A 53-year-old Brisbane man has been found dead under a wharf in the Brisbane River, as authorities urge south-east Queenslanders to remain indoors due to incoming storm threats.
The man, who was reported missing on Monday, was found by a crew member at the Port of Brisbane last night and reported to police shortly after.
“Sadly there has now been 10 deaths in total as of the weather event in Queensland,” Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll said.
“All of these deaths are flood related, some unexpected when water has risen very, very quickly in areas that we’re not used to.”
Police believe the man had been trying to cross the Brisbane River in a tinnie.
Ms Carroll urged all residents to follow weather warnings closely.
“Over the next few days as the showers and rain and storms continue please be aware of that flash flooding,” she said.
“Look after each other, obey the rules and please be patient.”
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said while it was “good news” conditions were easing, more extreme weather and rainfall was expected across the south-east today.
She urged continued caution and expressed condolences to all lost in floodwaters.
“Any loss of life during these events is heartwrenching,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
The Bureau of Meteorology warned that while storms were unlikely to be as severe as yesterday’s deluge, more rainfall remains a huge threat in the already flooded region.
“They will not be as widespread or intense as what we saw yesterday,” meteorologist Laura Boekel said.
“However these showers and storms are falling on sodden catchments.”
Storms and wet weather are expected to hit later this morning and into the afternoon.
“Any water that falls today could lead to flash flooding. It doesn’t take a severe storm to see some heavier impacts,” Ms Boekel said.
“What we’re seeing today we will expect tomorrow and for the rest of the week as well.”
Thousands of properties have been damaged in the region with 5394 assessments conducted.
Dozens of schools have been forcibly closed and some 60,000 insurance claims have been lodged between Queensland and NSW, totalling more than $900 million in damages.
Over 260 people have been forced to seek refuge in crisis accommodation.
Residents warned to stay indoors
As residents desperately try to clean-up the destruction left by devastating floods across Queensland’s south-east, emergency services have warned people to halt their plans and stay indoors.
Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) says it’s “too early to tell” where exactly the storms will strike, however, widespread rainfall is expected with heavy rain highly likely in Brisbane.
QFES Deputy Commissioner Mike Wassing said it’s most likely the severe weather will sweep across the state this afternoon.
“The prediction’s that these storms will probably roll in this afternoon and so we are supporting the local communities in terms of clean-up operations,” he told Today.
He said the QFES had “several hundred” requests for assistance yesterday.
“(We have) predictions of high impact windstorms with significant rainfall. Where those actual locations are are yet to be seen.”
The volunteer-led Mud Army has been advised to halt their clean up efforts until tomorrow morning.
Reports have also emerged of more looting in Queensland’s south-east.
Acting Queensland Police State Disaster Coordinator Shane Chelepy described the offending as “terrible”.
“They are terrible reports,” he said.
“Again overnight, we have had a couple more reports of people out, attempting to loot people’s properties that have been absolutely devastated by these events, and we have seen that throughout.”
Mr Chelepy said police were cracking down.
“We are taking it very seriously. We have had over 100 staff deployed 24 hours a day. We are using helicopters, Water Police, general duties police and we are out actively patrolling through those suburbs and we are taking a zero tolerance approach to this disgusting behaviour and we have arrested a number of people.
“We don’t apologise for that and we will keep doing that.”
Authorities on edge
As catchments across the state remain at tipping point, authorities remain on edge as to what the day might bring.
“It is really not going to take much rain at all for them to come up once again,” Today reporter Jess Millward explained.
Brisbane residents have been told to expect consistent rainfall over the coming three days, with conditions set to remain humid – with above 30C temperatures forecast all weekend – and damp.
The BoM predicts a 70 per cent chance of rain today in Brisbane, with between four to 15mm set to fall over the city.
Similar conditions are set for Saturday and Sunday, before the heavy rainfall is forecast to trail off early and mid next week.