Millions of Australians are wary of severe thunderstorms and flash flooding on Friday night as torrential rains continue to wreak havoc on the east coast.
A man was killed Friday morning in rising water in Hibernia, near Rockhampton in central Queensland.
Thousands of residents living in low-lying areas along the Hawkesbury-Nepean river system in North Richmond, northwest of Sydney, find themselves on the cutting edge of the city’s Warragamba Dam which bursts its banks overnight. .
The Bureau of Meteorology issued dozens of severe thunderstorm and flood warnings Friday evening for north and southeastern Queensland and NSW.
The BoM warned that damaging slow-moving thunderstorms were detected west of Brisbane, Logan and the Gold Coast.
Weather warnings have been issued for severe thunderstorms and flash flooding on Australia’s east coast, as torrential rains continue to wreak havoc. Pictured is flooding in the Molong area of mid-west NSW
The central town of Molong in western NSW was flooded and faced a ‘volatile’ situation with rapidly rising flooding on Friday
The storms were concentrated near Laidley, Gatton, Crows Nest, Border Ranges National Park, Moogerah and Hampton.
The weather service’s warning was addressed to hundreds of thousands of people in the council areas of Ipswich, Scenic Rim, Toowoomba and Lockyer Valley.
The warning warned of ‘heavy rains that could lead to flash flooding’.
In Forest Hill, between Toowoomba and Brisbane, 79mm of rain fell in just three hours on Friday afternoon.
The Bureau of Meteorology says the ongoing downpour has led to one of the wettest November on record with widespread flooding in the eastern states.
The NSW State Emergency Services said it answered more than 3,000 calls on Friday following flooding near Orange and Newcastle.
Orange had the highest monthly rainfall since records began in 1870, with a total of 243.2mm on Tuesday.
Multiple flood warnings were also issued Friday night in regional NSW, which had already been hit hard by raging flooding at Scone, Inverell and Gunnedah.
Weather maps on Friday night showed Australia’s eastern states bathed in blue, signaling rain and flooding, with thunderstorms forecast
A series of thunderstorms just west of the Gold Coast and Brisbane threatened severe thunderstorms Friday night
Flooding at Gungal in the Upper Hunter Valley captured in dramatic footage
The new Friday night warnings include the Macquarie River near Bathurst; the Belubula River at Canowindra; the Peel River at Tamworth; the Namoi River System at Gunnedah, Narrabri and Wee Waa; the Castlereagh River near Gilgandra and the Queanbeyan River near Canberra.
The BoM reported that dozens of cities on the east coast have received more than 100 millimeters of rain in just two days.
Canberra has already had its wettest November ever at 148mm and Bundaberg was hammered at 192mm.
Conditions are not expected to ease until the weekend with coastal NSW to cope with the worst storms.
Warragamba, which supplies most of Sydney’s water, currently has a 99.6 percent capacity and will burst Friday night
Pictured: Maroon Dam in southeastern Queensland. The BoM warned Friday that damaging slow-moving thunderstorms were detected west of Brisbane, Logan and the Gold Coast
The rain bomb that drenched Sydney filled the city’s largest dam to capacity and was 100 percent full by 7 p.m.
The Warragamba Dam, which supplies most of Sydney’s water, is expected to flood at midnight on Friday.
Residents living downstream in suburbs such as Richmond and Windsor are urged to remain vigilant in case water spilling from the dam causes the Hawkesbury-Nepean river system to overflow.
There could be “downstream effects” from the release of excess water, said WaterNSW, the body responsible for the dam.
The spill could peak at 100 gigaliter on Saturday.
Warnings were also posted early Friday evening for ‘severe thunderstorms’ and ‘heavy rains that could lead to flash flooding’ for the northern plateaus of NSW.
The small town of Wiangaree, about an hour southwest of Tweed Heads, could be near the epicenter of the dangerous storms, the weather bureau said.
The NSW Weather Office has issued updates on a ‘volatile’ situation unfolding as a result of flooding at Molong, in central west NSW.
The rains that have ravaged central western NSW and the Hunter regions are heading northeast to Queensland
NSW Bureau of Meteorology reported rapidly increasing flooding with reports of rescues underway at Molong.
The far north of Queensland was also warned of severe thunderstorms and heavy rain inland from the tropical north coast.
Sites that could be affected include Boonah, Rathdowney, Crows Nest, Esk, Gatton, Laidley and Lowood in the south, and Chillagoe and Mount Garnet in the north.
“Unfortunately, this wet weather will continue for the rest of Friday and into the weekend,” said BoM senior meteorologist Jonathan How.
“We will see a lot of showers and storms, including through eastern Victoria, Canberra, Sydney and Brisbane and the Gold Coast.”
heavy rain continued to fall over NSW moving towards Queensland on Friday evening
Heavy rain hit Sydney on Friday as a low pressure area moved in from the southern and western regions of the state.
The wild weather has already led to widespread flooding with motorists being warned to stay off the road and stay at home.
“Flooded roads and reduced visibility in heavy rain will make driving conditions dangerous in all suburbs on Friday,” a warning from the Bureau of Meteorology said.