‘Life-threatening’ flooding closes Queensland schools
Downpours of up to 430mm have forced the closure of schools with more heavy rain likely today.
A severe thunderstorm warning has been issued for parts of Herbert and the Lower Burdekin.
The Bureau of Meteorology said severe storms were likely to produce intense rainfall that may lead to "dangerous and life-threatening" flooding in Ayr, Alva Beach and Clare over the next several hours.
At Rita Creek, 176mm of rain was recorded over fours hours to 7.20am. The same gauge recorded 430mm over 22.5 hours from 9am Monday to 7am Tuesday.
The heavy downpours have prompted the closures of a number of schools in the Burdekin on what was meant to be the first day back of the new school year.
Home Hill State School, Home Hill State High School, Airville State School, Jarvisfield State School, Kalamia State School and Osborne State School announced they would be closed today, citing safety concerns.
"Due to the current weather situation Home Hill State School is closed today. There are local road closures and localised flooding around and in the school grounds," Home Hill State School posted on Facebook.
The Bruce Highway between Ayr and Home Hill has also been closed to all traffic.
The Department of Transport and Main Roads said heavy rain and flash flooding had prompted the closure.
Flash flooding is also affecting the intersection of Jones and Bird Streets in Ayr. Motorists are warned not to drive in floodwaters.
Severe thunderstorms are likely to produce intense rainfall that may lead to dangerous and life-threatening flash flooding in the warning area over the next several hours.
Locations which may be affected include Ayr, Alva Beach and Clare.
176mm has been recorded at Rita Creek in the 4 hours to 7.20am AEST
Queensland Fire and Emergency Services advises that people should:
* Never drive, walk or ride through flood waters. If it's flooded, forget it.
* Seek shelter, preferably indoors and never under trees.
* Avoid using the telephone during a thunderstorm.
* Beware of fallen trees and powerlines.
* For emergency assistance contact the SES on 132 500.
Where the rain fell:
From 9am Monday to 8am Tuesday:
- Rita Island: 465mm
- Groper Creek: 370mm
- Inkerman Bridge: 351mm
- Ayr: 343mm
- Brandon: 340mm
- Alva Beach: 271mm
- Nelly Bay, Magnetic Island: 216mm
- Garbutt: 156mm
- South Townsville: 123mm