NSW set for week of rain as deadly Queensland storms head south

One man has died in record-breaking rain battering Queensland. The 1200km long storm front is heading south, with a week of wet weather forecast for NSW.

AS a deadly former cyclone submerged eastern Queensland in floods and record-breaking rain, killing a man, another is brewing off the coast, part of a 1200km long storm front which will wash more wet weather across NSW.

Ex-tropical cyclone Seth has thrashed Queensland’s far north, with some areas copping a metre of rain in 48 hours — the heaviest falls ever recorded.

The body of a 22-year-old Sunshine Coast man was discovered in a ute on Saturday morning after it was reportedly swept off Cherry Tree Road at Kanigan near the Bruce Highway.

Queensland State Emergency Service officials received more than 700 calls for help, while 31 “swift water” rescues — made in raging floodwaters — were launched.

Queensland Deputy Police Commissioner Steve Gollschewski stressed the seriousness of the “evolving” situation, saying a range of rescues has already been performed.

“We’ve seen a large number of people already trapped and a significant number of rescues,” he said.

Twenty-three people in 11 vehicles have been reported in distress so far, with authorities able to verify the safety of eight of them.

Four people rescued from vehicles were taken to hospital in Bundaberg.

However because of difficulties accessing certain areas, emergency crews have been unable to reach 15 people and their conditions remain unknown.

The Bureau of Meteorology said there was major flooding in the Wide Bay and Burnett regions, north of Brisbane, causing highways to close and cutting off some towns. While the sun was shining in Sydney on Saturday, the Bureau of Meteorology’s senior meteorologist Dean Narramore said rain was expected across most of the state everyday next week, as the La Nina phenomenon continues to bring wet weather and storms.

Marodian near Gympie received rainfall of more than 670mm in the 24 hours to 9am – 650mm of it in just 12 hours – with many other areas receiving at least 300mm.

River heights were pushed up to 16.75 metres.

Residents of Maryborough have been issued an emergency alert for major flooding in the Mary River that is expected to exceed nine metres on Sunday morning as rain continued to fall.

Construction of a CBD flood barrier was underway in Maryborough on Saturday afternoon.

Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Laura Boekel said most of the rain was “very localised” between Gympie and Tiaro, describing the intensity of the falls as “incredibly rare”.

“We very rarely see thunderstorms staying in the location for such a long period of time,” she said.

“They saw 600-plus millimetres in 12 hours, so a really extraordinary amount of rainfall in a short period of time.”

A low pressure system is also predicted to develop within the monsoon trough off the Queensland east coast which was formerly cyclone Seth, and there is the chance of it developing into a another tropical cyclone.

The storm front, stretches from Quueensland through Brewarrina south to Griffith, Canberra and Albury in NSW.

While the sun was shining in Sydney on Saturday, Bureau of Meteorology’s senior meteorologist Dean Narramore said rain was expected across most of the state every day next week, as the La Nina phenomenon continued to generate wet weather and storms.

“We are expecting showers and storms on Sunday across eastern NSW, which will spread to the west and south throughout the week,” he said.

“It’s going to be another week of rain across large parts of NSW, and every day we could see thunderstorms as we have that humid, wet, cloudy, stormy, continuation.”

A heavy storm brought widespread rain across the state on Friday night, with Blacktown recording 35mm of rain in a 24-hour period, and 77mm at Walgett in remote northwest NSW — more than the town’s average monthly rainfall.

The wild weather in NSW over the past month has proven tragic, with a swimmer on Saturday discovering the body of a man who went missing during a storm in Bathurst on Christmas Day.

The man was with a group of people on a boat at Ben Chifley Dam on December 25, when he told his friends he was going to swim about 300m to shore.

A storm struck the area a short time later and the man disappeared under the water.

A major search was initiated for several days before it was suspended.

– Additional reporting Holly Hales

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Originally published as NSW set for week of rain as deadly Queensland storms head south

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