Overnight, Queensland’s south-east was hit by a powerful storm that caused flash flooding across Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast, and tragically, as the clean-up continues, five people have been confirmed dead.
The area north of Brisbane was hit the hardest, with some areas experiencing up to 300mm of rainwater in just three hours.
Per reports in Sky News, Queensland police have just confirmed the death of a 49-year-old man whose vehicle was swept away near Caboolture. A 21-year-old woman and 16-year-old boy escaped.
A 75-year-old man at nearby Burpengary was also killed when his car was swept away. Earlier in the afternoon, a man in his 70s, a woman in her 30s, and an 8-year-old boy died when their vehicle was trapped in floodwaters.
In a media briefing about the floods, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said that the deaths were “a tragedy … not an easy thing to talk about” and the rainfall was “off the scale”.
Palaszczuk told media that, as of late last night, there had been 19 swift-water rescues in Brisbane on Friday, and that the SES had received approximately 1400 calls for help.
The storms struck during peak hour, causing major delays to public transport, with train lines shutting down as stations and tracks flooded north of the city. A number of roadways were also cut off, with major traffic delays along the Bruce Highway to the Sunshine Coast.
Thousands of homes were without power, and Caboolture Hospital was cut off by floodwaters, with incoming patients diverted to other locations.
Beaches at the Gold and Sunshine Coasts were closed yesterday, and Surf Lifesaving Queensland has warned that conditions over the next few days are likely to be unstable.
Yesterday saw the most recorded rainfall that has ever hit Brisbane in a single day in May.
Image via 9 News / Twitter