Torrential rain that could threaten lives is falling across southeast Queensland, with a swathe of the state’s west also braced for flash flooding.
On the Gold Coast, where rivers have become heaving expanses of white water, police are rushing to evacuate residents from two adjacent streets after major landslips there.
Some theme parks, including Dreamworld, have closed as the weather worsens, with the Gold Coast, Brisbane, and the Sunshine Coast on high alert, along with Channel Country communities as far west as Birdsville.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has urged Queenslanders to get home safely and stay there, with the worst of the weather not expected until later on Monday evening.
“We are in for a severe weather event. If you do not need to be on the roads, please don’t. We have already heard reports of some landslips that are occurring, especially in the Gold Coast hinterland.”
Police are helping people leave their homes in Crest Hill Drive and the adjacent Lanes Road at Wongawallan. It’s unclear how many households will need to leave.
Officers say the situation is still unfolding but the foundations of at least one home have been severely eroded, leaving it perched precariously on a hillside. Fences have also toppled over.
Some low-lying homes have also been inundated on the Gold Coast, but it’s not clear how many, Queensland Fire and Emergency Services said.
They include properties at Tallai and nearby Carrara.
A flood watch is current for a wide band of southern Queensland stretching from the South Australian border to the southeast coast.
Heavy falls and flooding is expected across western and southern Queensland from Monday afternoon, extending to the southeast coast on Tuesday.
Falls of 50-70mm are likely across the entire area, but there are likely to be isolated falls of 100-150mm in some areas, which will be compounded by bursts of storm activity.
“Minor to moderate flooding across rivers and creeks is likely over the next few days with isolated areas of major flooding possible,” the Bureau of Meteorology warned on Monday afternoon.
Catchments likely to be affected include the upper and lower sections of the Brisbane River and major rivers and creeks on the Gold and Sunshine coasts.
“The situation is likely to pose a serious risk to already affected and flooded areas. In some areas, the situation may become life-threatening,” the bureau has warned.