surf conditions.

AAP reports that tides are expected to be almost a metre higher than those listed on tide charts.

In Brisbane, water is being released from dams to avoid a repeat of the floods in 2011.

An flood alert has also been issued for residents in Gladstone, on the central Queensland coast.

AAP reports the Awoonga Dam has broken its bank and is spilling water into the Boyne River.

The suburbs of Tannum Sands and Boyne Island, at the mouth of the river, were being evacuated before high tide on Saturday morning.

The SES has received about 650 calls for help, with over 400 of those from Gladstone and Rockhampton.

Towns west of Gladstone received about 400mm of rain since 9am on Friday. Another 400mm of rain fell on Rockhampton over the past two days.

Former cyclone Oswald has been causing flooding across the state since Tuesday, when it crossed Cape York Peninsula's west coast and was downgraded to a low-pressure system.

Many Australia Day celebrations have been cancelled across the state.

Man stranded for 24 hours

Meanwhile, AAP reports a man who was stranded for 24 hours by flooding on a roadside in northeast Queensland was rescued by a helicopter on Friday afternoon.

The man had been driving from Charters Towers to Mackay when his car became bogged, before rising floodwater left him stranded on the side of Suttor Development Road around 5pm on Thursday.

He could not be reached by road, so an RACQ CQ Rescue helicopter was sent to his aid just before 5pm on Friday.