Bureau issues new warning as heavy rain hits Bundaberg again
AUTHORITIES are on alert as more wild weather lashes the Bundaberg region.
Swimmers were evacuated from Nielson Park Beach in dramatic scenes yesterday morning as a series of water spouts swept in from sea.
Bundaberg Surf Life Saving Club suffered damage when one of the tornado-like spouts made landfall and ripped tiles from the roof.
The Bureau of Meteorology has issued a severe weather warning and predicted between 100m and 200m will fall around the region today.
The Bundaberg Disaster Management Group is on alert and yesterday afternoon warned of flash flooding.
It in latest warning, the bureau said that at 4am, a slow moving upper trough and associated upper low were situated across central Queensland.
"The upper trough and low are expected to move slowly eastwards while amplifying during today. A surface trough off the central and southeast Queensland coast is expected to move westwards and onto the coast during today.''
"Areas of heavy rain, which may lead to flash flooding, are expected to develop in the Southeast Coast, Wide Bay and Burnett and far southern parts of the Capricornia districts.
"24 hour totals of between 100 to 200mm are likely, with locally heavier totals in excess of 200mm possible particularly near the coast and about adjacent inland areas.
"Periods of more intense rain may deliver totals of up to 100mm over a shorter duration of up to six hours."
"Locations which may be affected include Gladstone, Gympie, Bundaberg, Kingaroy, Hervey Bay, Fraser Island, the Sunshine Coast and adjacent hinterland areas, Brisbane, Ipswich and the Gold Coast and adjacent hinterland areas.
Mayor urges Bundaberg residents to be vigilant
Bundaberg Regional Council Mayor Mal Forman urged residents to check weather updates frequently.
"We ask residents to please be vigilant and take notice of the relevant advice and warnings," he said.
"People should refrain from walking and riding through floodwater and steer well clear of creeks and storm water drains."
Beachgoers in Bargara yesterday reported seeing eight spouts swirling with water and debris at Nielsen Park and Kelly's Beach.
Volunteer life saver Sam Lester was on patrol when he noticed one of the water spouts heading for shore.
"It formed out of nothing and moved pretty quickly," he said. "The lifesavers emptied the beach and everyone was kind of panicked and running away."
The water spout made landfall and ripped a small hole in the roof of the Bundaberg Surf Lifesaving Club.
"It really flung the tiles off the roof," he said.
"Some of them ended up 10 metres away so our main concern was to make sure nobody was injured."
Lifesaver Emily Pike was on the morning patrol when she saw the tornado-like spouts forming on the horizon.
"Initially there were two and then they kind of dissipated," she said.
But Miss Pike said soon there were four more headed straight for the shore.
"They were quite far off and they were just like a wind funnel," she said. "In total there would have been eight, all at different times."
Miss Pike, whose own Bargara home was damaged in the Australia Day tornadoes, said it had been a tense moment.
"I thought 'you've got to be kidding'," she said. "It was really nerve-wracking."
The Bureau of Meteorology has warned the region is expected to be buffeted by heavy rain and strong winds today and into tomorrow.
Cr Forman met with the Disaster Management Group yesterday morning.
"We're keeping an eye on it and monitoring the system in cooperation with the Bureau of meteorology," he said.
"We do have to be aware that there could be flash flooding if we receive the rainfall that has been predicted."
For emergency assistance call SES on 132 500.