Queensland floods: state faces further weather emergency with flooding alerts issued for Lockyer Valley

Emergency flood alerts were issued for parts of south-east Queensland on Friday morning, as the state endures its sixth flooding event since December.

The flood warning siren sounded in Grantham on Friday morning, as residents in low-lying areas were urged to move to higher ground.

Meteorologists have predicted severe weather and heavy rainfall to drench south-east Queensland on Friday, including in Brisbane, Toowoomba, Gympie, Bundaberg, Gladstone, Caboolture and Gatton.

Totals of 160mm could bring life-threatening flash flooding, with major flooding forecast for Cape River, Laidley Creek, Cooper Creek, Warrill Creek, Bremer River and the Logan and Condamine rivers.

Moderate flood warnings have been issued for upper Brisbane River, Eyre Creek, Baffle Creek and Kolan River, as well as Mary River at Gympie.

Initial flood watch notices have been issued for the Wide Bay and Burnett, Darling Downs and Granite Belt areas in south-east Queensland.

Lockyer Creek residents in low-lying areas were urged to self-evacuate, and those whose homes were flooded in February were told to activate their emergency plan. A public shelter was opened at Lowood state high school.

The area was among those devastated in the historic 2011 floods.

An alert was also issued for Stanthorpe, on the southern downs, but there was no immediate evacuation order.

QFES assistant commissioner Andrew Short said residents should reconsider their need to travel, with hundreds of roads already cut by flood waters.

Quasi 70 schools have been closed.

“Currently, we’ve got 18 emergency alerts out in a number of councils,” he told ABC radio on Friday.

“So we’re looking for people just to listen and respond and act accordingly.”

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services swiftwater teams conducted seven rescues overnight and responded to more than 900 calls for help.

The Bureau of Meteorology said the highest rainfall over the past 24 hours was near Wilsons Peak, on the border of NSW and Queensland, which reached totals of 290mm.

Lockyer Valley council is advising the community to stay in a safe location until threats subside and to not attempt to walk or drive through any flood waters.

“The unfolding rain event is an extremely dangerous situation, and preservation of life remains our key priority,” the council tweeted on Friday morning.

The Warrego Highway has also been cut by flood water at Glenore Grove, with flash flooding occurring in many locations across the state.

Gympie, Bundaberg, Hervey Bay, Cooroy, Nambour and Rainbow Beach were all on flood watch on Friday morning as a surface trough moved across the coast.

“Locally intense rainfall which may lead to dangerous and life-threatening flash flooding is possible with thunderstorms during Friday afternoon,” the bureau said in an alert on Thursday.

The BOM warned of further heavy rainfall over the next 24 hours before lowering in intensity and easing after the weekend.

Heavy rainfall across Queensland is the state’s sixth major flood event since December with a combined death toll of 28.

A man was found safe and well after disappearing near a campsite south of Gympie.

Police and swift water rescue crews had been searching for the 36-year-old after he was reported missing at 10am on Thursday.

He was last seen chasing his dog away from the Yabba Creek Road campground near Imbil about 11.30pm on Wednesday.

Flood waters cut off access to the site with the RACQ LifeLight helicopter deployed amid heavy rainfall.

Police confirmed the man had been located on Thursday afternoon and was safe and well.

A woman in her 30s died in floods near Mackay earlier this week as rains up to 10 times the monthly average battered the north and the central interior of the state.

A man in his 60s was also treated for hypothermia after spending Wednesday night clinging to a tree after his car became swamped by flood waters near Bundaberg.

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