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Weather warning as record-breaking floods continue

Historic flooding in northwest Queensland is likely to continue with more rain forecast, after almost 100 residents were evacuated from one town.

QLD FLOODS Almost 100 residents were evacated from Burketown in northwest Queensland after record flooding.
March 13, 2023
By Mibenge Nsenduluka
13 March 2023

More rain and thunderstorms forecast for northwest Queensland could elevate already record high water levels, as residents in the southeast clean up after a wave of thunderstorms.

A man was hospitalised in a critical condition on Sunday after he was struck by lightning at Brendale, north of Brisbane, on Sunday afternoon as thunderstorms rolled across the southeast.

In the northwest, an extended period of extreme rain led to almost 100 residents being evacuated in remote Burketown after river levels exceeded seven metres, surpassing the 2011 record of 6.78 metres.

Major flooding is expected to continue on Monday along the Gregory, Nicholson and Leichhardt river catchments, which recorded up to 35mm of rain.

A warning is also active in the lower Flinders and Cloncurry rivers.

There was major flooding along the Albert River on Sunday while water levels along the Gregory River peaked at 12.3 metres.

With more showers and isolated thunderstorms forecast for the state’s northwest, emergency services expect peak flooding to continue.

In Burketown, 97 people were airlifted to safety over 48 hours.

Queensland Emergency Services Minister Mark Ryan said there was extensive damage across the region after daily rainfall reached in excess of 300mm in parts of the state.

“This has caused significant damage to road infrastructure, with large washouts and ground saturation triggering the closure of a number of roads,” Mr Ryan said.

On Sunday, the federal and state governments announced more disaster funding, including payments for Urandangi residents of up to $180 for individuals or $900 for families to cover personal essentials.

In Burke, Carpentaria, Cloncurry, Doomadgee, Mornington and Mount Isa, loans of up to $250,000 are being made available for affected small businesses and primary producers.

“This weather event has been impacting Queensland for several months, and as conditions escalate, we’re working with the Queensland government to ensure appropriate levels of community assistance are available,” Emergency Management Minister Murray Watt said in a statement.

Scattered thunderstorms were expected in southeast Queensland on Monday after storms hit the region on Sunday afternoon.

About 70mm of rain fell in an hour at Imbil, south of Gympie, while 67mm was recorded in Samford near Brisbane.

The Bureau of Meteorology said there was a chance of severe thunderstorms between Mackay and the Sunshine Coast, and in the northern interior, on Monday.

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