Torrential downpour swamps Sunshine Coast
  • Friday 23 March 2012

The Sunshine Coast yesterday experienced a major rain event when up to 340mm fell between 2.30pm and 7.30pm.

Local Disaster Coordinator Andrew Ryan said the rain had a significant impact from Coolum to Caloundra with areas of Pacific Paradise, Maroochydore, Alexandra Headland, Golden Beach and the Nicklin Way at Kawana hardest hit.

"The highest rainfall totals over 12 hours were recorded at Parrearra Weir with 384mm, Bundilla with 359mm and Sugarbag Road with 325mm, and created havoc in many areas as flash flooding hit commuters, houses and businesses alike," he said,

Flash flooding on the Nicklin Way ground traffic to a halt and rising water threatened vehicles, with some people trapped for up to four hours.

Many vehicles were abandoned on roads across the affected areas and as weather conditions eased and flood waters receded last night, police were making arrangements for those vehicles to be moved clear of the roadways.

Mr Ryan said a number of vehicles were left along the median of the Nicklin Way as people sought refuge from flood waters.

"Police are requesting that people hold off on retrieving these vehicles until after 10am this morning to avoid causing traffic disruptions and for safety reasons," he said.

"Where people require assistance they are requested to contact the Sunshine Coast Police Communications Centre on 5409 0000.

"With the assistance of Red Cross and Queensland Surf Lifesaving, five evacuation centres were activated and provided respite for fifteen people with 5 staying overnight.

"This morning, 36 roads remain closed and 104 are open with caution. .

"I recommend that drivers check council’s website for the most up-to-date information before travelling today."

Flooded roads hampered SES efforts to respond to 594 requests for assistance. At four am 397 jobs were completed with 197 outstanding.

Queensland Fire and Rescue Service performed four swift water rescues from Mooloolaba and completed 110 requests for assistance with 17 requests outstanding at midnight.

Queensland Police Service responded to 220 calls overnight for assistance.

Council staff and members of Queensland Fire and Rescue will be out assessing the extent of damage to infrastructure and private property this morning, and will be determining where people need help to dispose of damaged goods or other personal assistance..

Council’s website, Facebook site www.facebook.com/SunshineCoastCouncil is being updated regularly with information about road closures. You can also follow council on Twitter at @CouncilSCC for updates.