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Five lucky to survive near Caboolture as deadly rain band heads for south-east


At least five people have made it to safety after their cars became stuck in rising floodwaters across southeast Queensland, with authorities warning of possible flash flood across the region.

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Queensland Ambulance Service say multiple people escaped from their vehicles on Bechmere Rd at Caboolture, north of Brisbane, while a woman in her 50s made it to safety after her car became stuck on Imbil Island Rd, Imbil, on Wednesday night.

A woman in her 30 has already died in floods near Mackay, in north Queensland, after unseasonal May rainfall up to 10 times the monthly average pummelled large parts of the state triggering flooding.

The Bureau of Meteorology says downpours of up to 177mm in some areas had hit the southeast of the state in the 24 hours to 4am on Thursday.

It has warned major flooding is possible along Laidley Creek, with moderate flood warnings on the Bremer, Lockyer and Brisbane rivers on Thursday and Friday.

Lockyer Valley Regional Council issued an emergency alert to residents mid-morning on Thursday, saying multiple roads had been closed and flash flooding would continue for the next couple of days.

More than a dozen schools have been forced to close as floodwaters continue to rise across southeast Queensland, with authorities warning of possible flash flooding.

Heavy rain battered the state overnight leading to 114 calls for help, mostly in the southeast, as the rainband continued to move south.

Despite the massive rainfall, only one home was inundated with ankle-deep floodwater at Kelso, outside Townsville.

Fourteen schools have closed due to flooding.

Queensland Fire and Emergency Service State Co-ordinator James Haig is warning people to be alert as water levels will rise quickly in already saturated catchments.

“We’ll have water across roads, you can see that’s already happened in a number of places in the southeast and across the state,” he told ABC Radio on Thursday morning.

“We really ask people to pay attention to that. If it’s flooded, forget it.

“The consequences as we’ve seen in the last event, and this one, can be absolutely tragic, so please don’t get tempted to try and enter it.

“Don’t think you can judge it; the consequences are disastrous.”

Forecasters said Laidley Creek could reach a major flood level of 7.1 metres late on Thursday morning with major flooding. Moderate flooding is expected along the Bremer River at Rosewood, Five Mile Bridge and Walloon.

Moderate flooding is also expected along Warrill Creek at Harrisville and Amberley, with minor flooding already taking place along the Upper Brisbane River and major flooding on the Stanley River at Woodford.

The BOM warned further heavy rainfall over the next 24-48 hours could trigger major flooding.

The Mary River is set break its banks at Gympie, north of Brisbane, potentially reaching a moderate flood level of 12m on Thursday afternoon. It would be the third flood to hit the city this year.

Minor to moderate flooding is expected downstream at Miva and Tiaro, but the river will remain below a minor level at Maryborough into Friday.

About 100km west of the Mary River, Cooper Creek has broken its banks and expected to remain at moderate flood level, while 330km northwest Eyre Creek is flooding at Bedourie.

The Flinders River is flooding at Richmond, about halfway between Townsville and Mount Isa, while the Burdekin River is expected to peak close to 7.5m at Teamas, south of Townsville.

The unseasonal deluge is Queensland’s fifth deadly flood since December, which scientists have put down to a second La Nina weather pattern in two years.

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