SEVERE WEATHER WARNINGfor DESTRUCTIVE WINDS and HEAVY RAINFALL Issued at 9:17 pm Wednesday, 29 March 2017.
At 9pm EST Ex-Tropical Cyclone Debbie was located over inland central Queensland near Clermont. The system is expected to continue moving southwards over the central interior of the state overnight before tracking southeastwards during Thursday. rainfall is likely to lead to major river flooding over a broad area and a Flood Watch is current for coastal catchments between Gladstone and the New South Wales border.
Heavy rain and damaging wind gusts are currently affecting the Capricornia, Central Coast and Whitsundays and Central Highlands and Coalfields districts, slowly extending southwards. Destructive wind gusts are expected to develop about the coastal areas and elevated terrain of the Wide Bay and Burnett and Southeast Coast districts from Thursday afternoon.
Ex-Tropical Cyclone Debbie will continue to generate areas of very heavy rain over the Capricornia, Central Coast and Whitsundays and Central Highlands and Coalfields districts this evening. Currently the heaviest rainfall is occurring over the areas inland and south of Mackay with rainfall rates in excess of 150mm over a 3 hour period. Outside this area widespread daily rainfall totals of 150 to 250 mm are expected, with significantly higher totals possible locally. This rainfall will likely be very intense at times, leading to a risk of localised flash flooding. Locations that may be affected include Mackay, Sarina, Carmila, Yeppoon, St Lawrence, Springsure and Rolleston.
The focus for heavy rain will then shift south and extend into the southeastern quarter of the state during Thursday, with widespread daily rainfall totals in excess of 200mm possible.
This rainfall is likely to lead to major river flooding over a broad area and a Flood Watch is current for coastal catchments between Gladstone and the New South Wales border, extending inland to parts of the Central Highlands and Coalfields, Central West, Maranoa and Warrego, and Darling Downs and Granite Belt forecast districts.
Damaging winds, with peak gusts of around 100km/h, are occurring in the warning area, particularly about the coast and islands and also over elevated terrain inland. Currently the strongest wind gusts are affecting areas north of about Emerald to St Lawrence, however the possibility of damaging wind gusts should shift to the remaining warning area as Ex-Tropical Cyclone Debbie tracks southeastwards tonight and Thursday morning. Destructive wind gusts, in excess of 125km/h, are expected to develop about the coastal areas and elevated terrain of the Wide Bay and Burnett and Southeast Coast districts from Thursday afternoon.
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.
* Never drive, walk or ride through flood waters. If it’s flooded, forget it.
* Keep clear of creeks and storm drains.
* For emergency assistance contact the SES on 132 500.
The next Severe Weather Warning will be issued by 5:00 am AEST Thursday.
Warnings are also available through TV and Radio broadcasts, the Bureau’s website at www.bom.gov.au or call 1300 659 219. The Bureau and Queensland Fire and Emergency Services would appreciate warnings being broadcast regularly.