250mm of rain buckets down on Qld with more to come
1.30PM UPDATE: RAINFALL totals of up to 250mm have been recorded since 9am Wednesday within coastal rivers and streams between Bundaberg and Townsville.
Water has been lapping at the doors of homes and businesses in north Queensland.
Residents in the state's sodden north are on crocodile watch after a two-metre reptile was spotted in floodwaters along the Bruce Highway near Ingham.
The Herbert River was expected to peak at a major flood level of 13.5 metres about midday.
Brisbanetimes.com.au reported the towns of Halifax and Lucinda had been cut off.
''They've got water in their main street, they've got water half way up their footpath, [and] there's about four businesses and one residents where the water is lapping at the door,'' Hinchinbrook Shire Mayor Rodger Bow told 612 ABC Brisbane.
Further south, about 170 millimetres of rain has fallen in Gladstone in the past 18 hours, while Rockhampton has received about 120 millimetres.
About 6000 north Queensland homes are without power and the rail line between Mackay and Cairns has been closed due to localised flooding.
Heaviest rain between Mackay and Bundaberg
The Bureau of Meteorolgy said the heaviest rainfall was between Mackay and Bundaberg.
"The rain is forecast to move south during Thursday and Friday, with localised totals of 200-300mm possible each day,'' its advice said.
"Fast river and creek rises are occurring or expected in the coastal rivers and streams within the warning area.
"A severe weather warning for heavy rainfall is current for the warning area.
"Separate flood warnings are current for the Haughton River and Don River. Warnings for other catchments will be issued if required.
Bohle River: Moderate flood levels are easing at Hervey Range Road.
8.45AM UPDATE: Rainfall totals recorded since 9am Wednesday have been between 50-300mm across the North Tropical Coast and further south to Mackay.
The Bureau of Meteorology said the heaviest rainfall is in the area between Ingham and Mackay.
Bureau says 200mm to 300mm possible each day
Further heavy rainfall is forecast for Thursday and Friday, with localised totals of 200-300mm possible each day.
Fast river and creek rises are occurring or expected in the coastal rivers and streams between Ingham and Mackay.
A severe weather warning for heavy rainfall is current for the warning area.
Separate flood warnings are current for the Tully and Murray Rivers, Lower Herbert River, Haughton River and Don River. Warnings for other catchments will be issued if required.
Barron River: Minor flooding continues to ease at Bolton Road on the Clohesy River.
Mulgrave River: River levels at The Fisheries are expected to ease below the minor flood level during Thursday.
Russell River: Minor flooding will ease slowly at Clyde Road during Thursday.
Bohle River: Moderate flood levels continue to rise at Hervey Range Road and Mt Bohle.
Townsville area: Minor flooding occurring at Stuart Creek.
SES kept busy overnight
The State Emergency Service (SES) has received about 75 calls for assistance in the past 24 hours from residents in central and northern Queensland.
These jobs were mainly for leaky roofs and fallen trees and were focused in areas like Townsville, which had more than 25 callouts since Wednesday morning.
Cairns and surrounding areas also received between 10-15 jobs in the same time period.
It is expected areas like Mackay and Rockhampton will be the focus for SES volunteers today.
While the Queensland Fire and Rescue Service (QFRS) was not called to any swift water rescues overnight, residents are reminded "If it's flooded, forget it". Under no circumstances should people risk driving or walking through floodwaters.
The Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) has issued severe weather warnings for excessive winds and heavy rainfall along the Queensland coast from the Northern Tropical Coast and Tablelands down to Gladstone and Bundaberg. Flood warnings are current for a number of rivers and streams in these districts.
Emergency Management Queensland (EMQ) is urging residents to take care with these expected severe weather conditions. If residents require storm and flood assistance they should contact the SES on 132 500. In a life-threatening emergency, which includes vehicles trapped in floodwater, always dial Triple Zero (000).
Severe weather warning issued for Queensland
A severe weather warning for destructive winds and heavy rainfall leading to flash flooding has been issued for Central Queensland.
A wind gust of almost 140km was recorded south of Mackay at 4.15am.
At 5am Rockhampton had recorded 76mm of rain overnight while Gladstone had receieved 106mm and Mackay 103mm.
The ABC reported last night that flooding has cut roads and forced the closure of the train line between Townsville and Cairns.
More than 100mm of rain is tipped to bucket down over south-east Queensland, making for a soggy Australia Day weekend.
Senior Forecaster Ken Nato told the ABC the big rain is heading south of Townsville.
"Today and tomorrow we are expecting towns like Bowen and Townsville which is already starting to see some of the weather, down to Mackay and even down to St Lawrence by tomorrow," he said.
Latest advice from the weather bureau
5.05am: For people in the Northern Tropical Coast and Tablelands, Herbert and Lower Burdekin, Central Coast and Whitsundays, Capricornia and parts of the Peninsula, Northern Goldfields and Upper Flinders, Central Highlands and Coalfields and Wide Bay and Burnett Forecast Districts.
At 4am, Ex-Tropical Cyclone Oswald was situated approximately 110km south southwest of Cairns and moving in a south southeast direction at about 13 kilometres per hour. The monsoon trough extended from Ex-Tropical Cyclone Oswald down along the Queensland east coast to near Gladstone.
Damaging winds, with gusts to 90 km/hr, are possible in the North Tropical Coast and Tablelands, Herbert and Lower Burdekin, Capricornia and eastern parts of the Peninsula districts. Locations which may be affected include Lockhart River, Cooktown, Port Douglas, Cairns, Innisfail, Townsville, Bowen, St Lawrence and Gladstone.
Heavy rainfall, which may lead to flash flooding, is likely in the North Tropical Coast and Tablelands, Herbert and Lower Burdekin, Capricornia, northern parts of the Wide Bay and Burnett, eastern parts of the Central Highlands and Coalfields, eastern parts of the Northern Goldfields and Upper Flinders and eastern parts of the Peninsula districts.
Six hour rainfall accumulations of 100 to 200 mm are possible.
This heavy rain may also worsen the existing flood situation across parts of north Queensland.
Locations which may be affected include Port Douglas, Cairns, Mareeba, Innisfail, Townsville, Bowen, Charters Towers, Rockhampton, Gladstone and Bundaberg.
Destructive winds, with gusts in excess of 125 km/hr, and heavy rain, which may lead to flash flooding, are possible about the Central Coast and Whitsundays district. Locations which may be affected include Mackay, Proserpine, Sarina and the Whitsunday Islands.
Flood Warnings are current for various rivers and streams in these districts, see www.bom.gov.au/qld/warnings.
A wind gust of 139 km/hr was recorded at Hay Point (south of Mackay) at 4:15am.
Emergency Management Queensland 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.
* Avoid driving, walking or riding through flood waters.
* Keep clear of creeks and storm drains.
* For emergency assistance contact the SES on 132 500.