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Queensland on alert as rain leads to flood warnings

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Heavy rainfall spreading into southeast Queensland has caused some flooding as the Bureau of Meteorology warns that the wet weather is persisting for longer than previously expected in an evolving situation.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said today that the weather event was not as severe as the inundation that caused severe flooding earlier in the year, but major flood warnings had been issued for several rivers and creeks. The Brisbane River was not expected to exceed minor flood levels.

“This rainfall is not like we saw in the previous event. This rainfall is actually a bit more sporadic and it is not as heavy, but we are still seeing some cases of flooding and rivers rising in some particular areas,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

“We are not expecting to see that extent of damage that we saw last time, but as it is an evolving situation we are asking people to be prepared and to be alert.”

Emergency services had responded to some 150 calls for help, and some 300 properties had water across them in Laidley, in the Lockyer Valley, she told a media briefing.

The severe weather has moved into the region after previously affecting coastal and inland areas further north in the state.

RACQ spokesperson Kate Leonard-Jones says more than 450 roads have flooded across Queensland, and flood warnings and emergency alerts have been issued to several regions, including an evacuation notice for the Lockyer Valley.

The insurer has already received more than 120 claims from the current severe weather event.

“The majority of claims so far are from the Greater Brisbane and Ipswich areas, Wide Bay, Sunshine Coast and Townsville, but we do expect the number of claims to rise in coming days as the weather system tracks further south,” she said.

“Around 80% of the claims we have received relate to property damage, including leaking roofs, water entry through windows and ground floor flooding.”

Meteorologist Laura Boekel says a clearing patter is expected tomorrow, but there could still be pockets of intense rainfall that could quickly affect creeks in already saturated areas.

“We don’t need to see a lot of rainfall to see rises in the creeks and where we do see those intense pockets of rainfall, that is where we can see flash flooding,” she said.