WILD weather for southeast Queensland, with flash flooding and up to 500mm of rain to fall. Police are warning schools could close and businesses "should think about closing after midday".
Severe thunderstorms are likely to produce very heavy rainfall that may lead to flash flooding in the warning area over the next several hours.
Locations which may be affected include the McPherson Range, Springbrook, Numinbah Valley, Little Nerang Dam, Tallebudgera and the area south of Canungra.
Police Commissioner Ian Stewart warned anywhere between 400-500mm of rain is predicted to fall on southeast Queensland.
"Do not underestimate the power of this rainfall," he said.
Queensland Ambulance is asking parents to consider the risks of travel to and from school today.
"Do not leave your children at school late," Mr Stewart said.
"Schools open at this stage but call will be made later."
Education Queensland has urged parents to make a captain's call on their child's safety as the weather worsens in southeast Queensland.
"Parents should not only consider the risks of the travel journey to school but also the return journey at the end of the school day in response to the deteriorating weather that is forecast during the day," an Education Queensland spokesman said.
Parents should also consider the possibility that schools may need to close early and close contact with the school today is important.
Gale force winds are being forecasted for the southeast corner today and more than 700 homes have lost power in Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast.
The Bureau of Meteorology has issued a gale warning for the Capricornia Coast, Hervey Bay, Fraser Island Coast, Sunshine Coast Waters, Moreton Bay and Gold Coast Waters.
Strong wind warnings are also in place for the Townsville and Mackay Coast.
The Hinze Dam and the Little Nerang Dam have started spilling.
Disaster teams and dam operators are on high alert, swiftwater rescue reinforcements are arriving from interstate and sandbags are ready as the sodden southeast Queensland faces another drenching in the wake of Cyclone Debbie.
Only a week after the last deluge that sent some dams spilling over, the region is bracing for hundreds of millimetres more rain as catastrophic ex-Tropical Cyclone Debbie moves south.
Amid warnings of up to 400mm of rain over the next two days, council disaster management officials and dam operator Seqwater met yesterday to plan for threatened flooding.
Almost 60 fire and emergency service personnel from NSW were being sent over the border to bolster swiftwater rescue teams stretched by the cyclone disaster in the north.
Brisbane City Council has filled sandbags for collection at five depots across the city.
Officials say the Gold and Sunshine Coast hinterlands, where up to 650mm of rain has fallen already this month, again face the biggest soaking.
Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Matthew Bass said "very heavy rainfall" was heading southeast, from today.
Mr Bass said the low-pressure system was moving southwest before looking likely to move west over Emerald, the Darling Downs and into the southeast by tomorrow night.
He said falls of 150mm to 250mm were forecast across the region and rain-prone areas such as the coastal hinterlands could experience much more.
Water was being released from Somerset Dam, but Water Supply Minister Mark Bailey said it would not impact on downstream Wivenhoe Dam, which at 67.9 per cent capacity still had full flood storage.
Seqwater said with a combined 340mm of rain forecast for the Wivenhoe and Somerset catchments, water may have to be released from the two dams.
The southeast's overall dam levels were at 71.7 per cent yesterday, but are set to rise substantially.
Some, like the Gold Coast's Hinze Dam, were already spilling over after last week's torrential rain and Seqwater said this week's downpour could add several months' water supply to the southeast.
The low pressure system is expected to move off the coast tomorrow morning as coastal areas prepare for big seas.
Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate said indications were the coast may experience several hundred millimetres of rain that would test local roads.
Cr Tate said a forecast jump in swell tomorrow was not yet a significant concern, "but we are on a watching brief".
On the Sunshine Coast, the State Emergency Service was filling sandbags as residents were being warned they faced up to 300mm of rain, gale-force winds and a 500mm storm surge in the next 24 to 48 hours.
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