Heavy rain in south-east as cyclone approaches landfall
WHILE Queensland's police commissioner describes the impending landfall of Category 5 Tropical Cyclone Marcia near Rockhampton as a "calamity", authorities in our part of the world are gearing up for a busy 24-48 hours.
SES Gatton crews were already getting ready to go out on jobs and while we know of no road closures in the area yet, local drains are already starting to back up as the rain intensifies.
Lockyer Valley regional council depots at Gatton (Brooking Drive rear entry) and Laidley (Laidley-Rosewood Rd) are now open for people to collect sandbags.
The depots will remain open until 6pm.
Somerset Regional Council say their Local Disaster Management Group has been placed on alert.
"This means the group is monitoring the weather situation closely," the council said.
"There is no reason for residents to be alarmed or concerned, just be prepared."
The latest BoM update issued at 4.53am said Severe Tropical Cyclone Marcia was expected to make landfall between St. Lawrence and Hervey Bay later this morning as a category 5 cyclone. A trough extends southwards from the tropical cyclone to Queensland's southeast coast.
The trough should produce heavy rain and locally damaging wind gusts about the Wide Bay and Burnett and Southeast Coast districts this morning, extending inland to the eastern parts of the Darling Downs and Granite Belt district later today. The heavy rain may lead to flash flooding, with some 24 hour totals in excess of 300mm. Damaging wind gusts may reach around 90 km/hr, mostly near the coast and ranges.
A flood watch is current for the Wide Bay and Burnett, Southeast Coast and the Darling Downs and Granite Belt District forecast districts.
Locations which may be affected include Warwick, Gold Coast, Toowoomba, the Lockyer Valley, Ipswich, Brisbane, Caboolture, the Sunshine Coast, Kingaroy and Gympie.
Queensland Fire and Emergency Services advises that people should:
* Move your car under cover or away from trees.
* Secure loose outdoor items.
* Seek shelter, preferably indoors and never under trees.
* Beware of fallen trees and powerlines.
* Avoid driving, walking or riding through flood waters.
* Keep clear of creeks and storm drains.
* Surf Life Saving Australia recommends that you stay out of the water and stay well away from surf-exposed areas.
* Check your property regularly for erosion or inundation by sea water, and if necessary raise goods and electrical items.
* For emergency assistance contact the SES on 132 500.