Queensland braces for severe weather as storm surges, flash floods and record rainfall hit parts of the state

A man in his 20s is “lucky to be alive” after police and firefighters rescued him from a flooded roadway in Mount Isa overnight.

Parts of central and inland Queensland are set to get drenched today as an extreme weather system sweeps across the state, the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) says.

The man entered the flooded Alma Street roadway at 11 pm last night and was swept 500 meters down the Leichhardt River, clinging to reeds along the river for 30 minutes.

He was conscious and breathing when he was rescued, but was unable to walk due to exhaustion.

He was taken to Mount Isa Hospital in stable condition with hypothermia.

Authorities are urging people in western Queensland to take extra precautions due to heavy rain continuing today.

Chief Meteorologist Laura Boekel said the heaviest falls would be in west-central Queensland, including Longreach and Barcaldine, with thunderstorms likely to be added to the mix.

“When we look at the Midwest, the totals [expected] they are up to around 100 millimeters in general,” said Ms Boekel.

“But we expect to see thunderstorms embedded within that rain band.

“That means that while we were able to see that steady, steady, widespread rainfall, we were also able to see isolated totals of fairly high amounts.”

Boekel said those high amounts could reach 150mm of rain in isolated parts of west-central Queensland.

She said the severe weather had been caused by a moist tropical air mass spreading from the north of the state.

“Air from the tropics is very humid…and that’s being pushed down through large parts of Queensland, to the south-east corner,” he said.

‘Five times his May average’ for Townsville

Ms. Boekel said the rain would become widespread and move further north of Townsville starting Wednesday.

“As the week goes on we expect to see the rains move towards the coast, into the areas of Townsville and… south of Cairns, that’s where we can expect to see heavier rain,” said Ms Boekel.

A misty hill.
The view from Foggy Castle Hill in Townsville on Monday.(ABC News: Paul Lyons)

“Usually the range [predicted] for Townsville it is 150 to 200 mm, taking into account that it could be higher if we see different phenomena.

“We normally see about 1-1/2″ of rain in Townsville. [in May] and we’re forecasting at least 150mm.”

Locals put sand in sandbags.
Neighbors at a Townsville sandbag yard prior to a severe weather event.(ABC News: Paul Lyons)

The weather bureau said the system will continue to move farther south beginning Thursday, with the Sunshine Coast becoming a key area of ​​concern.

Possible life-threatening flash flooding

Ms Boekel said this week’s local heavy rains could lead to life-threatening flash and riverine flooding.

A flood watch is in effect for several already saturated watersheds across the state.

Aware , updated

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