Multiple rescues unfolding as Queensland town is ‘completely swallowed by water’

A rescue in unfolding in the rural Queensland town of Laidley with reports a man is trapped inside his home as waters rapidly rise.

The town in the Lockyer Valley Region is being swamped with water. Earlier this morning Laidley Creek broke its banks at Mulgowie and it’s now threatening lives homes and businesses.

“A man is stuck inside his house so swift water rescue crews are heading out there. They are so busy here on the ground at the moment,” 9News reporter Jessica Millward said.

A moisture stream and ‘unseasonable’ upper level trough is causing wet weather across much of Australia’s east coast. (Today)

Emergency alerts have been issued across Gympie, Lockyer Valley, Warwick, Millmerran, Mount Tarampa, Minden, Patrick Estate, Stanthorpe, and the Scenic Rim.

The Grantham Siren was activated earlier this morning “to give residents time to move to higher ground” as saturated catchments spill over.

Millward was standing on the main strip of Laidley when water suddenly inundated the town.

Water inundated the main road in Laidley in 20 minutes.
Water inundated the main road in Laidley in 20 minutes. (Today)

“This is the main street of this town,” she said indicating behind her.

“It has been completely swallowed by water. In the past 20 minutes we’ve been here, the water has come up very, very quickly.

“We’ve got some people stranded at the pub that you might be able to see.

“The water, I just cannot believe how quickly it is coming up.”

Swiftwater rescue crews rushed to the scene as a number of vehicles had become trapped in floodwaters.

Floodwater has swamped the town of Laidley this morning. 9News reporter Jess Millward said rapid rises were experienced in 20 minutes.
Floodwater has swamped the town of Laidley this morning. 9News reporter Jess Millward said rapid rises were experienced in 20 minutes. (Today)
Swiftwater rescue crews have rushed down the street of Laidley as the town was swamped with floodwater.
Swiftwater rescue crews have rushed down the street of Laidley as the town was swamped with floodwater. (9News)

Self-evacuation advice is in place for low-lying areas across Lockyer Valley this morning.

“In response to the most recent weather forecast, all residents in low-lying areas subject to flooding are being urged to self-evacuate,” the local council said, adding waters are rising rapidly.

Heavy downpours will continue today, with forecasts predicting up to 200 mm across the Capricornia to the NSW border, leading to life-threatening flash flooding.

Bureau of Meteorology Senior Forecaster Christie Johnson said this could be the peak of the rain event.

“Today is possibly the peak day. We’re on the end of it, hopefully things will improve soon,” she said.

“It will start to clear away into later tomorrow.

“Right now it is the south-east that’s being hit the hardest…The rain’s continuing to fall. We’re expecting a further 100 to 200mm today right through that hinterland area from the Capricornia and Wide Bay areas right down to the Sunshine Coast and even down to the Granite Belt as well.”

9News understands SES personnel are door-knocking in Grantham to urge residents to move on.

An emergency siren is also ringing out across the town, which resident Linda Godley branded “terrifying”.

“We didn’t have any sirens yesterday or the day before, so this is the first time we’ve had the sirens,” she told Today.

Linda Godley has opted to stay to keep an eye on her animals, but said her vehicles have been moved to high ground so she should be able to leave if needed.
Linda Godley has opted to stay to keep an eye on her animals, but said her vehicles have been moved to high ground so she should be able to leave if needed. (Today)

“We don’t know what’s going to happen. You know we can’t do this again.

“It’s destroying our whole family. It’s destroying everything, you know, you can’t think, you can’t sleep, we’re so tired but you are to scared to sleep.”

Colleges Crossing in Ipswich has also gone under, the second time it’s been swallowed by floodwaters since February.

Earlier this morning Millward observed “water creeping up through the drains” in the CBD.

Images from Transport and Main Roads Queensland also show extensive flooding around Somerset Regional Council.

Colleges Crossing in Ipswich has flooded for the second time this year.
Colleges Crossing in Ipswich has flooded for the second time this year. (QFES)
Roads across Somerset Regional Council are going under.
Roads across Somerset Regional Council are going under. (Transport Main Roads Queensland)
These images were captured by live flood monitoring cameras around Somerset Regional Council.
These images were captured by live flood monitoring cameras around Somerset Regional Council. (Transport Main Roads Queensland)

Major flood warnings have been issued for: the Cape River, Warrill Creek, Bremer River, Laidley and Lockyer Creeks, Logan River, Condamine River, and Cooper Creek.

A moderate flood warning is also in place for the upper Brisbane river, while the lower reaches have a minor flood risk.

The danger floodwater poses has been demonstrated by two images shared side-by-side.

Two images show just how dangerous floodwaters can be

Queenslanders needing rescue

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) said seven swiftwater rescues were carried out overnight.

Queensland Ambulance said they were called to four separate rescues from yesterday to this morning, where residents had become trapped in their vehicle in floodwaters.

One man was assessed and did not require transport to hospital, two declined assistance and one did not require service, they said.

Another man was found safe in Gympie after an extensive search was launched from a campsite.

The 36- year-old walked all through the night to Kandanga after chasing his dog into bushland from a campsite south of Gympie.

Authorities are urging residents in affected areas not to drive through floodwaters.
Authorities are urging residents in affected areas not to drive through floodwaters. (Transport Main Roads Queensland)

Amid the extensive flooding authorities are imploring residents not to risk driving through floodwaters.

QFES State Operations Centre Coordinator James Haig yesterday said locals need to “pay attention to conditions” and “plan their routes carefully”.

‘Saturated soil’ to increase risk of flash flooding

The wet weather is being caused by an unseasonable upper coast low and moisture stream.

The Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) warns severe storms are possible for central and south-east Queensland today.

“Storms likely to contain heavy rainfall, damaging wind gusts possible. Saturated soils likely to exacerbate flash flooding risk for parts of Sunshine Coast, Wide Bay, Capricornia, Darling Downs.”

While heavy downpours will ease again today, the rain will intensify again on Saturday.

A hazardous surf warning is currently in place from the Fraser Coast down to the Gold Coast with the Bureau warning swells of more than three metres.

Satellite and radar image shared by Weatherzone shows a 3000km moisture stream all the way from North Queensland down to northern Tasmania.

The system is causing wet weather through much of the east coast.

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