Rain, winds lash Mackay into weekend
UPDATE: A predicted storm for Mackay developing off Prudhoe Island is heading straight for the city.
According to BOM, there is a chance of a thunderstorm tonight as the unsettled weather continues to circle around Mackay.
According to the weather radar the cloud has already started to build being pushed quickly towards the coast.
UPDATE: A SURFACE trough heading inland towards Mackay will likely bring downpours on Friday afternoon.
Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) meteorologist Sean Fitzgerald said the trough had been "dropping rain on Hamilton Island" - about 64mm since 9am - and it could bring about 30mm of rainfall an hour to the Mackay region when it arrives.
Severe thunderstorms were initially forecast by the BOM, but the immediate threat has passed.
" … but the potential for severe thunderstorms with heavy rainfall will persist across northern and central Queensland during the afternoon," the BOM states.
"The situation will continue to be monitored and further warnings will be issued if necessary."
Mr Fitzgerald said catchments in the Mackay region can take "quite a bit of rain", according to the BOM's hydrologists, and would likely avoid widespread flooding, even with more heavy downpours.
However, continued flash flooding is very likely.
A list of closed roads provided by Transport and Main Roads and Mackay Regional Council can be found here.
UPDATE: THE Bureau of Meteorology has issued a severe thunderstorm warning for heavy rainfall for people in the Central Coast and Whitsunday districts.
Issued at 10.02am, Friday, the severe thunderstorms are expected to produce heavy rainfall that may lead to flash flooding in the warning area over the next several hours.
Areas include Proserpine and Hamilton Island.
Queensland Fire and Emergency Services has advised that people should:
* Never drive, walk or ride through flood waters. If it's flooded, forget it.
* Seek shelter, preferably indoors and never under trees.
* Avoid using the telephone during a thunderstorm.
* Beware of fallen trees and powerlines.
* For emergency assistance contact the SES on 132 500.
The next warning is due to be issued by 1.05 pm.
THE Mackay-Whitsunday region had the most rainfall in the state overnight, with more than 150mm falling in some areas.
Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) meteorologist Sean Fitzgerald said Clarke Range, northwest of Mackay, received 155mm in the 24 hours to 6am.
Meanwhile, 145mm fell in Finch Hatton, west of Mackay, 106.2mm fell in Mackay city, 83mm in Proserpine and 38mm in Koumala.
Full rainfall figures for the 24 hours to 9am are now available below.
Mr Fitzgerald was unable to retrieve 24 hour rainfall figures for Sucrogen Weir near Sarina, or Eungella, at the time.
He said this was likely due to manual rain gauges in operation in those areas.
However, anecdotal reports indicate heavy rain and winds in Sarina overnight, dropping about 80mm of rain, leading to floodwater through some homes.
It follows up to 400mm falling on Sarina in just 24 hours earlier this week.
Mr Fitzgerald said we will likely see more heavy rain on Friday, easing off somewhat into the weekend.
"There was falls of over 100mm all over Mackay. And Clarke Range, inland from Mackay, had 155mm - that's the highest one (in your area) and in fact the state," he said.
"A lot of the strong winds and rain that came through was because of the trough system and the surge coming up the coast in your area. There's been persistent south-easterlies for a while in your area and that's actually what's helped build the rainfall up because it added moisture from the ocean.
"So, you have a strong wind warning out Friday and Saturday. Those winds near the coast will be reasonably strong and so will showers, too."
Mr Fitzgerald said a flood watch is still current for Pioneer, Proserpine and Don River catchments.
"There's further chances of heavy falls. Particularly if people find themselves under a storm," he said.
"They'll start to cease tomorrow, and while you'll have a very high chance of showers tomorrow, the actual rainfall totals shouldn't be as much.
"Today should be the last day of very heavy rains and tomorrow things should ease off, they won't be as intense."
Roads across the Mackay region - 13 in total - were listed as closed by the State Government on Friday morning.
Some roads may have reopened, but caution is advised. Remember: If it's flooded, forget it.
Roads listed as closed, Friday, 7am
- Marlborough Sarina Road at Clarke Creek/Sarina - currently closed at Funnel Creek due to heavy rain - road closed to all traffic
- Marian Eton Road at Marian - currently closed due to flooding at Sandy Creek - road closed to all traffic.
- Sarina Beach Road at Sarina - currently closed due to heavy rain in the area - road closed to through traffic.
- Sarina Homebush Road at Hombush - currently closed due to heavy rain - road closed to all traffic.
- West Plane Creek Road at Sarina - currently closed due to heavy rain - road closed to all traffic.
- Grasstree Beach Road at Grasstree Beach - currently closed due to heavy rain - road closed to all traffic.
- Brooks Road at Sarina - currently closed due to heavy rain - road closed to all traffic.
- Gorge Road at Finch Hatton, currently closed due to water over road - road closed to all traffic.
- Kowari-Gorge Road at Finch Hatton, currently closed due to water over road - road closed to all traffic.
- Hicks Road at Glenella - currently close, long-term flooding - road closed to all traffic.
- Golf Links Road at Beaconsfield - currently closed due to heavy rain - road closed to all traffic.
- Barrie Lane at Homebush - currently closed due to heavy rain - road closed to all traffic.
- Bowen Street at Strathfield - currently closed, long-term flooding - road closed to all traffic.
Updated Rainfall, 24 hours to 9am Friday, BOM
- Clarke Range - 163mm
- Upper Finch Hatton - 156mm
- Rowallan Creek - 141mm
- Mt William - 138mm
- McReady's Creek - 140mm
- Mackay - 111mm
- Mirani Weir - 104mm
- Gooseponds - 99mm
- Mt Roy - 88mm
- Kinchant Dam - 87mm
- Sarina - 86mm
- Proserpine - 86mm
- Eungella - 84mm
- Pleystowe Sugar Mill - 80mm
- Hospital bridge - 78mm
- Dumbleton Rocks - 78mm
- Finch Hatton - 76mm
- Walkerston - 70mm
- Bakers Creek - 69mm
- Gargett - 67mm
- Teemburra Creek - 63mm
- Greenmount - 61mm
- Ridgelands - 54mm
- Hamilton Island - 53mm
- Mt Vince - 58mm
- Homebush - 48mm
- Sarichs - 38mm
- Carmila - 34mm
- Prospect Creek - 14mm
- Upper Bee Creek - 5mm
UPDATE 8pm THURSDAY:
Forecasts indicate up to 100mm of heavy rain could lead to localised flash flooding by the start of the weekend.
The region's creeks have already struggled to cope with massive falls over the past few days that have soaked large parts of the region and the town of Sarina in particular.
The Bureau of Meteorology issued a "final flood watch" for the Pioneer, Proserpine and Don river catchments on Thursday afternoon.
Low could develop
Bureau eteorologists are keeping a close eye on the low affecting the east coast at present as the potential for it to turn into a cyclone has increased.
The bureau has warned there is up to a 20% chance that the slow moving low could turn into a cyclone on Saturday or Sunday.
"At this stage, the system is expected to remain off the Queensland coast over the next few days and is currently rated a low chance of forming into a tropical cyclone," the BOM said.
Local forecaster Liam Leonard said there was some potential but it was very low. It (the low) hasn't really started the circular pattern. That's when they will update the risk."
UPDATE 4am THURSDAY:
Mackay and surrounds have been dealt a serious weather event over the past 72 hours, and it looks like there is more on the way, starting with the severe wind warning and flood watch.
According to the Bureau of Meteorology, the Mackay Airport hasn't seen this much rain in January since 1951.
Mackay Airport had received 233mm to 9am Wednesday, while Sarina had 304mm.
But records could still be tumbling with the bureau issuing a flood watch for the Pioneer, Proserpine and Don rivers.
"Widespread 24-hour rainfall totals of 150-200mm are likely with locally heavier falls up to 300 mm possible," the bureau said in a statement.
On an already soggy ground, that has heightened the risk of further flooding.
Local weather forecaster Liam Leonard said there was more rain on the way and an increased flood risk.
"The creeks and drains have a lot of (Tuesday) night's rain still in them. It's going to make it harder for any more rain to get away," Mr Leonard said.
"There is a fair bit more to come. And it will all depend on the movement of the low.
"We are at the southern side of it so that's why we were hit so hard."
Mr Leonard said he was surprised how much rain the monsoonal trough had dropped on the region.
"It's travelling at the speed we (L & K Mackay Severe Weather) expected but it arrived a bit later than we thought," he said.
"I didn't expect the excess of 200mm overnight. It is nearly double of what I was expecting, particularly Sarina."
He said it would remain wet on Thursday , but would hopefully move off Friday as the trough headed north.
The bureau's forecast is for up to 120mm in Mackay on Thursday.
UPDATE: THE Bureau of Meterology said Mackay Airport had its wettest January day since 1951 with 233mm recorded up until 9am Wednesday.
More than 265mm was dumped on parts of the Mackay region last night - causing flash flooding -and the wild weather is set to continue.
Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) meteorologist Mark Trenorden said Sucrogen Weir, near Sarina, had 269mm in the 24 hours to 6am.
But anecdotal reports from Sarina residents indicates more than 300mm fell in some areas in and around Sarina.
Inland at Eungella only 31mm was recorded, while Moranbah had 54mm and Prosperine had 29mm.
Mr Trenorden said falls of up to 50-100mm are expected today across the region, which is likely to lead to more flash flooding.
"There's a trough offshore and it will enhance showers. And there's some isolated thunderstorms about, so there could be some more heavy falls today," he said.
"Mackay itself has a very high chance of showers and a thunderstorm. The falls could be localised.
"Tuesday night's falls were pretty unusual, we'd be more likely to see isolated (patches) of 50-100mm.
"There's a trough offshore and so a bit of low level convergence, humid atmosphere, and the showers just sort of came in and aligned at Sarina for continuous showers."
Mr Trenorden said if more "very heavy rainfall" was to come the BOM will likely issue a warning about flash flooding.
The BOM has issued a strong wind warning for coastal waters, but there's no current storm or flood warnings for the region.
The State Emergency Service in Mackay is on standby for more wild weather.
UPDATE: WATER has been metres over roads in the Isaac Regional Council area during heavy downpours overnight and Wednesday morning.
Isaac Mayor and Local Disaster Management Chair Anne Baker urged motorists to stay safe in the wet weather with more heavy rain forecast.
"With road closures due to flash flooding overnight, please remember: If it's flooded, forget it. Don't put yourself, your loved ones and rescue crews at risk," she pleaded.
"More than 250mm in rainfall was recorded at Council's flood station at Prospect Creek on Marlborough Sarina Road, Nebo.
"Prepare to stay safe - plan ahead, check conditions before getting on the road in wet weather."
Isaac Regional Council has advised motorists of the following closed roads or changed road conditions:
- Northern Access Road, St Lawrence has recently reopened following flash flooding.
- Suttor Development Road at Bee Creek has recently reopened following flash flooding overnight.
- Marlborough Sarina Road is closed to all traffic from Stoney Creek to Prospect Creek, Nebo.
- Oxford Downs Sarina Road, Nebo is closed to all traffic.
- Nebo Airstrip Road, Nebo is closed to all traffic.
- Bowen Street, Nebo is closed to all traffic.
Click here for roads listed as closed by the State Government.
Ms Baker said the council's road crews were monitoring current conditions and updates will be provided as new information comes in.
"Obey road closure signs; drive with extreme caution and to road conditions," she said.
"Floodwater is unpredictable - water may be deeper and faster flowing than it appears.
"What looks safe can quickly escalate. Just don't do it."
For flood emergency assistance contact the SES on 132 500. For life threatening emergencies, call Triple Zero (000) immediately.
An Ergon Energy spokesman said 1670 homes, mostly in the Sarina area, were without power for about 15 minutes from 7.45pm on Tuesday night, due to storm activity.
However, there was "no lines down or anything like that", leading to the quick restoration of power.
"I can't see any evidence of damage to the poles," the spokesman said.
He was unable to detail exactly why power was lost. Ergon Energy was made aware of the outage through a combination of public reports and communication equipment on its network.
More than 1000 homes in Mackay are without power Tuesday night, after more than 100mm of rain fell in the space of an hour or two, cutting supply.
According to Ergon Energy, 962 homes in Glenella, North Mackay, and Mt Pleasant are without power and 103 customers in Bridge Rd and West Mackay.
The loss of supply is because of storm damage to power infrastructure, it says.
The power was cut about 9.30pm and crews are on site to fix the problem.
What you said | Via Facebook
Courtney Harvey: Broadsound road to airport is flooded. No streetlights make it hard to see so be careful if you are driving that way
Brianna Brett: Turned onto Hucker Street and a wall of water hit my car. My car was being swept in the water and I had to get out and push it through knee deep water. Absolute nightmare. But a very kind young man who lives on that street came to the rescue. Thank you so much!
Melanie Woodman: Symons Street, South Mackay had at least 3 inches under the house
Kerry Brady-De Costa: Sarina middle creek has had over 300mm
Teenie Hanson: Broomdykes Park 47
Brendan Brooks: Outside Nick's IGA
Kerrie Gutteridge: South/East Mackay flooded as Mackay Regional Council up to there usual tricks and not open flood gates until after people's houses and cars are flooded great job once again
Brenn Cuff: I hear peoples bins in South Mackay that are out for tomorrow have floated away
A LARGE section of Mackay's CBD has been inundated after a heavy storm passed over Tuesday night.
Roads around East Mackay and Mackay south of Shakespeare St are under water with one resident saying the drains had not been opened.
The roads to the south of Shakespeare St are like lakes as residents walk through knee-high water with some deeper sections.
Police were patrolling the affected areas.
The left hand lane on Harbour Rd inbound to the city was also under water.
According to the Bureau of Meteorology, 112mm fell on Mackay since 9am Tuesday morning; 105mm falling between 6pm and 8.44pm.
More than 45mm fell in the last hour to 8.45pm, the records show.
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>> FULL LIST | The roads most likely to flood around Mackay