The death toll from the south-east Queensland weather emergency has risen to seven as flooding continues across the region.
Police said a man was swept away while trying to cross Cabbage Tree Creek Road at Fitzgibbon on Brisbane’s northside late on Sunday.
Two members of the public saw the 59-year-old and tried to rescue him, conducting CPR once he was out of the water.
Paramedics also responded but the man died at the scene, according to police.
South-east Queenslanders face a chaotic start to the week, with floods expected to worsen, more than 1,000 roads cut off, trains shut down, schools and many businesses closed and hundreds of residents sheltering in evacuation centres.
The “rain bomb” responsible for the weekend’s record-breaking inundation has moved slowly south today lashing both sides of the New South Wales-Queensland border.
The wild weather has already left widespread damage and flooding in its wake and will continue to affect thousands of residents for days.
More than 1,400 houses in Brisbane were affected by internal flooding yesterday, and Brisbane City Council estimates another 4,501 properties could be flooded today.
“We had almost 1,000 SES calls just yesterday in the last 24 hours, and it’s right across Brisbane because it wasn’t just river flooding, it was creek flooding,” Brisbane lord mayor Adrian Schrinner told ABC Radio Queensland this morning.
As of 2:15am this morning Wivenhoe Dam was sitting at more than 185 per cent capacity, but slowly dropped during the morning and as of 8am was siting at 183 per cent.
More more than 100 millimetres of rain had been recorded in parts of the Gold Coast this morning.
The state government said nearly 1,000 schools would be closed today and urged Queenslanders to work from home.
Almost 1,000 people were sheltering in evacuation centres late yesterday, with more expected to join them, especially in the Maryborough region.
Brisbane River hits ‘major’ flood levels
State Disaster Coordinator Steve Gollschewski declared Gympie and Brisbane disaster zones, saying conditions in the capital were extremely dangerous.
He said Brisbane faced flash flooding, multiple road closures and landslides, while its rail network was down, and rivers and creeks were flooded.
The Brisbane River peaked at 4m during high tide, about 8:30am.
Authorities have already described it as a “major flood”, though below the city’s 2011 peak of 4.46m.
Mr Gollschewski said people needed to be very aware of the high tides.
“There are two [high tides] every day, so we are planning around those tides,” he said.
Threat to remain for days
A major and historic flood also hit Maryborough this morning, about 220km north of Brisbane.
The Mary River surpassed the major flood level of 9m, and was sitting at 9.5m at 7:30am.
Fraser Coast regional Council Mayor George Seymour said the water was rising at a rate of 10cm an hour.
Council expects the river to reach the 2013 flood level, which is marked on the historical Bond Store in town.
“This is a major flood and there is a lot of water coming down river from Gympie floods. What we’ve seen at Miva, nobody has ever heard of it at that height,” Mr Seymour said.
Meanwhile, the Logan and Beaudesert regions were also likely to be under threat as the rain system drifted south.
The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) is predicting the river will pass the 2017 level of 20.5 metres this morning at the Maclean Bridge gauge, making it the largest flood recorded since 1974, when it reached 21.22 metres.
In Ipswich, Goodna was the worst affected area with some residents in low-lying parts of Booval and Bundamba told to prepare to evacuate.
As of 9am, more than 53,000 households across the state’s south-east had lost power.
Disaster payments for Gympie, North Burnett
In Brisbane yesterday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Emergency Management Minister Bridget McKenzie said some affected residents in the Gympie and North Burnett regions would receive disaster-relief payments.
The financial aid is likely to be expanded soon to other badly impacted areas.
Senator McKenzie said the disaster payments would include $1,000 per person and $400 per child.
Applications will open at 1pm today.
Senator McKenzie said disaster victims could also claim an extra hardship grant of $180 per person, up to $900 per family.
SOURCE: ABC NEWS