Flooding and heavy rain lashes the region

January 16, 2023 7:38 am in by

A severe weather warning for heavy rainfall has been issued from Ayr down to Carmila as a rain band drenches Mackay, Isaac and the Whitsundays.

As of Monday morning, floodwaters have cut off around 50 roads in the region including parts of the Bruce Highway.

The Bowen PCYC has been set up as a place of refuge for stranded motorists as the Highway is flooded to the north and south of the town.

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The Whitsundays region has seen some of the highest falls in Queensland with almost 360 millimetres falling at Jubilee Pocket in just 18 hours and 265 at Proserpine Airport.

Police are urging people to avoid unnecessary travel after multiple rescues over the weekend.

A woman and two teenagers were taken to hospital on Sunday afternoon after they were found clinging to a tree in floodwaters at Palm Grove.

While a truck driver was rescued along the Bruce Highway at Lethebrook around 3AM Monday.

Vikash Prasad from the Bureau of Meteorology says more flooding is likely.

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“This rain band is moving southwards slowly so although the Mackay area has only seen up to about 100mm since 9am Sunday, there is a good chance that we could see some higher falls in the Mackay region later Monday and into Monday night,” he says.

“Tuesday night we do expect this low pressure system to be very close to the coast and as a result the whole Central Coast and even southern part of the Herbert and Lower Burdekin are likely to see some further rainfall totals mostly between 100-150mm but isolated falls.”

Flood gates have been installed on the Pioneer River as a precaution.