A car drives along a flooded road.
Residents of far north Queensland have been told to expect more heavy rain in coming days. Image by Brian Cassey/AAP PHOTOS
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Ex-cyclone Jasper moves west as storms smash southeast

December 16, 2023

Residents in flooded parts of north Queensland have endured another day of extreme rainfall and storms as ex-tropical cyclone Jasper moves slowly westward over Cape York Peninsula.

Thunderstorms spread across the state throughout Saturday,  hammering eastern and southeastern regions with large hail, heavy rainfall and damaging winds.

Hail with a diameter of 4cm was recorded near Beaudesert just before 3pm and emergency services treated a nine year-old child for lightening strike injuries at a property at Beerwah on the Sunshine Coast.

The RAAF Amberley Base southwest of Brisbane recorded wind gusts of 89km/h at 3.30pm.

The Bureau of Meteorology issued several severe weather warnings on Saturday afternoon as a band of large thunderstorms moved northeast across the state.

The warnings were for destructive winds, intense rainfall and large hailstones, and covered areas stretching from Noosa to Coolangatta.

A severe thunderstorm warning remains in place for the southeast from the Capricornia region down to Noosa Heads and Gympie.

A more general severe thunderstorm warning is also current for parts of the Central Highlands and Coalfields, Capricornia, Wide Bay and Burnett and Southeast Coast districts.

Another severe thunderstorm warning is in place further north for the Peninsula, Gulf Country and Northern Goldfields and Upper Flinders Forecast Districts.

“Ex-tropical cyclone Jasper continues to produce heavy, locally intense rainfall over inland parts of North Queensland,” the weather bureau warned.

The system has slowed its move west and is expected to hit the Gulf of Carpentaria late on Sunday or on Monday.

The category 2 system made landfall north of Cairns on Wednesday night before weakening to a tropical low.

Thousands of people have been without power for days and flooded roads have hampered access to towns in the aftermath.

The weather system is at moderate risk of strengthening into a cyclone again towards the second half of next week as it moves west across the gulf.

Bureau forecaster Angus Hines said on Saturday afternoon that eastern and inland parts of north Queensland would cop the heaviest falls.

“These places have already had a whole lot of rain. In the past four days, parts of the Daintree region just north of Port Douglas have had over a metre of rain,” he said.

He said another 200mm was expected this weekend.

The Daintree River has a major flood warning in place, after hovering on the cusp of moderate to major flooding for several days. 

Several other northern river systems have minor or moderate flood warnings.

The Queensland Reconstruction Authority has begun to assess damage after state-federal disaster assistance was announced.

Meanwhile, a 30-year-old man was killed on Friday evening in the Brisbane suburb of Murarrie as severe thunderstorms rolled across the state’s southeast.

Police said the unconscious man was found lying near fallen powerlines on Murarrie Road with life-threatening injuries and he died a short time later.

It was confirmed on Saturday the man was electrocuted.