UPDATED: Heavy rain and flooding hits NQ

Heavy rains had impacted parts of north Queensland overnight with further rain expected on Thursday after ex-Tropical Cyclone Penny crossed the coast.

The heaviest falls were recorded in the Burdekin region, while the Bureau of Meteorology issued a severe weather warning for areas south of Townsville to Proserpine.

RACQ’s Lucinda Ross warned drivers, residents, and holiday-makers to take extra care.

“Visitors travelling around the State over the holidays mightn’t be familiar with some of these popular tourist routes, so we’re warning them, as well as locals, to be extra careful about the risks of flash flooding with plenty of rain on the way,” Ms Ross said.

“The most important thing is to listen to local authorities and pay close attention to signs and road closures.

“Don’t ever attempt to cross a road that is flooded because you’ll have no idea what’s under the water’s surface – it’s just not worth the risk to your life and to those who you care about.”

Ms Ross also advised residents in the region to prepare their homes for the deluge.

“Locals should take actions now to prepare their properties for flooding,” she said.

“With so much rain expected, if it’s safe to do so, make sure your roof has been checked for leaks, that your gutters and downpipes are clear, and also move any loose branches away from the house.”

Tips on what to do before a flood event:
– Know your home evacuation routes and where relief centres are located
– If you’re at risk of being cut off by flood waters, ensure your emergency kit and food and water stocks are ready
– Organise sandbags and sand through your local council
– Decide what household items you may want to move to higher ground
– Keep the radio on and listen to updates
– Check on your neighbours and family members
– Check road closures in the area and remember if it’s flooded, forget it.