Australia Day will be a washout for Queensland
UPDATE: SWIFTWATER rescue crews in central Queensland have been flat out overnight and this morning, responding to more than 20 calls for help.
The majority of the callouts occurred in and around Rockhampton.
Seven people at Kabra (west of Rockhampton) were evacuated by Queensland Fire and Rescue Serv ice crews and State Emergency Service (SES) personnel.
A woman and two children were rescued by SES personnel after being in a vehicle isolated by flood water at Mackenzie River, near Middle Mount.
Around 3.45am two vehicles were isolated on the Bruce Highway at Bob's Creek near Rockhampton due to water over the road. Three SES personnel rescued the occupants.
Queenslanders in for wet, wild and windy Australia Day weekend
A TROPICAL weather system that has thrashed North Queensland will make its way south over the weekend leaving Queenslanders with a wet and windy Australia Day.
Ex-cyclone Oswald caused heavy rain on the Central Queensland coast and Capricornia region on Thursday after inundating North Queensland.
The Central Coast and Capricornia regions are expected to receive up to 300mm of rain over the next few days.
The fierce weather system is then expected to make its way south for the long weekend.
In its advice at 5am Friday, the weather bureau said, Ex-Tropical Cyclone Oswald was located over land, approximately 120 km west of Mackay and moving south-southeast at about 12 kilometres per hour.
"The monsoon trough extended from the southern Gulf of Carpentaria to Ex-Tropical Cyclone Oswald and then to the east coast near Fraser Island.
"Damaging winds with gusts to 90 km/hr are possible over the Central Coast, Capricornia and Wide Bay and Burnett districts.
"Areas that may be affected include islands and coastal locations between the Whitsundays and Sandy Cape.''
"Heavy rainfall which may lead to flash flooding is likely over the Capricornia, Wide Bay and Burnett, eastern parts of the Central Highlands and Coalfields, and northern parts of the Southeast Coast district, possibly reaching areas north of Brisbane late in the day.''
Areas between St Lawrence and Brisbane, and inland to about Emerald may be affected. Six hour rainfall accumulations of 100 to 200mm are possible.
At 1am Friday, severe flash flooding was reported in the Yeppoon area where rainfall of 271mm has been recorded since 9am Thursday.
While the system is expected to weaken, Weather Channel senior meteorologist Dick Whitaker said it would still produce rain and strong winds.
"During Sunday and Monday we expect rain and windy conditions for Brisbane," he said.
"We are talking later in the week and right down to the border to north-east NSW.
"We expect three-day totals of 100mm of rainfall."
The weather system will hang around the south-east corner and Northern NSW until early next week.
Mackay residents bracing themselves for flooding
Residents and business owners across Mackay are today bracing themselves for more rain and possible flooding.
Coady's Cafe on Evan St in South Mackay almost found itself under water after heavy rain dumped falls of up to 240mm on the region yesterday.
Owner Leanne Coad said it was the most rain she had experienced since the 2008 floods.
In the Rockhampton region, the Bruce Highway has been closed at Marlborough due to flash flooding over the road.
A police spokesman urged all motorists to stay off the roads in Central Queensland if possible as the current rainfall has made road conditions unpredictable and dangerous.
Wild weather in the Whitsundays
Rain and wind was causing havoc in Airlie Beach with several boats being damaged in the severe weather.
At Cannonvale, one boat is on the rocks and another is on the beach.
Near Mandalay, a partly built house boat is believed to be sinking.
Cruise Whitsundays has stopped all ferry services from Abel Point to the islands.
Ferries are still running to Hamilton, Daydream and Long Islands from Shute Harbour but there are no services from Abel Point.
Cruise Whitsundays CEO Peter O'Reilly said the decision was made to stop Abel Point services in the interests of safety.
"There's a pretty significant swell coming across," he said.
"Sea conditions in Pioneer Bay are too dangerous for ferry operations."
The Bureau of Meteorology has recorded more than 100mm of rain in the 24 hours to 9am this morning at all sites from north of Townsville to south of Mackay.
Technical officer at the bureau's Mackay Station, Evan Chalk, said coastal areas were experiencing north east to north westerly winds of 25-33 knots north of Mackay and this was likely to increase to up to 40 knots this afternoon.
Gladstone residents warned of flooding
AUTHORITIES are warning residents of flood-prone towns such as Baffle Creek, Agnes Water and 1770 to prepare for several days of inundation.
Gladstone deputy mayor Matt Burnett said areas south to Bundaberg were particularly flood-prone.
"Possibly going to be making a bit of a havoc down our way, but we're just saying residents in that area, it is possible they could become isolated as they have in the past, so just to be ready for that," he told ABC.
"Whether it means to be out of town at the time you need to to sort of pack up and start getting yourselves organised now.
"No need to panic - just if people are worried about being isolated then perhaps they might need to make themselves move onto another area."
A number of roads in the Gladstone region have been closed as heavy rainfall continues.
Cyclone not expected to reform but will be strong low
Mr Whitaker does not expect the cyclone to reform.
"It will be quite a strong tropical low moving down the coast," he said.
"Its decreasing from the north as it moves further south."