Queensland floods: Woman gives birth on oval in middle of flood, Gympie threatened by Mary River
A Queensland town is under threat as a swollen river threatens to burst its banks amid torrential rains that have already flooded several towns in the state and prompted a woman to give birth on a sports field.
The Mary River at Gympie is expected to peak at 15 meters on Saturday afternoon, while the nearby Bruce Highway was closed on Saturday morning.
The Bureau of Meteorology warned that heavy rain will continue to fall on Gympie, Maroochydore and Bundaberg throughout Saturday, although conditions are expected to improve in Brisbane and Gladstone.
Low-lying townships in Queensland, such as those on the Lockyer Valley floor, including Grantham (pictured) and Laidley, will continue to experience torrential rain over the weekend.
Pictured: A bridge over the River Mary near Gympie is just a few feet from going under
Warnings were also issued for low-lying towns in the southeastern part of the state, as images emerged yesterday of Laidley in Lockyer Valley with its main street submerged. Areas like Grantham are also experiencing flooding, with eight evacuation centers open in the area.
The seaside town of Agnes Water in the Gladstone area was placed in lockdown on Friday night, with reports that a woman was forced to give birth on a sports ground after being evacuated from her home.
The woman gave birth to a healthy baby girl just before a rescue helicopter arrived to rescue the parents.
Gympie Mayor Glen Hartwig told ABC on Saturday that the town is now effectively cut off from the north and south.
‘If you’re traveling from the south, the south or the north, you can’t go through Gympie. If you can find a spot before you get to Gympie, you should. If you can turn around, go back, you should do that,’ Mayor Hartwig said.
‘There’s no chance you’ll make it past Gympie.
‘I don’t know what words for companies would ease their pain. this is the third [weather] event for our region in the last four and a half months.
‘The last event had a significant financial impact. I don’t know what to say.
Flooding threatens Gympie’s main street (Albert Park between the river and Monland Street) as the river continues to rise, reaching 45 feet overnight.
Photos from locals (pictured) show roads in townships under water as wild weather continues in Queensland
Pictured: A woman walks through floodwaters in Grantham on Thursday. Since then, the waters have risen even higher, separating many nearby towns from each other.
The Brisbane River (pictured) has burst its banks again after earlier this year.
Queenslanders have been warned to expect heavy falls and flash flooding over the weekend with widespread rain set to linger on the south east and central coast.
Heavy rain from a damaging low pressure trough drenched the southeast on Friday with some 160mm falls within six hours.
Residents were forced to evacuate as floodwaters hit areas around Laidley, Gatton and Grantham in the Lockyer Valley, west of Brisbane, south around Beaudesert and into Warwick, Cecil Plains, Millerman and Killarney on the Southern Downs.
Some 300 houses were affected in Laidley, where the Lockyer River burst its banks through the town’s main street.
Pictured: Brisbane residents resist drizzle from the low-pressure system as it slowly passes over the city.
Here for the weekend: Rain is expected to stick around through Saturday and taper off over the next week as the 3,000-kilometer-long moisture system passes.
The low pressure system (pictured) currently wreaking havoc in southern Queensland doesn’t appear to be as catastrophic as the February rains in most of the state.
Major Flood Warnings are in place for the Condamine, Logan, and Bremer Rivers and Warrill, Laidley, and Lockyer Creeks.
The border town of Goondiwindi is also preparing for possible flooding after heavy rains in the border river basin.
Bureau of Meteorology lead forecaster Laura Boekel warned that heavy rain was expected to continue into Saturday.
More than 700 roads were cut off or affected by flooding on Friday, including the Bruce Highway near Gin Gin, with Queensland Fire and Emergency Services carrying out 20 flood rescues in 24 hours.
Prime Minister Annastacia Palaszczuk said that while the rain is not as intense as the downpours that caused catastrophic flooding in February, the system is expected to last until Saturday.
“Please don’t be anxious,” he told reporters.
Queensland’s Premier told Queenslanders that these floods will not be a repeat of February (pictured), but reminded everyone to remain vigilant and “keep listening to the warnings”.
Helicopters have been used to ferry members of the Brisbane Whitewater Rescue Team to the affected areas of Warwick (pictured)
“The key is to listen to the alerts and we will keep everyone updated as much as possible.”
Deputy Police Commissioner Steve Gollschewski urged people to stay connected and listen to warnings and avoid driving into floodwaters.
“We have lost too many lives on our roads this year and in previous events,” Gollschewski said.
A powerful easterly swell and strong onshore winds have whipped up four meter swells with the BOM warning of dangerous swell conditions and possible coastal erosion between Fraser Island and the NSW border.
The unseasonal deluge is Queensland’s sixth deadly flood since December, which scientists have attributed to a second La Niña weather pattern in two years.