Gladstone breathes sigh of relief as bad weather moves on

AS Gladstone mops up from a weekend of heavy rain and flooding, the carnage caused by Ex-Tropical Cyclone Oswald has moved further south.

While Gladstone has been declared a disaster zone with 20 homes flooded in Boyne-Tannum and another 20 in Benaraby, the city hasn't recorded any deaths from the flooding event.

There were some dramatic swift water rescues in the region over the weekend, including two people who had to be rescued from swamped cars on Gladstone Mt Larcom Rd, and two women and a toddler who were plucked to safety by the RACQ rescue chopper near Biloela.

But in Bundaberg, the swamped city is experiencing what could be its worst ever flood, beating the level set in 1942.

Roads remain cut in the region, and an elderly man lost his life on Sunday.

 Police believe the man, who died after a yacht broke its moorings near Bundaberg during the weekend's cyclonic conditions, may have fallen overboard.

The man, aged in his 80s, was on a yacht that broke its moorings at a marina near Targo Street shortly after 2:15am.

The yacht collided with other vessels before drifting downstream on the Burnett River.

The vessel was spotted by police around 8.30am tangled with other vessels, but it again broke free and drifted downstream.  

Police and firefighters also are scrambling to rescue up to 30 people who have taken to the roofs of their homes.

The army's Blackhawk helicopters are on standby to help people in the region, while the AGL Action Rescue Helicopter has been scrambling already to save people.

In Gympie the city is set for a flood to rival its 1999 experience, with predictions the water could rise to 21m today.

Low-lying businesses in the town are evacuating, with owners saying the water is rising faster than they have ever seen. 

And the body of a missing 27-year-old man has reportedly been found in Widgee Creek, west of the town.

The State Emergency Service was again kept busy in the region on Sunday, with more than 1800 requests for help in the 24 hours to 4am Monday.

More than 830 of these jobs were in the north coast region, particularly around Bundaberg.

There were more than 550 jobs in the south-east region, particularly around the Lockyer Valley, Laidley and the Gold Coast.

Brisbane also recorded a large volume of requests for SES assistance. The most common jobs were leaking roofs, flood water threatening property, sandbagging and fallen trees.

Queensland Fire and Rescue Service crews responded to about 53 swift water rescue cases across Queensland on Sunday. 

How the situation unfolded in Gladstone:

6pm Wednesday: Heavy rainfall begins.
7am Saturday: 400-500 homes in Boyne Island and Tannum Sands placed on high alert.
12pm Saturday: Awoonga Dam reaches a record 6m over the spillway.
6pm Saturday: Police commence forced evacuations of homes in Boyne Island and Tannum Sands.
8pm Saturday: Bureau of Meteorology announces 100mm of rain to hit Gladstone.
9pm Saturday: Tides rise to highest peak of 3m.
1am Sunday: Police impose forced evacuations to homes in Benaraby
5.20am Sunday: Gladstone Mayor Gail Sellers urges those living in low lying areas of the Boyne River to self-evacuate.
9am Sunday: About 130 people stay in emergency evacuation centres in Boyne Island.
10am Sunday: Awoonga Dam records 8.5m above the spillway.
2pm Sunday: Acting Deputy Premier Tim Nicholls announced to visit Gladstone.
4pm Sunday: Water levels at Awoonga Dam continue to decrease.
5pm Sunday: Access to Boyne Island and Tannum Sands open via Old Tannum Sands Rd.



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