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Rain or shine? SEQ in limbo, 15,000 without power as we wait for 'unsettled weather'


Communities are still cut off by floodwaters, more than 15,000 residents are without power and schools remain closed across Queensland’s southeast due to concerns about “unsettled weather”.


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One man is still missing, nine people have died and more than 17,000 homes and businesses in Brisbane, Gympie, Logan and Ipswich have been damaged after torrential rain triggered the region’s worst floods in a decade.

Deputy Police Commissioner Shane Chelepy says most of the communities still cut off on Friday are west of Brisbane, in Ipswich, and to the north of the city, in Gympie.

“We’re doing resupply operations into a number of communities between Gympie, Logan, Ipswich, so we’re making sure those people cut off are still getting the food and supply they need,” he told ABC Radio.

“We’ve still got over 15,000 residents without power and the authorities are working very hard to bring all that power back on.”

A flood watch remains in force over Brisbane, Ipswich, Logan, the Sunshine and Gold Coasts but the Bureau of Meteorology’s last update at 6pm on Thursday said an unpredictable trough had moved north of Bundaberg.

“Storms elsewhere have weakened for now,” the BoM said.

Despite the dry, overcast conditions on Friday, Chelepy said there was a risk any further storms could cause flooding in already saturated catchments.

He said any heavy rain could spark flash floods which could cut roads and strand anyone cleaning up flooded homes or businesses or commuting to work.

“It’s great to wake up a little bit of sunshine this morning but we still do have very unsettled conditions tonight,” the deputy commissioner said.

“Stay attuned to the weather forecast later today because if we do get the heavy rain or those thunderstorms this afternoon, the conditions are still so saturated we’ll see rapid rise of water again.”

Education Minister Grace Grace has defended a decision to close all schools to all children, except those of essential workers, as a precaution on Friday.

“Look I’d rather see cloudy skies than a situation where a child or a family are in a very tragic circumstance,” she said.

“These are unstable, volatile times, severe thunderstorm warnings, there’s still warnings for that this afternoon.”

She also defended confusing messaging about the school closures at a press conference on Thursday, saying Facebook posts about the closures had included additional information “in the comments section”.

“Oh, look, I think it’s confusing times … yes, of course, I acknowledge that but as I said it was cleared up very quickly, within minutes, and precise information was handed out soon after that,” Ms Grace said.

Meanwhile, police targeting flood looters have arrested another three people overnight with Mr Chelepy saying at least one was in Brisbane’s north.

He said the “disgusting” actions of looters were taking 100-200 police away from recovery efforts.

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