Body found after man was swept away by flood waters in Nanango as drop causes dangerous weather across Queensland


The body of a man has been found after being swept away by floodwaters in Nanango this morning following overnight showers which caused flash flooding in the South Burnett area.

His body was discovered near Sandy Creek this morning, police confirmed.

“We are working to positively identify this person,” Inspector Scott Stahlhut said.

“We have a number of officers on site, our medical examiners and our divers are here.”

Several swift water rescue teams were called to Brown Street in Nanango around 5.30am, a QFES spokesperson said.

An emergency alert was issued at 7.10am by South Burnett Regional Council for flash flooding in the area, residents were warned that roads and bridges could be closed.

Several crews and a swiftwater rescue team made their way to Twin Gums Caravan Park in Nanango, where more than a dozen caravans were hit by floodwaters.

Nanango resident Peter Dalrymple was at the trailer park and said the water was flowing quickly.

“Some caravans in the back that you can’t reach because they sink too fast and too deep.

Residents of Twin Gums Caravan Park in Nanango have been sent to an evacuation center due to flooding.(Supplied by: Queensland Shelter)

“The SES got these people out and took them to the gas station…probably 15 or 16 caravans were hit.”

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services Minister Mark Ryan said residents had been moved to an evacuation centre.

“We are sending other swift water rescue teams to Maryborough just to be on standby in case there is localized intense heavy rain which could contribute to flash flooding,” Mr Ryan said.

A swift water rescue team was also called to help two people in a car in flood waters at Kumbia Road near Nanango at around 3.30am.

Flooding in a caravan park.
Flooding at Twin Gums Caravan Park near Nanango. (Provided: Bruce Webb)

A low pressure system on the east coast brought 20-foot waves and dangerous conditions to parts of the state.

Upper Springbrook in the Gold Coast hinterland recorded 112mm of rain in 24 hours.

Local disaster coordinator Alton Twine said Gold Coast residents should consider delaying travel in the event of heavy rain.

“There is always the possibility of flash flooding,” Mr Twine said.

“Mudgeeraba had about 50mm overnight – we can expect the same kind of intensity over the next 24 hours.

“We are on full alert for conditions for the next two days.”

A caravan stands in flood waters
More than a dozen caravans have been inundated after rapidly rising flood waters hit Nanango Caravan Park this morning.(Provided: Silvia Mulder)

Parts of the Sunshine Coast are also facing flash flooding with over 50mm falling in an hour in some places.

Towns in the hinterland, including Maleny, Nambour and Yandina, all recorded more than 100mm in the past 24 hours, causing waterways to surge and minor flooding in some places.

The northern parts of the Maroochy River in Yandina extended beyond the bank, forcing at least six campers to evacuate the area and leaving a van flooded by the river.

Four hours north of the Sunshine Coast, Baffle Creek resident Judy Ferrari said she recorded more than 120ml at her property in the past 24 hours.

A caravan with its wheels covered in flood water.
A caravan in Yandina is at risk of being swept away by the Maroochy River as more than 100mm falls on the area causing waterways to surge and flash flooding. (ABC News: Owen Jacques )

Strong winds hit the coast

A gale warning stretches from Rockhampton to the Gold Coast, with the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) predicting gusts of over 90 kilometers per hour.

BOM meteorologist Shane Kennedy said this was equivalent to the wind speed that occurs during cyclones.

Mr Kennedy said a gust of 130km/h had been recorded on an offshore reef and warned ‘pretty strong winds’ could blow ashore throughout Friday.

Gold Coast beaches are closed today, but surfers were spotted at Snapper Rocks this morning trying to catch a wave despite the dangerous conditions.

A surfer told ABC News he called late for work so he could get out in the 6-foot waves of the southern Gold Coast.

Another surfer said he entered the ocean despite the dangerous conditions for the “adrenaline” rush.

A surfer on the beach in a wetsuit with a broken board and another board.
Quin Bers retrieved his companion’s board from Kirra.(ABC News: Cathy Border )

Experienced Gold Coast surfer Quin Bers rescued a mate’s board that had snapped in half in the wild waves.

He said the ocean sweep is so strong that he entered Snapper and exited Kirra.

“I just saw my mate with half his board swimming in it, I saw him floating out to sea, so I thought I’d grab him and bring him back,” he said.

The Coral Princess cruise ship was due to dock in Brisbane at 6am today but due to bad weather the port is closed and the ship has had to put to sea. It will attempt to dock again tomorrow.

A man stands on rocks next to a tree watching rough waves.
A surfer surveys the swell at Snapper Rocks. (ABC News: Cathy Border)

Boaties said stay home

‘Stay home’ was Southport Coast Guard volunteer Bruce Waite’s message to boaters.

Speaking from the Gold Coast Seaway tower, he said the crashing waves were sending up spray “20m high”.

“It’s not that the ships can’t deal with it, it’s what happens to them if they break down,” he said.

If the boats run out of power or their battery dies or an engine fails, they are “probably in a very deplorable state”, he added.

On Thursday, a wave monitoring buoy off Minjerribah/North Stradbroke Island east of Brisbane recorded maximum wave heights of over 6m.

Wave height off Brisbane
Wave height off Brisbane(Source: Queensland Department of Environment and Science)

The BOM has issued a dangerous surf warning for K’Gari/Fraser Island and the Sunshine and Gold coasts.

Dangerous waves “over 4m” threaten to wash away sand from beaches.

Storm clouds over closed Kings Beach in Caloundra
Storm clouds over closed Kings Beach in Caloundra on Thursday afternoon.(ABC News: Jessica Ross )

Rain to clear up on Saturday

The BOM forecast the rain to break up and become isolated showers by late Friday afternoon.

“And, then, really contracting up the coast late Saturday morning and leaving late Saturday afternoon,” Kennedy said.

“It will depend a bit on how close the coast is to this east coast depression.

“It is expected to come a little closer on Friday and then move away quite quickly on Saturday.”

Mr Waite expected the dangerous sea conditions to persist into Sunday.

“It will still be 6.5 meter sea state until the winds subside,” he said.

“It will probably start happening around Sunday – late Sunday.”

Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey has urged boaters to check the weather forecast this weekend.

“If in doubt, don’t go out,” Mr Bailey said.


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