State schools

Queensland school closures: Annastacia Palaszczuk announces 1,000 state schools will close due to Queensland floods

Nearly 1,000 schools in Queensland will close and people have been told to work from home as flooding continues.

Nearly 1,000 schools in southeast Queensland will be closed from Monday and people will be asked to work from home as severe flooding shows no signs of abating.

Prime Minister Annastacia Palaszczuk announced the closure of 630 public schools and 356 Catholic and independent schools, with this list should grow.

Parents have been encouraged to contact early learning centers directly with weather conditions that are expected to be unpredictable over the next few days.

Prime Minister Annastacia Palaszczuk said the emergency was likely to continue for the next three days.

“We weren’t expecting this rain. This rain bomb is really, you know, relentless,” she said.

“It just falls in buckets, it’s not like a waterfall. It’s like waves of water coming down.

More than 100mm of rain fell in an hour around Brisbane on Sunday afternoon, with the Bureau of Meteorology reporting falls of 500mm since the floods began.

Heavy rain has been concentrated over the southeast and southern Sunshine Coast and the rain is expected to continue through Monday morning as it slowly moves south.

Six people have now died as a result of the flooding, with the body of 34-year-old Moorooka discovered in Indooroopilly after his car was submerged in floodwaters at 2.30am on Sunday.

A second man, aged 70, was dramatically rescued after his barge sank in the flooded Brisbane River.

It is estimated that more than 28,000 homes are without electricity and some watersheds have been told to conserve drinking water.

Late on Sunday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said plans were underway for a clean-up operation and government disaster payments would be available.

The ADF is also ready to help.

Mr Morrison described the flooding as a “serious situation”.

“The key message we have is that it’s important for people to stay safe – people shouldn’t be driving and watching this event and visiting these things,” Mr Morrison said.

“Stay home in a shelter unless there is an evacuation order to one of the many shelters.”

Earlier, Ms Palaszczuk ignored a reporter’s murderous question about the state’s level of preparedness for the disastrous flood, saying “we don’t control nature.”

People have been told to stay home amid the ‘relentless’ weather disaster as floodwaters claimed the lives of six Queenslanders.

Brisbane Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner was caught off guard at Sunday’s press conference after a reporter said people were “sitting ducks” amid the lack of warning.

“How come we weren’t warned to take our things, put them up high?” asked the reporter.

“What do we do? Do we pack up and move to higher ground, evacuate or stay home like we did during the pandemic and wait (to be rescued)?”

Mr Schrinner said the rain event was a “rapidly evolving situation” and advice was changing from hour to hour.

Ms Palaszczuk insisted they ‘didn’t control nature’ and that events like this were out of control.

“When Cyclone Debbie crossed the coast, we had no idea it was going to track all the way to the southeast,” she said.

“These are events beyond our control, but as information comes to us, we release it.

“The Lord Mayor and I work very closely together… we keep the public involved as much as possible.”

Ms Palaszczuk said the weather appeared to be easing in the Sunshine Coast and Gympie areas, but urged people not to travel.

“If you don’t have to be on the roads, please don’t be,” she said.

“This water is relentless right now,” she said.

“There is a rain bomb laid all over the southeast.

“It’s constant and will now be with us for another 24 hours.”

Ms Palaszczuk said a lot of water was rising in areas around the Brisbane River, with the capacity of Wivenhoe Dam being around 16o per cent.

She also urged people to save drinking water due to problems with a treatment system at Mount Crosby.

A severe weather warning was issued by the Bureau of Meteorology for the coast and parts of the Darling Downs and Granite Belt forecast districts on Sunday morning.

They warned that more than 200mm could fall in six hours and “life-threatening flash floods” could follow.

An emergency alert has also been issued for residents of Beachmere, north Brisbane, warning that properties ‘may have no water’ due to a power outage.

“With Beachmere inaccessible due to flooded roads, Unitywater is exploring options to get the pump operational again,” the alert reads.

On Saturday, Mr Schrinner took to Twitter to share the council’s latest flood modeling.

He said overnight flows combined with possible releases from the Wivenhoe Dam and high tide could cause water to enter city properties.

“Residents in low areas need to make sure they are prepared. Stock up on sandbags at our depots, make sure your household has the essentials, and know when it’s time to leave,” Schrinner wrote.

On Sunday morning, the body of a man was found in a car in flood waters in Indooroopilly.

He is the sixth person confirmed to have died in the weather disaster, with an SES volunteer perishing in floodwaters after trying to rescue stranded residents in the Lockyer Valley.

The body of a Goomborian man, 37, was found in the floodwaters of Gympie on Saturday.

Another man is still missing after falling into the Brisbane River.

Areas north of Brisbane bore the brunt of the devastating flood, with thousands of homes without power.

In Gympie, the city’s CBD was inundated with water and several homes were evacuated as up to 950mm fell in the area.

Several roads across the Sunshine Coast also remain closed, as authorities said the weather event is expected to move south.

Emergency services responded to more than 6,000 calls for flood-related questions.

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