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    Premier and Minister for the Arts
    The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk

    Queenslanders brace for more rain, flooding to ease

    Premier and Minister for the Arts
    The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk

    Thursday, October 19, 2017

    Queenslanders brace for more rain, flooding to ease

    Queensland frontline staff and volunteers are continuing to respond to the impact heavy rainfall and flooding with road and school closures, power outages and calls for assistance, as Queenslanders brace for more rain.

    I met with the Queensland Fire and Emergency Service, Queensland Police Service and Bureau of Meteorology this morning to discuss the ongoing response and preparedness for more rain over the coming days.

    The Bureau of Meteorology advises while rain areas are continuing from Mackay north to Cape York Peninsula today, further rain is forecast for other parts, including western Queensland, from tomorrow.

    I was briefed on the continuing recovery operation for the missing fishing trawler, Dianne, missing in waters near Middle Island, north of Town of 1770 is ongoing.  Six male crew members remain missing.  Our thoughts are with their families and friends.

    Currently two-thirds of Queensland is drought declared.  We have needed prolonged soaking rain for months, particularly for our farms and water storages.

    Officers of the Queensland Reconstruction Authority and the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries will be visiting the North Burnett and Gladstone regions this afternoon to undertake assessments on impacts on farms, including crop losses.

    However, the significant rain, in excess of 500 milimetres in some areas, has caused flash flooding and I urge all motorists to heed the warning – it’s flooded, forget it.

    SES and swift water teams

    Three additional Swift Water Rescue teams are on standby at Gympie, Maryborough and Bundaberg.

    Three property owners in Lowmead, south of Gladstone, have self-relocated to alternate accommodation due to inundation of their residences.

    Kolan and Baffle Creek catchments are both experiencing major flooding, and some residents are currently isolated.  This situation will be monitored.

    SES had about 80 requests for assistance over the last 24 hours, with the majority of requests from the Bundaberg region.  For flood or storm emergency assistance contact SES on 132 500.

    Major Roads 

    There are currently in excess of 70 road closures across Gladstone, Wide Bay and Burnett and the Sunshine Coast areas, due to heavy rainfall and flash flooding.

    Electricity

    There are currently more than 330 power outages with affected customers in the Lowmead, Boyne Valley, Wonbah, Abercorn to Eidsvold and Guthalungra

    Schools

    The Department of Education advises eight schools and four early child education and care centres closed currently closed due to flooding.

    Parents and guardians should check the Department’s advice on these closures at https://closures.det.qld.gov.au/

    Dams

    Thirteen dams are currently above their storage capacity and spilling.

    In south-east Queensland, these dams are Cedar Pocket Dam, Enogerra Dam, Gold Creek Dam, Lake Macdonald, Lake Manchester Dam, Little Nerang Dam, Poona Dam and Wappa Dam.

    There are operational releases from Somerset Dam into Wivenhoe Dam.

    In the Wide Bay-Burnett region, Paradise Dam, Cania Dam, Waruma Dam and Fred Haigh Dam are spilling, as is Awoonga Dam near Gladstone.

    Major flood warnings

    There are major flood warnings for the Kolan River and Baffle Creek and Burrum River and Cherwell River Catchments in the Wide Bay-Burnett region.