With thunderstorms drenching most of the state overnight and more heavy rain expected this week, the Queensland Fire and Rescue Service (QFRS) is reminding residents to stay out of rising waters and “If it’s flooded, forget it.”
The Bureau of Meteorology is forecasting heavy rainfall for the Wide Bay and Burnett, Southeast Coast, Darling Downs and Granite Belt districts.
Heavy rain may lead to flash flooding in areas including Hervey Bay, Gympie, Toowoomba, Northern Goldfields, Upper Flinders, the Central Coast, the Whitsundays, the Sunshine Coast, Brisbane, Ipswich and the Gold Coast.
Exceptionally heavy rainfall is being recorded in the Pimpama and Coomera areas, particularly Hotham Creek.
QFRS Commissioner Lee Johnson said each year, innocent lives are lost as a result of people making the choice to venture into flooded creeks and causeways.
He said people who enter floodwaters are not only putting their lives at risk, but the lives of their rescuers.
“Although firefighters are highly trained and skilled, swift water rescue is the most dangerous operation they are required to undertake,” Mr Johnson said.
Mr Johnson said the harsh reality was that firefighters across Queensland rescue more people from water than they do from fires each year, usually as a result of the lack of understanding of the dangers associated with crossing flooded creeks and causeways.
“Even if you’re in a familiar territory and think local knowledge will get you through, think again. Floodwaters are treacherous and the dangers are hidden under the surface,” Mr Johnson said.
“Flash flooding can occur quickly and catch drivers unaware. However, there is no excuse for those who deliberately drive past a road closed sign into flood water.”
Mr Johnson said in most cases swift water rescue is completely preventable.
“Flooded road crossings have the potential force to move very heavy vehicles and once the tyres leave the road surface the driver will have no control over the vehicle and no amount of experience or driver training can prevent that,” he said.