Heavy rain and flooding hit northern Queensland as the tropical storm moves south

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The tropical storm that has caused widespread flooding in far northern Queensland is moving south but is expected to diminish before reaching Brisbane, according to the Bureau of Meteorology.

Parts of northwestern Queensland were hit by more than 500mm of rain in the 48 hours to Thursday morning, BoM information specialist Danny Teece-Johnson said.

“Atop Mount Isa, they’ve had big falls in the last 48 hours, around the Lower Gulf Central region,” Teece-Johnson said.

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“At Century Mine, near the NT border, they’ve had about 500mm in two days. There are many floods in that region. But as it comes down, it gets weaker.

Teece-Johnson said the low-pressure system was slowly moving down the state, but would only bring rain, the heaviest of which would likely fall in the Lockyer Valley.

“For the Southeast, the forecast is not severe, just widespread rainfall,” Teece-Johnson said.

“We expect 20-40 windmills around the southeast coast on Saturday and possibly 10-20 on Sunday – which is on the high side. It’s getting weaker – there’s a chance of thunder, but it just looks like a shower.”

The state’s northwest had experienced a heavy monsoon season that had led to significant flooding, with several remote communities in the Gulf of Carpentaria isolated by floodwaters for the past three months.

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services had flown essential supplies to the community of Doomadgee and Mornington Island.

“Essential supplies for the stranded community of Doomadgee landed from Cairns with heavy rain continuing to fall over saturated north-west Queensland,” the QFES said on Twitter on Thursday.

“More supplies are planned for Doomadgee and Mornington this week, with flooding cutting off communities in the region.”

Teece-Johnson said the storm would be welcome news to some in the Darling Downs, west of Brisbane, which had experienced its driest summer since 1900.

“We’re getting some rain in Darling Downs, which is good news. In the northern hills they have been fighting fires there for months,” he said.

The weather system was expected to linger around the weekend and dissipate on Sunday before heading offshore.

“The wind behind it will push it to shore early next week,” he said.

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