Queensland floods live: evacuations in Lockyer Valley as more than 500 roads cut by south-east Qld flooding | Queensland

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says heavy downpours have sparked dangerous flooding across the south of Queensland.

She says the constant rainfall has resulted in “a lot of inundation around the catchment areas”.

Heavy rainfall has caused roads to flood across the south of our state.

This rain is causing a lot of inundation around the catchment areas, and some regions are seeing some dangerous flooding.

Flood warnings and emergency alerts have been issued for parts of Queensland. pic.twitter.com/kgOlK8A80W

— Annastacia Palaszczuk (@AnnastaciaMP) May 13, 2022

Here’s another photo of one of the pups that was rescued by Queensland police on Thursday in the Scenic Rim.

Two men and their pups are safe and well after they were pulled out of rising floodwaters by officers.

The men had gotten into trouble when their van became submerged in Morwincha.

Hats off to emergency crews across the state, who are battling severe weather conditions to get to those in need.

Since yesterday afternoon our Fire and Rescue Service swiftwater rescue technicians have responded to more than 20 water related incidents, including one earlier today in Pomona where they assisted a group of stranded adults and children.https://t.co/c5gkSttns5

📸 Pomona pic.twitter.com/gkEOMxSnvj

— Qld Fire & Emergency (@QldFES) May 13, 2022

Queensland’s Department of Transport has warned of major flooding across several highways.

They say the Condamine River is still rising and releases from Leslie Dam have closed the Cunningham Highway at Sandy Creek, west of Warwick.

Emergency crews are finding it difficult to physically access all the roads, which means there may be fewer physical signs up advising motorists of road closures.

Because we’re at saturation point from the February and March rains, there’s likely to be more damage to the roads than we saw during the last floods.

Stay off the roads if you’re in the Southern Downs right now. We’re experiencing major flooding at:
• The Cunningham Highway is closed at Sandy Creek, Warwick, Glengallan and Clintonvale
• The New England Highway is closed at Mount Marshall
• Bracker Road is closed at Warwick pic.twitter.com/tBkOKQbIKT

— Transport and Main Roads Queensland (@TMRQld) May 13, 2022

Flood waters are raging right now in Warwick – a town 130km south-west of Brisbane.

An emergency alert has been issued for Gympie, with heavy to intense rainfall forecast for the area.

Queensland Fire and Emergency Service say dangerous flash flooding could occur and residents are urged to keep off the roads.

**Emergency Alert for Gympie** Heavy to intense rainfall is forecast for the Gympie area. This may cause dangerous flash flooding. Residents are urged to stay off the roads. For more information, listen to local radio or visit https://t.co/Nc54kD7K1g. https://t.co/QKBemGC973

— Queensland Police (@QldPolice) May 13, 2022

RACQ says there are now 540 flooded roads across state

There are now 540 flooded roads across Queensland, according to the Royal Automobile Club of Queensland.

That number has increased by almost 100 – up from 450 roads that were cut by flooding earlier on Friday morning.

RACQ spokesperson Kate Leonard-Jones said the roadside assistance and insurance company has already received more than 120 insurance claims from the current severe weather event.

The majority of claims so far are from the Greater Brisbane and Ipswich areas, Wide Bay, Sunshine Coast and Townsville, but we do expect the number of claims to rise in coming days as the weather system tracks further south.

Leonard-Jones said around 80% of the claims related to property damage, including leaking roofs, water entry through windows and ground floor flooding.

The motor claims have mainly been due to parked vehicles being swamped. However, we urge people to never drive through floodwaters, not only can it result in costly repairs to your vehicle, but it could also cost you your life.

Update – around 540 flooded roads.
🌧️Mt Lindesay H’way cut at Beaudesert
🌧️Cunningham H’way cut at Lake Moogerah
🌧️Warrego H’way cut at Crowley Vale
🌧️Brisbane Valley H’way cut at Esk
🌧️Bruce H’way has REOPENED at Monduran north of Gin Gin but reduced to one lane at Takilberan. https://t.co/pzQ6JUHNEo

— RACQ (@RACQOfficial) May 13, 2022

Amanda Gearing

Farmer Marilyn Hilan, 73, has lived in Grantham for 23 years. She was evacuated from her farm, on the creek flat between Grantham quarry and the township, by her grandson on Thursday and taken to Gatton.

Hilan said the frequency of floods in Grantham was a concern because insurance premium rises were making her farm costs too high to manage.

The February flood earlier this year destroyed her back and side fencing.

Hilan did not accept a land swap offer after the 2011 floods because, she says, she was offered a two-acre block in exchange for her eight-acre farm, which has a house and machinery sheds.

Hilan will not be able to return home for several days until roads reopen.

Amanda Gearing

Here’s more on the severe weather situation from freelancer Amanda Gearing:

The Grantham flood siren was sounded at 3am on Friday morning and again at least eight times today, warning residents to move to higher ground.

The town is bracing for flooding later today and tonight and residents are watching nervously as rain continues to fall.

Sandy Creek has risen to 1.9 metres above Sandy Creek Road at the railway bridge in Grantham, preventing residents from accessing the evacuation centre at the Butter Factory.

A Lawler’s Road resident said some webcams have been faulty today, preventing locals from monitoring the rises in Sandy Creek and Lockyer Creek which meet in Grantham.

At 2pm on Friday, Lockyer Creek was below minor flood level upstream at Helidon, but rising.

Precautionary evacuations were undertaken on Thursday to move people from the main street of Grantham to higher ground.

Queensland police have just sent through a pretty incredible story (and it features dogs!)

Queensland police rescued two men and their dogs from a vehicle swept away by floodwaters at Morwincha in the Scenic Rim on Thursday.

Police received calls for help from Morwincha Road just after 4pm.

When they arrived, they saw a van had washed off a flooded bridge and was wedged against a tree, with a man clinging to the passenger door.

Inside the vehicle was an elderly male and three dogs.

Police waded more than 100 metres into floodwaters to rescue the first man and a puppy.

The officer later carried the elderly male on his back through the floodwaters to higher ground.

The remaining officers carried the dogs, a kelpie and a great dane, out of the submerged van.

Police say a senior constable is currently caring for the dogs, Ghost, Molly and the puppy (still to be named), until conditions ease in the Scenic Rim.

No pup left behind! Watch as our amazing officers rescue two men and their dogs from fast rising flood waters near Aratula yesterday, just in the nick of time. Their van became quickly inundated without warning…lucky police were already nearby! pic.twitter.com/NO50un635N

— Queensland Police (@QldPolice) May 13, 2022

Joe Hinchliffe

More on the situation in the Lockyer Valley from mayor Tanya Milligan:

She said that for those whose homes were inundated in February, the news to evacuate would be be “just soul destroying”.

You’ve also got that emotional trauma for people in my community, that stays with people. We have had 2011, we’ve had 2013 … that stuff is quite difficult at times to try and file, to try and move on.

Milligan said residents were issued an emergency warning at 3am Friday, with Grantham’s flood siren sounding four times between 4am and 5am, and again at 8am. “It was probably a nasty way to wake people up,” she said.

The mayor said more people likely fled their homes and sought shelter with family and friends.

I guess for me I would like to think that it’s a real clear demonstration that people realise the evac centres and places of shelter aren’t a resort and they are definitely the last resort. And in times when difficult circumstances are upon us you’re always better to be around your family and friends.

As of about 1pm, Milligan said emergency services had executed six swift water rescues, four of which were for people in flood waters, and two of those were medical episodes.

When I last checked the SES, they had had 13 requests for assistance.

A road cut off by flood water in Laidley
A road cut off by rising water in Laidley. Photograph: Dan Peled/Getty Images

More than 200 Lockyer Valley residents urged to evacuate

Joe Hinchliffe

Nine people in the Lockyer Valley have sought emergency shelter following downpours of 260mm in the past 48 hours, the region’s mayor said on Friday afternoon.

Tanya Milligan said Queensland police doorknocked and called at least 240 homes considered most at risk, advising them to leave.

The Lockyer Valley regional council has eight evacuation centres, with all nine evacuees to date seeking shelter at the Laidley state high school.

Milligan said the region was “in the midst” of the weather event, with another 150mm expected to fall in the next 24 hours.

She said forecast showers throughout the weekend and into next week also pose the danger of flash flooding.

I would say yes. It feels really volatile. The fact is, that none of us have a crystal ball to give precise locations and how much rainfall, we are actually going to get. But if we were to get a storm cell and have a large velocity, in a small amount of time, to fall on a particular areas, we will be in a whole heap of pain. We are absolutely saturated, this catchment.

Milligan said “even the talk of showers” would still be “very distressing” for some.

A rescue crew in flood water in Laidley on Friday
A rescue crew in flood water in Laidley on Friday. Photograph: Dan Peled/Getty Images

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