Ex-Tropical Cyclone Debbie: Winds increase as rain eases on the Gold Coast

11:15AM | A severe weather warning for destructive winds, abnormally high tides and dangerous surf remains in place for the Gold Coast.

At 11am, Ex-Tropical Cyclone Debbie was located offshore from the Gold Coast, and is expected to strengthen off the northern New South Wales coast during today as it moves towards the southeast.

The Bureau of Meteorology warns damaging winds, with peak gusts of around 100 km/h are expected over southern parts of the warning area.


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Locations that may be affected include Gold Coast, Gold Coast Hinterland, and the Scenic Rim.

Dangerous surf conditions combined with abnormally high tides will also produce significant beach erosion today.

Locations which may be affected include the Gold Coast, the Sunshine Coast, Stradbroke Island, Moreton Island and Fraser Island.

The next Severe Weather Warning will be issued by 5:00 pm AEST Friday.

6:00AM | THE rain may have cleared the Gold Coast, but a severe weather warning for destructive winds, abnormally high tides and dangerous surf remains in place.

At 4am, the centre of Ex-Tropical Cyclone Debbie was located offshore from the Gold Coast, and is expected to strengthen off the northern New South Wales coast during today as it moves towards the southeast.

The Bureau of Meteorology warns an area of gale force winds will extend along and near the coast south of Double Island Point, and winds offshore may reach storm force intensity south of Cape Moreton.

Damaging wind gusts of around 90km/h are likely in the warning area throughout the morning, while destructive wind gusts in excess of 125km/h, are possible about the coastal fringe and islands.

Locations that may be affected by these category one cyclone-force winds include Sunshine Coast, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Gold Coast Hinterland, and the Scenic Rim.

An 82km/h gust was recorded at the Gold Coast Seaway (Southport Spit) at 4:02am. Winds have been gusting between 60-72km/h since.

Dangerous surf conditions combined with abnormally high tides will also produce significant beach erosion today.

This is likely to affect the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, and Stradbroke, Moreton and Fraser Islands.

A staggering 890mm of rain was recorded at Upper Springbrook in the 29.5 hours from 11pm Wednesday to 4:30 this morning.

This has caused widespread flooding across the Coast. As a result, all schools will remained closed on the Gold Coast today.

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4:50AM | THE Gold Coast is now being battered by damaging wind gusts of up to 80 kilometres per hour.

An 82km/h gust was recorded at the Gold Coast Seaway (Southport Spit) at 4:02am. The Bureau of Meteorology warns damaging gusts of 90km/h are likely to hang around throughout the morning.

Destructive wind gusts in excess of 125km/h are possible about the coastal fringe and islands. These forecast winds are similar to a high-end category one or low-end category two cyclone. Scroll down for more information.

4:30AM | ALMOST 900mm of rain has now fallen in the Gold Coast hinterland.

A phenomenal 890mm of rain was recorded at Upper Springbrook in the 29.5 hours from 11pm Wednesday to 4:30am Friday. To view a full, updated list of rain totals from right across the Gold Coast, click here.

2:30AM | THE Bureau of Meteorology has updated its severe weather warning as winds start to increase on the Gold Coast, possibly reaching cyclone strength in the next six hours.

The ‘eye’ of ex-Tropical Cyclone Debbie recorded a central pressure of 995.2 as it passed over the Gold Coast at 1am. It is forecast to continue moving southeast and into the northern Tasman Sea this morning.

The Bureau warns damaging winds with peak gusts around 90km/h are still expected to batter the Coast this morning, while destructive gusts in excess of 125km/h are possible about the coastal fringe and islands.

A wind gust of 72km/h wind gust was recorded at the Gold Coast Seaway (Southport Spit) at 2:15am.

Although Debbie lost its cyclone status shortly after crossing the coast in Far North Queensland on Tuesday, these forecast winds are similar to a high-end category one or low-end category two cyclone.

A category one cyclone’s strongest winds are gale force with typical gusts over open flat land of 90-125 km/h. These winds can cause negligible damage to homes, damage caravans and down trees and powerlins.

Winds above 125km/h are considered category two strength. These winds can cause minor house damage, significant damage to street signs, trees and caravans, and power failure.

The central pressure recorded in the ‘eye’ of ex-Tropical Cyclone Debbie as she passed over the Gold Coast was also similar to that often recorded in a category one cyclone.

Locations that may be affected by these winds include the Sunshine Coast, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Gold Coast Hinterland, and the Scenic Rim.

Heavy rainfall has now eased in Queensland, so the severe weather warning for this has been cancelled. However, major river flooding continues over a broad area.

A staggering 800mm of rain was recorded at Upper Springbrook in the Gold Coast hinterland in the 24 hours to 11pm on Thursday. Click here to see a full list rain totals.

As a result, numerous Flood Warnings are current. Click here to view them all.

Of major concern is the Logan and Albert Rivers.

The Logan River at Beaudesert is rising to record levels and is expected to peak around 7am, while severe rises above major flood levels are forecast in the Albert River.

An Emergency Alert has been issued for Beaudesert, urging residents to move to higher ground immediately.

A Flood Watch is also current for coastal catchments between Hervey Bay and the New South Wales border, extending inland to parts of the Maranoa and Warrego, and Darling Downs and Granite Belt forecast districts.

Dangerous surf conditions are likely to produce significant beach erosion on the Gold Coast today. Abnormally high tides are also likely.

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services advises that people should:

  • Move your car under cover or away from trees.
  • Secure loose outdoor items.
  • Seek shelter, preferably indoors and never under trees.
  • Beware of fallen trees and powerlines.
  • Never drive, walk or ride through flood waters. If it’s flooded, forget it.
  • Keep clear of creeks and storm drains.
  • Surf Life Saving Australia recommends that you stay out of the water and stay well away from surf-exposed areas.
  • Check your property regularly for erosion or inundation by sea water, and if necessary raise goods and electrical items.
  • If near the coastline, stay well away from the water’s edge.
  • For emergency assistance contact the SES on 132 500.

11:40PM | THE Bureau of Meteorology has updated its severe weather warning for the Gold Coast as rain rates finally begin to ease.

At 11:30pm, the ‘eye’ of Ex-Tropical Cyclone Debbie was located over the northern edge of the city.

The system is expected to continue moving southeast and into Gold Coast waters later tonight or during the early hours of tomorrow (Friday) morning.

The Bureau says the low-pressure system is likely to strengthen off the northern New South Wales coast as it moves away from the coast on Friday.

By 10pm, the torrential rainfall accompanied with Ex-Tropical Cyclone Debbie had all but cleared the Gold Coast from the north.

The Bureau says heavy rainfall lingering around the Gold Coast Hinterland should contract to the south and east of the coast over the next few hours and east overnight.

A staggering 801mm of rain has fallen at Upper Springbrook in the 24 hours to 11pm tonight. Click here to see a full list of rain totals.

A further 50-100mm could fall over the next six hours, according to the Bureau. Totals may exceed 100mm over higher ground.

“This rainfall may be intense at times, leading to a risk of localised flash flooding,” the Bureau said.

Locations that may be affected include Springbrook and the Gold Coast.

Damaging wind gusts, with peak gusts of around 90km/h, are still expected on the Sunshine Coast, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Gold Coast Hinterland, and Scenic Rim

Destructive wind gusts, in excess of 125km/h, are also possible about the coastal fringe and islands of the Southeast Coast district during Friday morning.

Dangerous surf conditions are likely to produce significant beach erosion over coastal parts of southeast Queensland tonight and on Friday.

Abnormally high tides are also likely about beachfront areas south of Cape Moreton, including the Gold Coast, during the high tides.

Locations which may be affected include the Gold Coast, the Sunshine Coast, Stradbroke Island, Moreton Island and Fraser Island.

10:00PM | TORRENTIAL rainfall has started clearing the Gold Coast from the north.

At 9:50pm, the heavy falls had all but cleared suburbs north of Southport. Suburbs to south of Southport, however, were still experiencing heavy falls. These are expected to ease over the next hour.

The focus now turns to the destructive cyclonic winds that are forecast to accompany the ‘eye’ of Ex-Tropical Cyclone Debbie as it passes over the city, and widespread flooding.

The Local Disaster Management team will closely monitor the city’s rivers, streams and creeks overnight, four of which have reached major flood levels.

At the time of writing, the Coomera River at Clagiraba Road was 4.77 metres deep and rising – that’s more than two metres above major flood level, four metres higher than what it was at 10am.

Mudgeeraba Creek was 4.66 metres deep at Mudgeeraba. Major flooding is reached when the creek reaches a height of 4.5 metres. It also continues to rise.

Further rises are likely as water makes its way into the catchment.

9:15PM | THE State Emergency Service has been called out to 235 jobs on the Gold Coast and performed 14 swift water rescues across the city as Ex-Tropical Cyclone Debbie lashes the region.

Of those 235 jobs, most of which are for flood-related incidents or downed trees, 115 have been completed. More than a dozen SES crews consisting of 90 volunteers are out in force, working to complete the rest.

According to the latest information from the Local Disaster Management team which met again at 8pm, destructive cyclonic winds are expected to lash the Gold Coast over the next 12 hours.

The Disaster Management Team warns these winds could exceed 120km/h – the strength of a Category 1 cyclone.

A tidal surge 10cm higher than normal tide is expected tonight, reaching 20cm tomorrow morning and 35cm tomorrow afternoon. The Disaster Management Team says these heights are not considered significant.

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Other details to note from the 8pm meeting include the fact no one has presented to any of the five evacuation centres set up across the city. These evacuation centres will close at 10pm.

Fortunately, no evacuations have been required in the high-priority areas of Tallebudgera, Currumbin or Alberton.

At 9:15pm, more than 2000 homes and businesses were without power across the Gold Coast. This number is expected to rise significantly as winds increase throughout the night.

More than 102,000 properties are currently without power across southeast Queensland.

More than 250,000 customers were blacked out during the peak of Ex-Tropical Cyclone Oswald which passed through southeast Queensland in 2013.

The Disaster Management Team will reconvene at 8am.

7:50PM | RESIDENTS are being warned to brace for destructive winds and further torrential rainfall on the Gold Coast tonight as the centre of Ex-Tropical Cyclone Debbie moves closer to the city.

At 7:30pm, the centre of the ex-tropical cyclone was located directly over Brisbane and was closing in on the Gold Coast. Scroll down to find out what this means for us tonight.

It’s expected to move southeast tonight before contracting offshore of the Gold Coast during the early hours of tomorrow morning.

As a result, a severe weather warning remains in place (see it in full here), with further heavy rainfall that may lead to severe flash flooding and damaging-to-destructive winds likely tonight.

Winds offshore over Gold Coast waters could increase to storm force intensity tomorrow as Ex-Tropical Cyclone Debbie moves offshore.

These winds are likely to whip up dangerous surf which, combined with high tides around 11pm, is expected to cause significant beach erosion.

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Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate said emergency crews were concerned about the possibility of low-lying areas being flooded in Tallebudgera and Currumbin tonight.

It’s understood a decision will be made on evacuations once the Disaster Management Team meets again at 8pm.

There are currently five evacuation centres open across the city (see the list here) and more than 75 roads are currently closed, affected by flooding or blocked by down trees (see the list here).

At the time of writing, more than 76,000 homes and businesses were without power across the southeast.

Here’s what we’re being told to expect tonight:

RAINFALL: More than 150mm of rain is expected to fall over the next 8 to 12 hours. The Bureau says the heaviest falls will be concentrated over higher ground. This rainfall may be intense at times, leading to a risk of localised flash flooding.

FLOODING: This rainfall is likely to lead to major river flooding over a broad area and a Flood Watch is current for coastal catchments between Hervey Bay and the New South Wales border, extending inland to parts of the Maranoa and Warrego, and Darling Downs and Granite Belt forecast districts.

WINDS: Damaging winds, with peak gusts of around 90km/h, are occurring in the warning area, particularly about the coast and islands south of Fraser Island, and should soon start being felt on the Gold Coast.

Destructive wind gusts, in excess of 125km/h, are possible about the coastal fringe and islands, and elevated terrain of the Wide Bay and Burnett and Southeast Coast districts through the remainder of today and tomorrow morning.

SURF: Dangerous surf conditions are likely to produce significant beach erosion over coastal parts of southeast Queensland tonight and tomorrow.

TIDES: Abnormally high tides are likely about beachfront areas south of Cape Moreton on the high tides during Friday.

 Queensland Fire and Emergency Services advises that people should:

  • Move your car under cover or away from trees.
  • Secure loose outdoor items.
  • Seek shelter, preferably indoors and never under trees.
  • Beware of fallen trees and powerlines.
  • Never drive, walk or ride through flood waters. If it’s flooded, forget it.
  • Keep clear of creeks and storm drains.
  • Surf Life Saving Australia recommends that you stay out of the water and stay well away from surf-exposed areas.
  • Check your property regularly for erosion or inundation by sea water, and if necessary raise goods and electrical items.
  • If near the coastline, stay well away from the water’s edge.
  • For emergency assistance contact the SES on 132 500.

6:00PM | MORE than 49,000 homes and business are without power across southeast Queensland as Ex-Tropical Cyclone Debbie continues to lash the region.

Almost 30,000 of those properties are located on the Sunshine Coast. The total number of customers affected is likely to rise close to 100,000, if not higher, before the event is over.

More than 250,000 homes and businesses lost power across the southeast during the peak of Ex-Tropical Cyclone Oswald which devastated the area back in 2013. Call 13 19 69 to report fallen powerlines.

5:00PM | ALMOST 500mm of rain has fallen at Springbrook in the Gold Coast hinterland.

In the 18 hours since the rain started to fall at 11pm on Wednesday, 488mm of rain has fallen on the mountain. A further 200m, possibly more, is tipped to fall across the coast between now and tomorrow.

At 5pm, 74 roads were closed across the Gold Coast. This number is rising by the minute, so please, avoid all travel unless it is absolutely essential.

Hinze Dam has surpassed 100% capacity, while 13 rivers and creeks have reached major flood levels in the Gold Coast hinterland and Scenic Rim.

4:30PM | THIRTEEN rivers and creeks have reached major flood levels in the Gold Coast hinterland and Scenic Rim as heavy rain continues to fall across the region.

Canungra Creek at Canungra has turned into a raging rapid, with the waterway now in major flood, while Mudgeeraba Creek and Tallebudgera Creek are experiencing moderate flood levels.

The Coomera River has, in the last few hours, dropped slightly below major flood levels. It is, however, likely to rise above major flood levels again this evening as rainfall intensifies.

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2:55PM | THE Bureau of Meteorology has updated its severe weather warning for the Gold Coast. Scroll down to see the warning in full.

At 2pm, the centre of Ex-Tropical Cyclone Debbie was just to the south of Taroom in the far southern Central Highlands and Coalfields district.

The system is expected to continue moving southeastwards over southeast Queensland this afternoon before moving off the southeast coast overnight tonight.

The Bureau says the ex-tropical cyclone will re-intensify into a significant low-pressure system off the southeast coast on Friday and move slowly eastwards away from the coast over the weekend.

TOP PRIORITY FOR IMMEDIATE BROADCAST – SEVERE WEATHER WARNING for DESTRUCTIVE WINDS and HEAVY RAINFALL

Issued at 2:07pm for people in the Wide Bay and Burnett, Southeast Coast and parts of the Darling Downs and Granite Belt Forecast Districts.

WHAT TO EXPECT: Heavy rain and damaging wind gusts are currently affecting the Wide Bay and Burnett, Darling Downs and Granite Belt and Southeast Coast districts.

Destructive wind gusts are possible about the coastal fringe and elevated terrain in the Wide Bay and Burnett and Southeast Coast districts.

RAIN: Ex-Tropical Cyclone Debbie will continue to generate areas of very heavy rain over the Wide Bay and Burnett, Southeast Coast districts and eastern parts of the Darling Downs and Granite Belt over the next 24 hours.

Currently the heaviest rainfall is occurring over parts of the Wide Bay and Burnett east of about Bundaberg to Kingaroy. Parts of the Southeast Coast district are also see very heavy rainfall rate.

Widespread 24 hour rainfall totals of 150 to 250 mm are expected, with significantly higher accumulations in excess of 400mm possible locally, mostly about the higher ground in southeast Queensland.

This rainfall will be very intense at times, leading to a risk of severe localised flash flooding.

Locations that may be affected include Kingaroy, Bundaberg, Hervey Bay, Brisbane, Sunshine Coast and the Gold Coast.

This rainfall is likely to lead to major river flooding over a broad area and a Flood Watch is current for coastal catchments between Hervey Bay and the NSW border, extending inland to parts of the Maranoa and Warrego, and Darling Downs and Granite Belt forecast districts.

WINDS: Damaging winds, with peak gusts of around 90 km/h, are occurring in the warning area, particularly about the coast and islands, between Bundaberg and Noosa.

The most likely area for damaging wind gusts will continue to move southwards along the coast during today and overnight.

Damaging wind gusts remain a risk about parts of the Southeast Coast district through Friday.

Destructive wind gusts, in excess of 125 km/h, are possible about the coastal fringe and elevated terrain of the Wide Bay and Burnett and Southeast Coast districts during today and overnight.

DANGEROUS SURF: Dangerous surf conditions are likely to produce significant beach erosion over southeast Queensland for the rest of today and during Friday.

Locations which may be affected include the Gold Coast, the Sunshine Coast, Moreton Bay and the Moreton Bay Islands and Fraser Island.

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services advises that people should:

  • Move your car under cover or away from trees.
  • Secure loose outdoor items.
  • Seek shelter, preferably indoors and never under trees.
  • Beware of fallen trees and powerlines.
  • Never drive, walk or ride through flood waters. If it’s flooded, forget it.
  • Keep clear of creeks and storm drains.
  • For emergency assistance contact the SES on 132 500.
  • Surf Life Saving Australia recommends that you stay out of the water and stay well away from surf-exposed areas.
  • Check your property regularly for erosion or inundation by sea water, and if necessary raise goods and electrical items.

1:50PM | EVACUATION centres have been opened on the Gold Coast as floodwaters continue to rise.

More than 400mm of rain has fallen in the Gold Coast hinterland in the 14 hours since 11pm last night. A further 200mm of rain, possibly more, is forecast to fall across the region over the next 12 hours.

As a result of the deluge, and with conditions only set to worsen as the day goes on, three evacuation centres have been established across the city; one at Helensvale, Nerang and Robina.

The Coomera River has also now reached major flood levels at Clagiraba. Rivers and streams are rising right across the city, with several creeks currently at moderate flood levels.

Motorists have been warned to avoid all non-essential travel, with dozens of roads closed across the Coast.

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12:50PM | THE detailed severe thunderstorm warning for severe flash flooding in the Gold Coast hinterland has been cancelled – HOWEVER – a severe weather warning remains in place.

A detailed thunderstorm warning was issued for a stationary thunderstorm sitting over the Gold Coast hinterland around midday.

The particular cell dumped more than 124mm of rain on Springbrook in just two hours. More than 410mm of rain has fallen on the mountain in the last 13 hours (since 11pm Wednesday).

The Bureau of Meteorology requested transmitters serving in the warning area to use the Standard Emergency Warning Signal when broadcasting the 12:05pm warning.

The emergency signal is only used for extreme events that pose an imminent risk to life and property.

This particular warning was cancelled at 12.24pm, however, the severe weather warning remains in place. Scroll down to see the Severe Weather Warning in full.

The Bureau says while the immediate threat of severe thunderstorms has passed, the situation will continue to be monitored and further, more detailed severe thunderstorm warnings will be issued if necessary.

LINKS TO ROLLING COVERAGE 

12:20PM | SEVERE WEATHER WARNING for DESTRUCTIVE WINDS and HEAVY RAINFALL

Issued at 12:19 pm for people in the Wide Bay and Burnett, Southeast Coast and parts of the Capricornia and Darling Downs and Granite Belt Forecast Districts.

At 12 noon, the centre of Ex-Tropical Cyclone Debbie was located near Taroom.

The Bureau of Meteorology says the system is expected to continue moving southeast over southeast Queensland throughout the afternoon before moving off the southeast coast overnight.

The system is expected to remain a significant low-pressure system off the southeast coast of Queensland on Friday.

WHAT TO EXPECT: Heavy rain and damaging wind gusts are currently occurring in the Wide Bay and Burnett, Darling Downs and Granite Belt and Southeast Coast districts.

The Bureau says destructive wind gusts are possible about the coastal fringe and elevated terrain in the Wide Bay and Burnett and Southeast Coast districts.

RAIN: Ex-Tropical Cyclone Debbie will continue to generate areas of very heavy rain over the Wide Bay and Burnett, Southeast Coast districts and parts of the Capricornia and eastern pasrt of the Darling Downs and Granite Belt over the next 24 hours.

Currently, the heaviest rainfall is occurring over parts of the Wide Bay and Burnett region near Seventeen Seventy and Bundaberg with rainfall rates of 50-100m in 1 hour.

Parts of the Southeast Coast district are also seeing very heavy rainfall rates.

Widespread 24-hour rainfall totals of 150 to 250 mm are expected, with significantly higher accumulations in excess of 400mm possible locally, mostly about the higher ground in southeast Queensland.

As mentioned earlier in the article, more than 400mm of rain has fallen on Springbrook in the Gold Coast hinterland in the 13 hours since 11pm on Wednesday.

This rainfall will be very intense at times, leading to a risk of severe localised flash flooding.

Locations that may be affected include Gladstone, Kingaroy, Bundaberg, Brisbane, Sunshine Coast and the Gold Coast.

This rainfall is likely to lead to major river flooding over a broad area and a Flood Watch is current for coastal catchments between Hervey Bay and the NSW border, extending inland to parts of the Maranoa and Warrego, and Darling Downs and Granite Belt forecast districts.

WINDS: Damaging winds, with peak gusts of around 90 km/h, are occurring in the warning area, particularly about the coast and islands, between Rockhampton and Hervey Bay.

The most likely area for damaging wind gusts will move south along the coast during today and overnight.

Destructive wind gusts, in excess of 125 km/h, are possible about the coastal fringe and elevated terrain of the Wide Bay and Burnett and Southeast Coast districts during today and overnight.

12:05PM | THE Bureau of Meteorology has issued an urgent severe thunderstorm warning for the Gold Coast with heavy rainfall likely to lead to severe flash flooding over the next several hours.

The Bureau has urged transmitters serving the area from Corinda to Beaudesert and the Gold Coast Hinterland to use the Standard Emergency Warning Signal. See the warning in full below.

As much as 500mm of rain is forecast to fall along the hinterland today as Ex-Tropical Cyclone Debbie moves through southeast Queensland. More than 300mm of rain has already fallen in the Numinbah Valley.

Transmitters serving the area from Corinda to Beaudesert to the Gold Coast Hinterland are REQUESTED TO USE THE STANDARD EMERGENCY WARNING SIGNAL BEFORE BROADCASTING THIS MESSAGE.

TOP PRIORITY FOR IMMEDIATE BROADCAST

SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING – SOUTHEAST QUEENSLAND for HEAVY RAINFALL

Issued at 12:05 pm Thursday, 30 March 2017.

For people in parts of the Ipswich, Logan, Scenic Rim, Gold Coast and Brisbane City Council Areas.

Severe thunderstorms are producing heavy rainfall that may lead to severe flash flooding in the warning area over the next several hours.

Locations which may be affected include Corinda, Jimboomba, Beaudesert, Archerfield, Beaudesert and Springbrook.

  • 104mm within 2-3 hours at Corinda
  • 113mm within 2-3 hours at Flagstone Creek
  • 124mm within 2-3 hours at Upper Springbrook

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.

The next warning is due to be issued by 1:05 pm.

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