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Flood watch continues for parts of Queensland as final wintry blast set to deliver more flooding, wild weather

Friday November 12, 2021 - 01:56 AEDT
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Flooding and wild weather is set to continue across parts of Queensland already hit by a deluge earlier this week. - ABC

Queenslanders are being told to prepare for an onslaught of erratic thunderstorms and torrential rain up to three times the November average from now and into the weekend.

The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) said the state's far west could also expect to see destructive winds and hail.

The widespread rain band is expected to cause flash flooding and riverine flooding across much of the state as heavy rainfall descends.

It comes after Ergon Energy reported homes had been badly damaged by extreme weather in and around Roma in central Queensland, where winds of nearly 100 kph hit on Wednesday.

BOM senior forecaster Laura Boekel urged residents in central-western and southern Queensland in particular to be on "high alert" and warned there would be no reprieve in the wild weather over the coming days.

Ms Boekel said while it was hard to predict where floodwaters would be dangerously high, border towns like Goondiwindi had been told to expect the worst.

The State Emergency Service said it received around half a dozen calls for help in Roma and the Southern Downs.

South-west regional manager Bob Bundy said crews responded to one job in Roma where the roof had been blown off.

"There's not a lot we can do, we can just cover the furniture ? but if the roof is missing, you can't really put a tarp on."

'Flooding won't be short-lived'

"We are urging people to be aware that this flooding won't just be a short-lived event because while the rainfall will only be for a couple of days, we can see flooding impacts well into next week as well," Ms Boekelsaid.

"So when that rainfall clears, behind that rain and that ... moist tropical air mass really over most of the state, as that clears out and the rainfall clears away we can start seeing cooler and drier air behind that."

She said most of the state was set to experience some cooler conditions over the weekend and into next week.

"We're going to see maximum temperatures around 6 to 10 degrees below average, so it will be noticeably cooler next week," Ms Boekel said.

"As a reference point, Birdsville on Thursday, we're forecasting 32 as the maximum and then on Friday it goes down to 21 as the maximum.

"So some areas could really see a dramatic decrease in day-time temperatures.

"The average temperature in the [Birdsville] region was 35.5 degrees, so that is significantly below the average for towns in the west."

She said a cool, dry air mass would then move towards the east of the state over the weekend.

In the south-east, emergency crews are on stand-by as the wet weather descends on the region.

A flood-boat crew has been deployed to Texas, where moderate flood levels were expected today.

SES volunteer Roslyn Newley said they had sandbags and equipments ready to go.

"We cannot take the risk of flooding, it is a matter of dealing with it if it happens," Ms Newley said.

"We have two flood boats with crews if we need to use them and if flooding looks like it will inundate homes and business, we door knock in advance to warn them."

Residents in the south-west Queensland town of Inglewood have been placed on alert, with concerns about potential record flooding in the region.

The weather bureau said rain overnight in southern Queensland had come close to breaking some records.

"The Applethorpe rainfall was just under 90 millimetres and that's the highest in 54 years," forecaster Livio Regano said.

Ergon Energy spokesman Brett Judge said 4,000 properties were without power at the height of the storm yesterday afternoon.

"Some pretty serious damage ? we were pretty lucky in terms of losing some poles," Mr Judge said.

An unusual deluge early in the wet season

Long time tourism operators Genevieve and John Martin said days of rain had already hammered their region, north of Rockhampton.

The pair lives downstream of Samuel Hill, where 340 millimetres of rain fell on Tuesday night, more than five times the monthly average for November.

They said they had survived a cyclone in 2015 but had never seen rain like this before in all the 40 years they had lived in the region.

"This is a huge volume of water consuming the forest and dropping away again," Mr Martin said.

"I'd call that a flush out and while it is special, it is not damaging in the way that the cyclone was devastating.

"This is not normal though, probably an early deluge for us. This is unusual to get this much rain so early in the wet season."

He said it was remarkable turnaround for a region hit by devastating bushfires two years ago.

'A whiz banger' of a storm

Central Queensland graziers Bonnie and Lawson Geddes weren't complaining about the wet weather at their place either.

Mr Geddes described Tuesday night's weather as "a real bloody whiz banger," with plenty of lightning and thunder.

"We got 81 millimetres out of it," he said.


He said multiple storms topped up dams on their property 140 kilometres north of Rockhampton.

"This will be really good for us for the next 18 months and they're forecasting more," Mr Geddes said.

"We have been getting enough just to get by. We get 30 millimetres here and 20 millimetres there, but not enough to run a lot of water. But this put water in dams."

Livingstone Mayor Andrew Ireland said the rain was wonderful.

"I have not spoken to anyone yet who has not had a smile on their face as there are parts of our shire that are still very, very dry," he said.

"It provides a little bit of a dampener for us to ahead of the fire season."

More than 1,000 kilometres inland at Bedourie in the Shire of Diamantina, there were unexpected water hazards on the golf course.

Local resident Trevor Stewart said it was a welcome cool change in the far west of the state.

"Oh everyone's loving it. Going from 40 degrees last week to around 27 now and I think we're even going to get down to 23 or something so in November that's fantastic," he said.

"It has been fairly dry, so with this rain band coming through now, it is unbelievable."

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© ABC 2021

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