Beerwah missing kids found after day of storm chaos
FROM 7AM when the torrential rain started to soak the coast, emergency services were flat out responding to a range of rescues and incidents.
To our north, Gympie is still in flood with river levels due to peak tomorrow morning.
From waterspouts to sea foam to a heart-stopping three hours in which three teenage boys went missing after they were seen clinging to trees in flood waters at Beerwah, emergency services and swift water rescue teams barely had a chance to draw breath.
Below is a blow by blow account of all the news as it happened.
POLICE are reminding the public of the dangers of swimming in flood waters following two rescue operations on the Sunshine Coast this afternoon.
About 12.15pm police received a call from a member of the public saying two teenagers had been seen swimming in flood waters and were now clinging to a tree close to Old Gympie Road at Beerwah.
Eight Queensland Police Service crews and multiple Queensland Fire and Emergency Services Swift Water Rescue crews were assisted by the Westpac Rescue Helicopter in searching for the two boys.
Following an extensive search for the youths, including contacting friends and family, the boys later approached police to let them know they were safe and well. It appears the boys were able to reach land without assistance.
Police were also involved in the search for two people at Woodford this afternoon.
At about 1.45pm police received reports of a man and a young boy riding a single, blow-up toboggan in fast flowing water at a property at Ironbark Drive, Woodford.
The pair were retrieved from the flood waters by emergency services personnel without injury.
The 40-year-old man from Woodford has been charged with public nuisance.
At Gympie, two little girls had to be rescue from a vehicle in flood waters.
AUXILIARY fire captain Luke Chapman said he was happy the boys had been found has it had started to look "very grim."
He said numerous witnesses saw the boys clinging to trees at the scene and called 000.
He said the boys either got themselves out or were assisted.
He said they were spotted later walking along the road.
EMERGENCY services are rushing to Gympie where a car has driven into floodwaters.
An unknown number of occupants are understood to be in the car at Power Rd, Gympie.
Swift water rescue crews are about to enter the water.
More details to come.
Queensland Fire and Emergency Services duty manager Dave Woods confirmed his crew has been stepped down from the search of three boys after they turned up, unharmed.
He said his team had dedicated eight swift water technicians to search waterways and on land for the three boys who were reported missing at Beerwah earlier this afternoon. The rescue helicopter assisted in the hunt. They searched for about three hours before the boys were found at a friend's house.
He told the Daily the crew had already been called to another incident, believed to be a vehicle in the water, at Gympie though details were scarce at this stage.
POLICE have issued another stern warning about entering flood waters after a swift water rescue mission was launched for three boys believed missing in floodwater at Beerwah.
The boys have since turned up.
Queensland Police issued a media release reminding people about how dangerous it is to play in waterways.
"A quick dip, a bit of fun, shouldn't end it tragedy, and shouldn't risk the lives of emergency service personnel," it says.
FRIENDS and family of the three 14-year-old Beerwah State High students who joined in the search for the boys are at the local sports oval.
Our reporter says she is hearing news the boys have been found and people are very relieved.
"All our prayers were answered for everybody," one woman at the scene told the Daily.
The boys are reported to be at the primary school talking to the police.
A local boy has told the Daily of his relief but surprise at the search.
He said the three boys had came to his place and they had been body boarding "as you do."
WE'VE had eyewitness accounts saying all three boys have been found.
These are still unconfirmed by emergency services.
WE'RE hearing very early reports the children may have been found.
This is unconfirmed at this stage.
POLICE are assisting swift water crews in the search for three children missing in flood waters at Beerwah.
Officers are interviewing potential witnesses to establish what happened in the moments before the children vanished.
It was yet to be established whether the children were swept away or had exited the water themselves.
The four swift water rescue crews have moved further upstream to widen the search area.
More to come
FOUR swift water rescue crews continue to search for missing children last seen in flood waters at Beerwah.
Queensland Fire and Emergency Services duty manager Dave Woods said it was difficult to say whether the trio was playing in the waters before the incident, but he confirmed they have not been seen since.
The land, sea and air search continues.
SWIFT Water Rescue teams are searching for three children reportedly missing in flood waters at Beerwah.
The children were last seen with a white boogie board in flood waters at Old Gympie Rd and Peachester Rd.
The Westpac Rescue Helicopter has been called in to assist.
Swift Water Rescue technicians are searching via the air, land and on inflatable rafts on the water for the children.
2PM Bruce Highway goes under
ALL eyes are on the Mary River this afternoon as the deluge moves downstream.
The Bruce Highway has been cut northbound at Kybong. Motorists have been advised to take Mary Valley Rd as an alternative.
SUNSHINE Coast Mark Jamieson says the Sunshine Coast has dodged a bullet when it comes to major flood damage.
"The Sunshine Coast has been very fortunate all round.
"The Sunshine Coast will be back in business tomorrow"
Local Disaster Management Committee coordinator Andrew Ryan said the brunt of the storm is behind us.
"There is some concern for Kenilworth.
"It's cut off from all directions with possible exception of Northern rd ( Brooloo rd).
"The Mary River may rise and cut it off too.
"There are still up to 400 homes without power.
"They are a resilient community, and are prepared- the worst has passed for Kenilworth.
"Our biggest concern is Gympie, the Bruce Highway may be cut south of Gympie later on, the water is rising."
<<< SEE COMPLETE LIST OF ROAD CLOSURES HERE
12.45PM- RAIN EASES, BUT WARNINGS REMAIN
POLICE have reminded the public to exercise extreme caution with strong winds, hazardous surfs and heavy rainfalls having been experienced or continuing across parts of Central and South East Queensland.
During and immediately after severe weather events traversing roadways, either in vehicles or on foot, can become extremely hazardous as water levels can rise and fall quickly.
The public are urged to travel with caution and drive to the prevailing weather and road conditions.
Avoid flooded roads, creeks and watercourses and motorists are also reminded that road closures and road conditions can change rapidly as creeks and water courses can rise and fall quickly.
Parents are also reminded to ensure their children are not playing in flood prone waterways, watercourses and drains as water levels can rise quickly.
Motorists are asked to carefully plan their trips.
EARLIER this morning, power lines at a house on Victoria Tce at Shelley Beach were reportedly on fire.
Caloundra Fire Brigade attended the scene, and confirmed that the danger was quickly removed when they pulled the primary fuse to isolate electricity from the house.
"There was a bit of scorching to the house, but that was it," a Caloundra firefighter said.
PLENTY of curious onlookers are braving the rain to check out Sunshine Coast beaches.
Reporter Megan Mackander, armed with a camera and rain jacket, headed out to snap a shot from Alexandra Headland towards Mooloolaba. The Point Cartwright Lighthouse is barely visible through the haze which overlooks the murky, rough seas.
12.15PM- BEERWAH GOES UNDER
BEERWAH residents are rained in as the deluge heads south.
The trip from Beerwah to Mooloolah has been tedious and sometimes dangerous, with the journey taking up to an hour to complete.
The main intersection at Old Gympie Rd and Roys Rd is under one metre of water.
12.10PM- POWER OUTAGES
ENERGEX continue to work on restoring power to Sunshine Coast homes in the wake of wild weather.
Currently, 528 homes are without power and 257 of those are in Kenilworth.
That figure is currently down from 726 at about 10.30am.
The majority of damage causing the outages has been damage from severe weather, primarily power lines down.
Emergency repairs are still in progress at Peachester.
CRAIGLEA Stud owners Marilyn and Stan Johnston said they had a medium-sized flood this morning but the Mary River is still to peak at Kenilworth.
The BOM has issued a major flood warning for the river.
Both roads from Kenilworth to Maleny are closed due to the weather and Kirk Vagg sent us these photos.
- 607 Sunshine Coast homes are currently without power.
- 257 residences in Kenilworth have no power.
Just over half an hour ago there were 726, but Energex have been working hard to restore the service.
The majority of outages have been caused by "severe weather", much of that being powerlines down.
Emergency repairs at Peachester are still in progress.
Other areas affected include 39 at Conondale, 23 (down from 111 in Ninderry) and 9 at Montville.
The 31 residences in Maroochydore have had power restored.
BOM has released its latest storm warning:
"Severe thunderstorms are likely to produce destructive winds and heavy rainfall that may lead to flash flooding in the warning area over the next several hours. Locations which may be affected include Gold Coast, Brisbane, Maroochydore, Moreton Bay and islands, Beenleigh, Caboolture and Caloundra.
"At 10.13 am Saturday, 21 February 2015 a separate Severe Weather Warning for Southeast Coast Forecast District was current.
"A waterspout was observed near Mooloolabah this morning which moved over land and has reported to have caused some building damage."
10.37AM - SURFERS AT YAROOMBA
CRAZY surfers hit the waves at Yaroomba.
- 726 Sunshine Coast homes are currently without power.
- 257 residences in Kenilworth have no power.
According to Energex, the majority has been caused by "severe weather", with emergency repairs currently in progress at Peachester.
Other areas affected include 39 at Conondale, 31 in Maroochydore, 111 in Ninderry and 9 at Montville.
Water is also over the road near the football grounds, around Crusher Park Drive, in Nambour.
THE principal has just arrived at Mooloolaba State School and SES volunteers say damage to the school was minimal apart from the fallen trees and damage to the boom gate.
The worst of the storm has passed the Coast but with more than 200mm of rain - effectively a month's worth - that's fallen in the Hinterland, the impact still needs to be assessed.
Sunshine Coast Local Disaster Management Group will provide an update at 12.30PM.
A number of Mooloolaba homes have been damaged by storm activity in the past hour.
Resident Fiona Jackson, who lives along the canal, said it was a "terrifying" experience.
She said a 20m-tall tree and catamaran in their area sustained damage, and power was lost.
"We were lucky, no-one was hurt," she said.
POLICE and emergency workers have been called to Mooloolaba after reports this morning a water spout had formed offshore before crashing ashore.
Local Disaster Management Group coordinator Andrew Ryan said emergency workers are also on their way to Robard Road Bald Knob where a property owner has reported concern about a land slip.
Localised thunderstorms with strong winds formed earlier this morning as the broad front of ex-tropical cyclone Marcia former through the Sunshine Coast and to sea over Bribie Island.
Mr Ryan said water would again be over the road at Bradman Avenue and other areas where local flooding had occurred yesterday.
However there are no longer concerns about widespread flooding despite more than 100mm falling in just over an hour between Eumundi and Nambour.
"We're not quite out of the woods just yet," Mr Ryan said.
Further north a property owner self-evacuated in Rifle Street Pomona early but rain had passed Noosa by 8am. There is still cloud showing north of Noosa but no signs at this stage of another front.
- BILL HOFFMAN
BIONIC Storage at Cresswell Road, Caloundra have moved several of their caravans to higher ground with the threat of flooding.
Staff have assured customers all items are dry and secure, however some vehicles stored have been moved to safety.
DAILY reporter Bill Hoffman says the latest BOM report shows the system is just about through us now and will come out at Caboolture and over Bribie Island.
"The latest report has a lot of streams and rivers falling but those reports won't include heavy rain we got in last hour.
"The high tide will be the key time."
ROADS LATEST: Fleming St at Yandina in all directions is also experiencing hazards, with delays expected.
Yandina-Coolum and Cooroy-Noosa Rds have also gone under.
173 Meridan Way, Meridan Plains has also been closed with the water level reaching 200mm and a strong current.
Nambour currently has a number of roads with water hazards, including Florence St being closed with water approx. 300mm deep.
MORE than 800 homes across the Sunshine Coast are without power this morning. The majority of the homes are in Kenilworth and Ninderry with 256 and 310 homes respectively with no power.
Forty-seven homes in Yandina are in the dark this morning, while 24 homes in Peachester and Valdora have no power.
Energex is working to restore the network.
NEWS director Bianca Clare says winds are picking up at Buderim.
"There's heavy rain on top of Buderim," she said..
"It was still until 8am.
"Low lying areas of Crosby Hill Rd and Mons Rd are experiencing water on roads.
"The winds are picking up but people are still out enjoying breakfast and braving the wild weather."
Daily photographer Patrick Woods is making his way to work and says there have been reports of Nambour and Yandina areas really copping it currently, with water all over the roads and no-one directing traffic
Police and SES are scouring the Pomona region for dangerous or water logged roads as the rain pelts down with the movement of Cyclone Marcia southward.
Pockets at Cooran are going under including Henry Street and Tablelands Rd
Kingsford Smith Parade and Fifth Ave at Maroochydore is also affected by water
PARTS of Cotton Tree are again under water with Sunshine Coast councillor Jason O'Pray begging drivers not to go through flood water as it sends waves through affected properties.
This area will likely be worse when the high tide comes later this morning at 10.49am. Today's is a large high tide of about two metres.
According to the Daily's deputy editor Damian Bathersby, it's wet, wet, wet and grey at Moooloolaba. Damian is due to go to a wedding today but is suggesting staying in bed might be a better option at this stage.
The Sunshine Coast Destination Limited eight Visitor Information Centres are closed today - two at Caloundra, Glass House, Montville, Coolum, Airport, Maroochydore and Mooloolaba.
A BOOMING crack of thunder rumbled across the Sunshine Coast skies.
At Twin Waters, there's heavy rain and that shows not sign of letting up.
7.20AM: Queensland Fire and Emergency Services is urging residents in Gympie and Sunshine Coast council areas to prepare for very dangerous thunderstorms in the coming hours.
The Bureau of Meteorology has advised very dangerous storms have been detected on the radar.
QFES is urging residents who are currently in and around the warning areas to prepare for the storms.
Residents should bring loose outdoor items indoors and secure items, which can't be moved, such as swing sets and trampolines.
They should also move their car undercover and away from trees and when the storm approaches seek shelter indoors and never under trees.
Always be aware of fallen trees and powerlines. For storm and flood emergency assistance contact the State Emergency Service (SES) on 132 500 and in a life-threatening emergency dial Triple Zero (000).
6.16AM: SUNSHINE Coast residents are being warned to expect heavy rain and flash flooding despite Cyclone Marcia being downgraded to a low pressure system.
Acting Local Disaster Management Group (LDMG) Coordinator Steve Linnane said a severe weather warning was still in place.
"The Bureau of Meteorology is predicting coastal rainfalls of up to 150mm between 4am and midday and some isolated areas in the Sunshine Coast hinterland may receive falls up to 200mm," Mr Linnane said.
"The heavy rainfall, combined with flooded rivers and a high tide of 2.01 metres just before 10am will cause stormwater to back-up and increase the potential for flooding in low lying areas.
"Sunshine Coast has received 250-300mm of rain in the past 48 hours.
"About 65 roads are still closed and I urge motorists to stay off the roads, if possible, and if they have to travel, to plan their journeys carefully.
"Drive to the current road conditions, reduce speed and obey road closure signs.
"Some drivers are still ignoring this message. They are endangering themselves and other people by being reckless.
"Remember when it comes to driving through flood waters - if it's flooded, forget it.
"At this stage, we are not expecting strong or damaging winds, but the LDMG is closely monitoring the situation as weather conditions remain unpredictable.
"We have been most fortunate that we escaped major infrastructure damage and there have been no major injury or loss of life during this weather event," he said.
"We want to keep it that way and I urge parents to keep children away from waterways and drains.''
Sunshine Coast beaches are expected to remain closed.
"Council work crews will be on the roads checking for water damage, clearing debris from parks and gardens and inspecting beaches and beach accesses as soon as the weather clears.
The council's pound on Sippy Creek Rd, Tanawha is closed.
The animals are safe and Council staff are still collecting strays, but the community cannot visit the pound to pick up or drop off animals due to flooded road access.
Kenilworth residents asked to conserve water
SEQ Water has advised that the treatment plant has now closed at Kenilworth due to waterway quality issues.
While there is enough water for four days, and extra water will be trucked in, residents in Kenilworth and surrounding areas are asked to conserve water.
UnityWater has also confirmed overflow of sewerage pump stations affecting Tooway Creek, Moffat Beach and Buderim Falls recreation areas. Signs warning the community of the hazard have been erected.
Virgin Australia Operations have confirmed that flights to and from the Sunshine Coast Airport to Melbourne and Sydney have been cancelled today (Saturday, Feb 21) Contact Virgin Australia for further details.
Sunshine Coast Airport will provide an update on Jetstar flights at 8am. Keep in touch via twitter @SunCoastAirport or facebook.
Council's Customer Contact Centre is operating 24 hours and is fully staffed and can be contacted on 5475.7272.
For life threatening emergencies call 000.
For emergency help in storms and floods call SES 13 25 00.
5AM: Minor flood warning for Noosa and Maroochy River
The Bureau of Meteorology has warned minor flooding is possible for the Noosa and Maroochy River areas on the high tide today at 9.47am.
Tropical cyclone Marcia has now weakened to a low pressure system, but it is still expected to produce heavy rain across the Southeast Coastal districts.
Water levels on the high tide are likely to be near or to exceed the highest tide of the year.
Rainfall eased overnight Friday, with up to 36mm recorded over the last 12 hours.
Latest River Heights:
|Location||Height of River||Date/Time of Observation|
|Mooloolah R at Mooloolah #||1.35m steady||07:44 AM FRI 20/02/15|
|Ewen Maddock Dam #||26.34m falling||03:30 AM SAT 21/02/15|
|Mooloolah R at Jordan St #||4.85m steady||02:51 AM SAT 21/02/15|
|Mooloolah R at Palmview #||4.34m falling||04:28 AM SAT 21/02/15|
|Currumundi Ck at Meridan Way #||2.38m falling||03:38 AM SAT 21/02/15|
|Mooloolah R U/S Parreara Weir #||1.66m falling||04:31 AM SAT 21/02/15|
|Mountain Ck at Tanawha #||0.95m steady||02:36 AM SAT 21/02/15|
|Mountain Ck at Dixon Rd #||1.82m falling||01:40 AM SAT 21/02/15|
|Mooloolaba Tide #||0.52m rising||04:39 AM SAT 21/02/15|
|Golden Beach #||0.47m falling||04:40 AM SAT 21/02/15|
|Coochin Ck at Old Gympie Rd #||2.08m rising||04:30 AM SAT 21/02/15|
|Coochin Ck at Beerwah #||1.91m falling||04:16 AM SAT 21/02/15|
|Coochin Ck at Mawsons Rd *||3.76m falling||03:40 AM SAT 21/02/15|
|N Maroochy R at Eumundi #||3.48m falling||04:24 AM SAT 21/02/15|
|Rocky Ck at Cooloolabin Dam # 2||93.01m rising||04:00 AM SAT 21/02/15|
|Poona Dam # 1||52.74m steady||03:54 AM SAT 21/02/15|
|S Maroochy R at Kiamba #||2.09m rising||04:35 AM SAT 21/02/15|
|S Maroochy R at Wappa Dam #||45.16m rising||04:25 AM SAT 21/02/15|
|S Maroochy R at Yandina #||1.87m rising||04:32 AM SAT 21/02/15|
|Maroochy R at Dunethin Rock #||1.5m falling||04:16 AM SAT 21/02/15|
|Yandina Ck at Yandina Ck #||5.04m rising||03:19 AM SAT 21/02/15|
|Doonan Ck at Doonan Creek #||3.85m steady||03:54 AM SAT 21/02/15|
|Maroochy R at Stoney Wharf Rd #||1.12m steady||04:27 AM SAT 21/02/15|
|Petrie Ck at West Woombye #||0.75m falling||04:40 AM SAT 21/02/15|
|Petrie Ck at Warana Br #||2.73m rising||04:40 AM SAT 21/02/15|
|Paynter Ck at Diddillibah #||3.61m falling||03:52 AM SAT 21/02/15|
|Eudlo Ck at Eudlo #||2.14m steady||04:34 AM SAT 21/02/15|
|Eudlo Ck at Kiels Mountain #||3.15m falling||04:26 AM SAT 21/02/15|
|Maroochy R at Picnic Point #||0.66m falling||04:14 AM SAT 21/02/15|
|Teewah Ck at Coops Corner *||1.77m steady||12:18 AM SAT 21/02/15|
|L Cootharaba at Boreen Point #||0.67m rising||04:03 AM SAT 21/02/15|
|Noosa R at Tewantin #||0.37m falling||04:25 AM SAT 21/02/15|
|Noosa R at Noosa Bar #||0.05m falling||02:24 AM SAT 21/02/15|
#,* auto station |
TROPICAL cyclone Marcia is a tropical cyclone no more.
In a forecast path released by the BOM earlier this morning, the future movement of the ex-tropical cyclone was mapped and showed the weather system was likely to head behind the Coast and off to Brisbane later today.
BOM says while the cyclone has been downgraded, it was still expected to produce heavy rain across the Wide Bay and Burnett, and the Southeast Coast districts during today.
Some six-hour rainfall totals of more than 200mm are possible.
Water levels on the high tide are likely to be near or to exceed the highest tide of the year in exposed coastal areas today between Burnett Heads and Coolangatta. Dangerous surf and beach erosion is also expected on exposed beaches today between Burnett Heads and Coolangatta.
Although winds are generally easing around the system, and so damaging winds are becoming less likely, there is still the chance of some damaging gusts to about 90 km/hr near the coast and ranges as the system moves southwards across the Wide Bay and Burnett, and the Southeast Coast forecast districts today, according to BOM.
Parts of the Sunshine Coast are currently experiencing significant rainfall.
Here's where the rain fell in the past three hours in the Mooloolah catchment (in millimetres):
At Twin Waters there are reports of some localised flooding and a recent dowpour seems to have temporarily eased.
How are things where you are? Email email@example.com.
Flood warnings remain in place for minor flooding on the Maroochy River at Picnic Point on the high tides overnight Friday and during Saturday.
There are current minor to moderate flood warnings on the Mooloolah and Mary rivers too with the next warning due at 5am.
IT'S likely to be a quiet night tonight for the Coast.
The Bureau of Meteorology has downgraded coastal rainfall predictions to 250mm from what had been 300 - 400mm, or possibly more data from the US Navy used by Noosa head of disaster planning Bob Abbott concurs with that despite earlier predicting a 3am strike.
Minor flood warnings have been reissued for the Coast's rivers.
- Bill Hoffman
THE next round of flood warnings are expected to be issued by the Bureau of Meteorology at 9PM tonight, close to high tide on the Coast.
With Cyclone Marcia now downgraded to a category 1 and moving very slowly to the south of Gladstone, it's calm on the Coast for now.
ALL eyes are on the radar with various weather models predicting various outcomes for the Coast.
The Daily team is putting its print edition to bed but we'll update any breaking news as it happens.
THE cyclone might have been more than 500km away, but it was the Sunshine Coast that copped a drenching, recording almost 150mm of rain in some areas.
Maroochydore, Mountain Creek, Golden Beach and Landsborough each received between 100 and 148mm of falls from 9am to 5pm on Friday.
By comparison, the cyclone-lashed centres of Yeppoon and Rockhampton received just 88mm and 95mm respectively.
The Coast is now grappling with the remnants of the saturation, with the council vowing to keep its disaster response group ticking over for at least another 48 hours.
This is where the rain fell:
Golden Beach: 103mm
Mountain Creek: 148mm
Noosa Heads: 17mm
3.30PM: More than 20,000 sand bags distributed
More than 900 SES volunteers supported by the rural firies will be on call with flooding expected to trouble low lying areas from Noosa to the Glass House Mountains and into the hinterland.
Home owners have poured into SES centres at Maroochydore and Tewantin to fill sand bags to try to hold off water that has had nowhere to drain in low lying coastal areas.
Emergency Management Queensland area director Andrew Wyatt said more than 20,000 sand bags had already been distributed across the region with another 5000 ordered for the Tewantin centre.
A similar number has restocked the Maroochydore centre where controller David Williams said more than 80 cu metres of sand in more than 5000 bags had already been distributed before.
Maroochydore had 30 volunteers working flat out throughout the day and had completed more than 200 calls for help to sand bag properties in the past 48 hours.
3.15PM: The Council disaster management group to remain active for 48 hours
The Local Disaster Management Group will stay active for the next 48 hours as the heavy rainfall continues.
Local Disaster Management Group Coordinator Andrew Ryan reminded people to be prepared.
"People need to prepare their homes so they can be self-reliant for three days if required," Mr Ryan said.
"We now have 48 roads that are flooded and that will increase.
"You need to drive to the current road conditions, reduce speed and obey road closure signs - people are still ignoring this message.
"You are endangering yourself and other people by being reckless.
"Police will be assisting Council staff to divert traffic and the police advise that fines of up to $680 may apply for traffic infringements."
Mr Ryan said the heavy rainfall and closed roads were affecting some Council facilities.
"Council's pound on Sippy Creek Road at Tanawha has now closed - the animals are safe and Council staff are still collecting strays, but the community cannot visit the pound to pick up or drop off animals," Mr Ryan said.
"Our mobile libraries are not operating today, Beerwah Library is closed, Nambour Library is closing at 1pm and Caloundra Library open but operating with limited services.
"Most of our aquatic centres are now closed, including Beerwah, Buderim, Coolum, Eumundi, Nambour and Palmwoods.
"Aquatic centres at Caloundra, Cotton Tree and Kawana are open but programs have been cancelled."
SEQ Water has advised of polluted waterways in Kenilworth - the treatment plant has now closed. There is enough water for four days, and extra water will be trucked in. People in Kenilworth and surrounding areas are asked to conserve water.
UnityWater has also confirmed overflow of sewerage pump stations affecting Tooway Creek, Moffat Beach and Buderim Falls recreation areas.
3.10: Music festival postponed
Sunshine Coast Council's Lake Kawana Community Centre is postponing the Ball Park Music event tomorrow night (21 February) and re-scheduling for Saturday March 28, 2015, due to the severe weather event.
People should retain their purchased tickets as they will remain valid for the new Ball Park Music performance.
If you are unable to attend the new event on March 28, phone Lake Kawana Community Centre on 5413 1400 to obtain a refund.
To purchase new tickets to the performance visit www.scvenuesandevents.com.au, phone 5413 1400 or purchase in person at the venue. Box Office hours are 9am-5pm Monday to Friday.
PALMWOODS business owner Jacqueline Wilson-Smith is stranded by floodwaters and is spending the day with her kids at her hobby farm.
"I am flooded in at home on our hobby farm near Eumundi with my laptop to connect to the world, three stir crazy kids and my hubby locked up his study," she told the Daily's business reporter, after cancelling a photo shoot planned with the newspaper today.
"Our normally one metre wide creek has swollen to 20m in places and is not passable by either foot, vehicle (or horse!)"
The Gourmet Garden Herbs and Spices foodie said she would enjoy cooking with her kids today.
"We'll be cooking today, to keep the kids and me entertained, with gourmet garden herbs of course!" she said.
"On the menu, frittata with fresh eggs from our chooks, Sunny, Toffee & Treacle, and three lightly dried herbs: parsley, basil and chilli …followed by a home grown mango and Gourmet Garden mint sorbet."
Young Sam (pictured) has been excitedly assessing the creek with his dog Monty this morning.
"Sam and his brother Max and sister Grace normally cross at this point with a little skip across the creek to catch the school bus to North Arm State School," Ms Wilson-Smith said. - NICKY MOFFAT
HELP WANTED: Burpengary Riding for the Disabled are looking for urgent help. They need to relocate 20 horses due to flooding. They have stables for them to go to but can not move them. If anyone can help with floats ring Jane on 0419482020. They have already lost their float in the flood.
2PM POWER RESTORED
ALL but 89 homes have had their power restored on the Sunshine Coast. The homes are all located in Mudjimba. This morning more than 5000 homes were in the dark as Energex worked throughout the day to restore power.
Southbound lanes Bruce Highway closed at Elimbah due to earlier crash. One lane of northbound lanes being used to get people travelling south again.
As of 1.00 pm there has been localised impact to the Optus mobile network in some cyclone affected areas of Queensland.Due to power failures there are disruptions to Optus mobile sites in South Brisbane, Sunshine South, Double Island Point, Rockhampton and Yeppoon.
Optus customers in affected areas may experience some disruptions to their voice and mobile internet services. Overlapping coverage from surrounding mobile sites should ensure service in the vast majority of areas.
Optus continues to monitor the situation closely and will deploy backup generators to affected areas as quickly as possible.
SUNSHINE Coast Local Disaster Management Coordinator Andrew Ryan told media today there was information from SEQ Water that the Kenilworth Water treatment plant was offline.
The township will be relying on its two reservoirs which have enough water for four days.
SEQ Waters will be trucking in water after that until the treatment plant is back online.
That time is unknown.
Unitywater has advised there are 29 overflows at sewerage pump stations, two of most concerning at Moffat Beach/ Tooway Creek and Buderim Falls.
Mayor Mark Jamieson has urged the Sunshine Coast community to continue preparing for Cyclone Marcia which is hitting North Queensland but more than likely will be heading this way.
"Our greatest concern is the number of people continuing to drive through flooded waterways," Mr Jamieson said.
"Please drive safe."
CARS have risked rising flood waters at Bli Bli Rd, Nambour to cross Tuckers Creek bridge. Daily photographer John McCutcheon took this vision, moments before the road was closed near Crusher Park fields.
THERE has been recent reports of trouble along the Bruce Highway.
Traffic and travel information on the Queensland Government website has specified there is currently a water hazard over the "fast lane northbound on the Bruce Highway at Bribie Island Road overpass Northbound".
DUE to the large amount of rain the Coast is experiencing, there may be highly diluted overflows at sewerage pumping stations.
Unitywater has advised this is completely normal in a flood situation.
"Our advanced control system notifies us of any issues in realtime so we can respond 24 hours a day.
"We have crews on stand-by ready to respond to any emergencies and we are working closely with councils and government agencies."
If you experience any water or sewerage disruptions phone 1300086489.
MORETON Bay Regional Council have started door knocking up to 140 properties in low lying areas of Toorbul and Beachmere. Residents are being advised to monitor conditions over the next 48 hours.
Maleny Dairies moving their calf to higher ground
UPDATE NOON: Evacuation centres open
MORETON Bay Regional Council will open evacuation centres at Watson Park Convention Centre, Dakabin and Woodford Memorial Community Hall, Wooford from 2pm today.
People heading to council evacuation centres should bring the following items with them:
- Emergency kit with medications, important phone numbers, portable radio, torch, spare batteries, non-perishable food, bottled water and first aid kit.
- Personal and household documents, Medicare, healthcare and band cards, cash.
- Sleeping bags, pillows and blankets.
- Toiletries, towels and spare clothes.
- Mobile phones and chargers.
- Important documents - insurance, mortgage, passport, marriage and birth certificates.
- Games, toys and reading materials.
UPDATE 11.50AM Higgins Storm Chasers Maroochydore flood footage
11.30AM FLOOD WARNINGS
THE Bureau of Meteorology has issued its latest warning for the Sunshine Coast.
Minor flood levels are possible on the Maroochy River at Picnic Point on the high tide late Friday evening and again Saturday morning.
Rainfall totals in excess of 200 mm were recorded over parts of the Sunshine Coast in the 24 hours to 9 am Friday, BOM stated.
Further heavy rainfall is forecast for the next 24 hours.
Minor flood levels continue in the upper reaches of the North Maroochy River and Maroochy River.
Minor to moderate flood levels continue to rise on the Mooloolah River.
Minor to moderate flood levels continue on Coochin Creek.
PREDICTED RIVER HEIGHTS:
Maroochy River at:
DUNETHIN ROCKS: Rises above the minor flood level (2.85 metres) are not expected at this stage.
PICNIC POINT: Rises to around the minor flood level (1.25 metres) are possible on the high tides late Friday evening and Saturday morning.
Remember: If it's flooded, forget it.
For flood emergency assistance contact the SES on 132 500
The current river, creek and tide levels on the Coast are:
Mooloolah Rd, 1.35m and steady
Ewen Maddock Dam 26.08m and rising
Mooloolah River at Palmview, 3.94m and rising
Maroochy River at Eumundi 5.53m and falling
Mooloolaba tide 2.07m and steady
Petrie Creek at Woombye 6m and rising
Eudlo Creek at Eudlo 3.89m and falling
Noosa River at Tewantin 0.87m and steady
CAUTION at Cotton Tree on the corner of First Avenue and Cotton Tree Esplanade. Knee-height water covering the road
11.15AM KEEPING PETS SAFE
RSPCA Qld is calling for people to be proactive and make provisions for their animals during the expected deluge expected over the next two days.
"People must understand the possible implications and immediately move their animals to higher ground," RSPCA Qld Chief Inspector Daniel Young said.
"Currently a lot of animals are simply being left to fend for themselves and unfortunately, once flood waters have risen, it can be too late to attempt safe rescues."
"Make certain domestic animals have access to shelter and can move off the ground if the property is prone to flooding.
"We urge people make provisions to keep their animals safe if by any chance evacuations become necessary. Ideally move them to the top of the house and leave them with food and water."
YANDINA Bli Bli Rd is now closed with almost half a metre of water over the road.
All SEQ City network trains continue to run on time. We will continue to provide you service updates throughout the day.— Queensland Rail (@QueenslandRail) February 20, 2015
BRADMAN Ave is starting to flood as the rain buckets down and Cyclone Marcia makes landfall in North Queensland. The Maroochydore end of Bradman Ave is the worst at the moment as dangerous conditions increase.
Reporter Naomi Hockins said it was "unbelievable" the parts that were going under. Four-wheel-drives even struggling to get through. The road is expected to close soon.
10AM POWER OUTAGES
JUST over 1000 Sunshine Coast homes are without power still this morning. Energex has advised there are 1109 unplanned outages, the majority at Caloundra.
Properties in the following areas still have no power:
Kiels Mountain 170
Kings Beach 7
North Maleny 125
A CAR is dangerously close to "floating away" after being left parked on the side of the road on Bradman Ave.
SEQ Water staff are keeping a close eye on the region's dams.
Three Sunshine Coast dams are now spilling, with heavy rainfall recordedin the region overnight
Borumba Dam at 100% capacity
Baroon Pocket Dam at 67% capacity
Ewen Maddock Dam at 114% capacity
Lake Macdonald at 106% capacity
Wappa Dam at 114% capacity
Seqwater Chief Executive Officer Peter Dennis said Seqwater was closely monitoring all dam levels, rainfall and potential consequences of inflows into the dams.
"Based on the 'average estimate' forecast from the Bureau of Meteorology, gate operations at Wivenhoe Dam or North Pine Dam are not currently planned. Seqwater is releasing water from Somerset Dam into Wivenhoe Dam to manage inflows," Mr Dennis said.
"On the Sunshine Coast, Ewen Maddock, Borumba and Wappa dams are spilling which is normal during heavy rain and what they are designed to do.
"We advise residents to take precautions downstream but please remember a dam which is spilling has no impact on dam safety."
South East Queensland residents can be alerted of gated releases or dams which are spilling through our free dam release notification service.
Gympie terrace at 9.30am river level very high with high tide, but no apparent flooding.
Meanwhile flood waters continue to wash across Sunshine Coast roads.
This footage was taken this morning at Hill St, Pomona. Thirty-two roads are closed across the Sunshine Coast.
<<SEE FULL LIST OF ROAD CLOSURES HERE
Nambour is going under as corners of the town centre start to flood.
Reporter Naomi Hockins has spotted the Supercheap Nambour carpark enveloped by water, while the car park behind Woolworths has gone under again as Petrie Creek breaks its banks.
Plenty of onlookers are grabbing snaps of the deluge.
Roads continue to go under across the Sunshine Coast. The latest casualty is Subway Rd at Pomona.
<<SEE FULL LIST OF ROAD CLOSURES HERE
SUNSHINE Coast councillor Jason O'Pray was at Maroochydore Beach doing a "sand check."
He sent a message to Sunshine Coast residents to stay safe.
"It's all about our kids today," he told the Daily
"Do not enter any water body.
"The surf is pumping - do not enter.
"The rivers and canals are experiencing king tides - do not enter.
"We expect some local flooding - do not enter drains or any sort of flood water."
Sunshine Coast Council's media relations unit says Mayor Mark Jamieson won't be addressing the media until 12.30pm.
"Operations are the focus this morning and we won't have another media update/interviews until after the LDMG meeting this morning," a spokeswoman said.
WORKERS at Maleny Dairies had trouble getting into work today but they still made it.
A spokeswoman said she got to work fine from Mooloolaba despite there being a bit of flooding on the road.
"The roads weren't too bad," she said.
The dairy posted a photo on Facebook this morning which showed heavy flooding on the land.
8.15AM MORE ROADS CLOSE
The western end of Louis Bazzo Drive at Pomona is now closed after many cars risked travelling through flood waters this morning. The closure is at the western end, close to Summit Rd.
<<SEE FULL LIST OF ROAD CLOSURES HERE
8AM LOUIS BAZZO DRIVE UNDER THREAT
Six mile creek on Louis Bazzo Dr at Pomona won't be dry for much longer. Photographer John McCutcheon took these snaps this morning while cars can still get through.
7.56AM Rain to increase on Sunshine Coast over next 24 hours
Rain is expected to intensify on the Sunshine Coast over the coming 24 hours and the Local Disaster Management Group (LDMG) is advising more roads may be closed by Friday afternoon.
Local Disaster Management Group (LDMG) Coordinator Andrew Ryan said 28 roads were already closed, and urged people to avoid all travel where possible.
"Unless you absolutely need to travel today, please stay off the roads," Mr Ryan said.
"If it's flooded, forget it - not only is it unlawful to enter flood waters, it puts you and our rescue crews at risk.
"We're expecting around 200mm of rain over the next 24 hours and it's quite possible we will start to see flash flooding - if you do need to travel, please check road closures first.
Mr Ryan reminded people to check the Education Queensland website for details of possible school closures.
"Education Queensland will advise of any school closures via their website."
Tropical Cyclone Marcia is now expected to cross the coast as a Category 5, bringing heavy rainfalls and flash flooding to much of South-East Queensland.
For regular weather updates, you can also tune into your local radio station.
7.54AM Eumundi bridge about to go under.
IS THIS the newest rain gauge for the Sunshine Coast?
A photo of a full Peregian Beach skatepark is doing the rounds on social media. A different way of looking at the downpour.
CAR CRASH: car has crashed into a tree at Forest Glen, delays on the Bruce Highway are likely. Reports of up to three vehicles involved, unclear whether they were all invovled in same crash.
SUNSHINE Coast river and creek levels are rising as the high tide mark nears. High tide is expected at 9.03am and it will be the largest this year. Coochin Creek at Beerwah is at 3.41 metres, The Mooloolah River at Palmwoods is at 3.69 metres and rising. The Bureau of Meterology stated the Maroochy River was at 2.92metres at 7.07am.
WHILE rain continues to pound the hinterland and northern corners of the Sunshine Coast, things appear to be calm at Coolum. Children are still taking the bus to school as per usual as water trickles down Mount Coolum in the background.
ENERGEX have worked to restore power to more than 3000 Sunshine Coast homes this morning after a major outage.
MORE than 1000 homes are without power, including 614 homes at Maleny, more than 300 homes are without power in Caloundra.
ALL eyes are on Bradman Ave this morning as rain continues to pour. so far the major thoroughfare notorious for flooding has not been affected. Dark clouds linger over the region as Cyclone Marcia gathers momentum.
Morning joggers say "they aren't phased" to head outside and brave the rain.
THREE hours before the expected high tide of 2.1metres, conditions were rough at Sunshine Coast beaches this morning. Reporter Bill Hoffman braved the wind to head out to Mudjimba beach this morning.
The high tide is expected at 9.03am
NOT even the imminent threat of a cyclone has stopped some health nuts from getting out an about this morning. Reporter Naomi Hockins spotted several people jogging along the Alexandra Prde foreshore this morning as early as 5.30am.
On the opposite side of the road, businesses have sandbagged their homes ready for the deluge with memories fresh of the once-in-100 year flood of 2012.
MORE than 5000 Sunshine Coast homes are without power this morning as Cyclone Marcia nears the Queensland coast.
Energex has advised 5711 homes are without power across the region. Almost half the home without power are in the Caloundra area.
1359 homes are in the dark in Mountain Creek.
At Maroochydore 150 homes are without power.
If you see any fallen powerlines, keep away and phone 131962
THE rain has been relentless through the night and will continue through the morning.
All beaches on the Sunshine Coast are expected to be closed today.
The worst conditions are expected at high tide this morning, 9am, then when Tropical Cyclone Marcia lands, we will be watching to see how the catergory five cyclone impacts us here.
We have photographers and journalists following all the events today, so stay tuned for up-to-date information as it happens.
Stay tuned for schools, roads, airport and hospital closures here.
Stay up-to-date with information from around the state here.
Email your photos, news tips and videos to firstname.lastname@example.org.
GET a deck of cards ready.
Sunshine Coast residents have been warned they could be spending a couple of days at home, without electricity, thanks to Cyclone Marcia.
Members of the Local Disaster Management Group have urged residents to be prepared.
LDMG co-ordinator Andrew Ryan said 300-400mm of rain was expected to fall on the Sunshine Coast, bringing potentially dangerous flash flooding.
The LDMG headquarters at the Nambour council chambers will be staffed 24 hours a day for at least the next 48 hours.
Mr Ryan said the last time the Sunshine Coast had been put to the test by similar conditions was when ex-tropical Cyclone Oswald lashed the area two years ago.
"People need to be personally resilient and able to look after themselves," Mr Ryan said.
Queensland Fire Service liaison officer Chris White said contingency plans had been put in place for staffing over the next few days.
Swift-water rescue crews had been boosted, rural firefighters and lifesavers were preparing sandbags, and off-duty firefighters had been warned they may be called out.
Deputy mayor Chris Thompson urged people not to drive through, walk or play in floodwaters.
Cr Thompson asked people to plan their journeys and stay off the roads if they could avoid it so emergency vehicles could get through if necessary.
He suggested people monitor radio stations, the council's website, and the Bureau of Meteorology for weather updates.
Sunshine Coast health services prepared for cyclone
THE health of Coast residents shouldn't be a problem over the next few days, as our hospital and health service prepare for Tropical Cyclone Marcia.
Contingency plans have been put in place by the Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service, with staffing numbers, supplies and clinical necessities all ensured, during what is expected to be a downpour, with back-up power supplies also available if required.
SCHHS chief executive Kevin Hegarty yesterday confirmed a number of appointments had been postponed, including outpatient, community and allied health clinic appointments all set to be rescheduled in coming weeks, as medical services fine-tuned their focus for an expected hectic few days.
"The Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service is well prepared to maintain essential health care services during this weather event," Mr Hegarty said.
"Our emergency departments and operating theatres will remain open and any surgeries scheduled for tomorrow will also continue as planned."
Meanwhile, flights were going ahead yesterday; however, Sunshine Coast Airport general manager Peter Pallot encouraged locals to keep an eye on the airport's website and social media services for updates on potential flight delays and cancellations.
Mr Pallot said a better idea of the conditions this morning would enable further decisions to be made, but confirmed additional staff had been rostered on for the next few days, to cater for the chaotic conditions.
TAFE campuses at Mooloolaba, Maroochydore and Nambour stayed open yesterday, but again, a decision would be made today on whether to stay open during the impending storms.
Education Queensland encouraged parents to keep up to date on their website at http://deta.qld.gov.au/natural-disasters.html to stay abreast of any school closures.
A number of child care centres around the state, including Chevallum WOOSH and Palmwoods Kids Club closed at 3pm yesterday.
Pets were also being looked after, with Sunshine Coast Animal Refuge manager Jody Blackburn confident the refurbished service road would not be inundated.
Meanwhile, a Woolworths spokesman reassured that Coast residents did not have to go out and stockpile for Armageddon, with plenty of supplies available for Coast supermarkets.