Central Qld put on flood watch

The State’s peak motoring body has warned central Queensland (CQ) residents to take extra care on the roads with the most rain since Cyclone Debbie predicted to fall over the next few days.

Senior Meteorologist Scott Williams told The Courier Mail it was shaping up to be a “huge weather event.”

“It’s unusual to get a band that extends right across the country outside the traditional wet season,” Mr Williams said.

“(Today is) becoming very active for rainfall on the Queensland coast, especially the area from Innisfail down to Gladstone with totals broadly 100-200mm developing in that area and even some isolated thunderstorms … west of Mackay could reach 400mm.”

Flood watches have been issued for residents between Tully and Cunnamulla, with the Whitsundays expected to receive a deluge of rainfall up to 200mm today and CQ dams on standby for water release.

The Bureau of Meteorology reported some areas of eastern Queensland have already seen 50-80mm of rainfall since Wednesday, with more rain expected.

RACQ’s Lauren Ritchie said the heavy falls were likely to lead to flash flooding and potentially road closures for the region.

“We’ve seen before when there has been a lot of rain in a short amount of time that roads can become unsafe so we don’t want anyone taking unnecessary risks,” Ms Ritchie said.

“There are roads in CQ that will still be suffering from post-cyclone damage and it is very important that all precautions are taken.

“We urge anyone planning on travelling to or from CQ in the coming days to check RACQ’s road conditions website before hitting the road.”

The rain is expected to ease and move towards the south east on Friday, bringing rainfall of up to 50mm for Brisbane and the Gold Coast.