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Queensland braces for more wild weather and NSW man rescued after 12 hours in floodwaters | Australia news


Queensland is bracing for more wild weather with storms forecast to lash the state’s southeast.

Heavy falls are expected daily this week before becoming isolated to the state’s south-east corner into the weekend, bureau forecaster Kimba Wong said.

This could mean more rain for drenched towns of Dalby, Oakey, Applethorpe, Warwick, and Roma which have already surpassed their average February rainfall total. Oakey and Warwick exceeded their monthly average in a day.

Dalby residents have been warned to prepare for more potential flooding. Myall Creek was expected to peak below three metres early on Tuesday.

The falls were welcomed across the water grid, with storage capacity at almost 60%, rising from 56.4% on 7 February.

Sydney’s dam storages have also continued to receive inflows, with Warragamba storage reaching 69% on Tuesday morning, up more than 8 percentage points in 24 hours and continuing to rise.

The downpour was also welcomed by firefighters. The NSW Rural Fire Service announced on Tuesday that a number of major fires that had been burning for months were now out and more were likely to be extinguished over coming days due to forecast conditions.

Over 30 fires were extinguished due to the assistance of rain since Friday, including Myall Creek Road (Richmond Valley), Kerry Ridge (Muswellbrook), Gospers Mountain (Hawkesbury), Erskine Creek (Blue Mountains), Green Wattle Creek (Wollondilly), Morton (Wingecarribee) and Currowan (Shoalhaven).

On the coast, shark nets and baited hooks were on Monday being pulled from all Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast beaches, Rainbow Beach, Bribie Island and North Stradbroke Island ahead of the wild weather.

Swells over four metres were expected on Thursday.

Tropical Cyclone Uesi formed in the Coral Sea just north-west of Vanuatu and was expected to strengthen in the days ahead as it moved southwards towards New Caledonia on Wednesday.

The week’s forecast showed a cyclone forming over Noumea and tracking towards Queenlsand’s south-east coast, with swells of over four metres by Thursday.

Moderate to minor flood warnings remained in place across the state, but rain was expected to ease into the week.

It followed several rescues and near misses in Queensland floodwaters overnight.

A couple were rescued after becoming trapped in floodwaters at Morayfield, north of Brisbane, at about 11.30pm, and were taken to Caboolture hospital.

A teenager escaped unscathed when his vehicle was caught in flooding at Kurwongbah, also north of Brisbane, at 1.16am on Tuesday.

A man in his 70s were taken to Toowoomba hospital after being helped from floodwaters on Kingsthorpe Road at about 7.35pm.

Meanwhile, a man feared missing in floodwaters north-west of Brisbane was located safe and well.

Police launched an appeal for information after receiving a report someone had been seen pushing a car in floodwaters on the Burnett Highway near Stockyard Creek at 8pm on Monday.

The car was later found abandoned, but police on Tuesday said the man in question had made contact with them. Initial reports a woman was also missing with him were incorrect.

In New South Wales a man was rescued on Tuesday morning after clinging to a tree for almost 12 hours to escape floodwaters in the state’s south-east.

SES crews retrieved the man from the the swollen Brogo River north of Bega on Tuesday morning.

Authorities said the man had been clinging to the tree from 6pm on Monday night before he was spotted about 4am on Tuesday and rescued an hour later.

The man – thought to be in his 30s – was transported to South East Regional hospital for observation after he was rescued. He was said to be “very disorientated”.

Local SES commander Michelle De Friskbom said the man had been trying to check on some horses across the river when he was swept away on Monday evening.

A rescuer initially swam out to a tree about 10 metres from the riverbank with a line on Tuesday morning before a rope was thrown another five metres to the man clinging to his tree further into the river.

“With all the recent bushfire impacted areas, there was quite a lot of debris floating down the stream,” De Friskbom told the ABC.

“So the gentleman was extremely lucky to be able to hang on to that tree for the amount of hours that he did and not have anything come down and wash him further downstream.”

Bega Valley Shire Council on Tuesday warned: “Conditions in the Bega, Brogo, Bemboka and Towamba rivers and all surrounding creeks and waterways are dangerous this morning.

“Significant volumes of water and strong flows are still being experienced in some locations,” the council said on Facebook.

The SES implored people not to enter floodwaters either in a car or on foot.

“We are still getting a number of flood rescues from people who are making poor decisions,” a spokeswoman said on Tuesday. “Hopefully we are coming towards the end of the bad weather for the time being.”

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