Heavy rain claims man's life
A man is dead after his car was swept into floodwaters northwest of Caboolture on Monday afternoon.
The tragedy came at the end of day of severe weather which also saw 16 children ferried to safety on life rafts after their mini bus was stranded on a flooded road.
Rescuers take students to school at Acacia Ridge after their bus was stranded on a flooded road. Photo: Seven News
A police spokesman said the man was driving on Mary Smokes Creek Road at Kilcoy about 4pm when his vehicle was swept into the water and he died.
No further details were available on Monday evening.
Up to 90 millimetres of rain is expected to have fallen on Brisbane by Tuesday afternoon, with relief from the 95 per cent humidity not expected to come until the weekend.
The deluge which started in the early hours of Monday morning is not expected to ease until Wednesday, and warnings have been issued for flash flooding across southeast Queensland.
Weatherzone senior meteorologist Brett Dutschke said Brisbane had 95 per cent humidity on Tuesday, well above the February average of 60 to 70 per cent.
A thunderstorm is expected on Friday and will usher through a cool change in time for the weekend, though the skies are not expected to clear.
‘‘In the next few days we expect to see 40 to 80 millimetres of rain fall on Brisbane,’’ he said on Monday afternoon.
On Monday Brisbane CBD recorded 24 millimetres while Gympie had 82.6 millimetres and Toowomba 67 millimetres.
Strong winds are being forecast for the Sunshine and Gold Coasts with their beaches - which copped a lashing last week - remaining closed because of huge swells and erosion.
Mr Dutschke said there would be a ‘‘noticeable’’ change on Wednesday, with the rain easing but the skies remaining overcast.
‘‘The weekend is going to be breezy with southeasterly winds,’’ Mr Dutschke said.
‘‘...there is a severe weather warning in place for parts of southeast Queensland and there is still potential for up to 200 millimetres to have fallen on some parts [by the time this deluge finishes].’’
Monday's wet weather saw the Australian Traffic Network record more than 20 car crashes.
Sixteen school children had to be piled into life rafts and ferried to safety after their mini bus became stranded on a flooded road, as heavy rain pummelled southeast Queensland on Monday morning.
The bus became stranded near the intersection of Learoyd and Paradise roads at Acacia Ridge about 8.40am.
Three swift water rescue crews rushed to the scene and managed to load all 16 children into life rafts and ferry them to dry land within an hour.
Heavy rain drenched southeast Queensland on Monday in what was expected to be the start of a 48-hour deluge.
A monster wet weather system set in over the southeast corner shortly after midnight, as a surface trough made landfall.
The bureau has warned of strong winds and flash flooding, as up to 200 millimetres of rain is expected to fall in parts of the southeast in the next 24 hours.
Up to 100 millimetres of intense rain could fall within a six-hour period in coastal areas, the bureau has warned.
"That could cause some problems," Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Ken Kato said.
Heavy rain hits region including Lockyer Valley
In the three hours to midday, Toowoomba recorded 52 millimetres of rain, while Mt Mee received 71 millimetres of rain.
There has been between 80 millimetres and 120 millimetres in the area in the past 24 hours.
By 1.30pm, the heaviest rain was located on the radar over the Sunshine Coast hinterland, the Lockyer Valley, Esk and Toowoomba.
It's predicted that one of the two surface troughs generating the rain will first contract north and then start to move east, before weakening from Monday night.
Calls for help
The State Emergency Service has responded to 40 calls for help on the Gold Coast and recently flood-devastated Bundaberg, mainly for leaking roofs, a Department of Community Safety spokeswoman said.
In Brisbane, more than 25 millimetres fell within one hour from 5.30am on Monday.
About 40 millimetres fell in Coolangatta on the Gold Coast within a couple of hours.
"The rain has really set in this morning," Mr Kato said.
Motorway delays and dramatic rescue
The deluge created problems for motorists on the morning commute to the CBD, with two accidents on the Logan Motorway causing delays.
A truck jackknifed on the Logan Motorway at Loganholme about 6am and a motorbike crashed on the motorway near Beaudesert Road at Drewvale shortly after 6.30am.
On the Sunshine Coast, a woman lost control of her car on the Nicklin Way and slid into a drainage ditch.
She was trapped underwater and unable to free herself, according to the Sunshine Coast Daily.
But she was rescued by three young men who had been travelling in a vehicle behind her and rushed to her aid.
Flash flooding has also cut roads in Drewvale, Eight Mile Plains and Kenmore Hills.
The bureau renewed a severe weather warning for southeast Queensland as a surface trough crossed the coastline in the early hours of Monday.
The warning was issued for Gladstone, Gympie, Bundaberg, Kingaroy, Hervey Bay, Fraser Island, Brisbane, Ipswich, the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast and adjacent hinterland areas.
The conditions however are not likely to be as severe as those generated by ex-tropical cyclone Oswald over the Australia Day long weekend in January.
Recovering communities hit again
But the wild weather has not completely spared flood-ravaged central Queensland.
Tiles were ripped from the roof of a surf club and beaches evacuated as a string of dangerous waterspouts formed off the coast of Bargara near Bundaberg on Sunday.
The six spouts alarmed residents still dealing with the damage caused by the series of tornadoes which hit the region on the Australia Day long weekend.
About 55 millimetres of rain has fallen in flood-hit Bundaberg since 9am Sunday.
The wet weather is likely to continue through to next weekend - the bureau is forecasting heavy rain through to Tuesday, with showers easing on Wednesday, returning Thursday and a possible and amplifying on Friday to a possible storm which could carry into the weekend.
To help mitigate the risk of flooding in the Brisbane River catchment, Seqwater has increased the rate of release of water at Wivenhoe Dam to reduce levels from 89 per cent to the temporary full supply level of 88 per cent.
Meanwhile, a massive clean-up is under way in flood-hit areas of New South Wales.
Thousands of people are still stranded, after floodwaters breached the levee protecting the town of Kempsey on the NSW mid-north coast.
A 37-year-old woman was forced to deliver her baby with the help of her husband and neighbour, after floods cut roads to her Palmvale property in northern NSW.
The healthy baby boy was delivered at 4.42am on Monday.
The mother and her newborn were airlifted to the Gold Coast Hospital for observation.
In Sydney and the Illawarra region hundreds of homes were damaged by freak storms as a low pressure system that has claimed two lives tracked south.
- Bridie Jabour, Marissa Calligeros and Katherine Feeney