Damaging winds, large hail and heavy rain could affect large parts of Queensland after a woman was rescued from floodwaters overnight and an emergency alert was issued for a central town.
The Bureau of Meteorology on Thursday warned of possible “very dangerous storms with giant hail and intense rain” in a region stretching from Charters Towers in the north to Goondiwindi in the south.
The forecast follows the rescue of a woman from a car in floodwaters in central Queensland, where a town of 500 people has been warned to get ready to evacuate.
Queensland Fire and Emergency Services said the woman in her 20s was rescued after her car became submerged near the flooding Mackenzie River just after 7pm on Wednesday.
She was taken to Emerald Hospital in a stable condition.
In the nearby town of Rubyvale, about 500 residents have been told to prepare to leave for higher ground with catchments already soaked and six-hour rainfall totals of 100 millimetres possible.
“These storms may produce heavy rainfall and flooding in Policeman Creek,” QFES said in an emergency alert on Wednesday night.
“Rainfall rates in excess of 55mm per hour, 75mm over three hours or 100mm over six hours will lead to flooding of concern.
Central and southern Queensland are on flood watch as a low pressure system and trough will track slowly eastwards this week.
Catchments are already soaked and the Bureau of Meteorology has forecast increasing showers and thunderstorms, some likely to be severe, in the coming days.
In the southern town of Goondiwindi, the Macintyre River is at 2.72 metres and may exceed a minor flood level of 4m on Thursday.
The bureau said the river could possibly rise to a moderate flood level above six metres with more rainfall forecast on Friday and the weekend.
In western Queensland, the Bulloo River is just below a minor flood level but rising at Quilpie. The waters are above moderate levels downstream at Thargomindah and are expected to remain at that level for the next few days.
The Paroo River peaked at Hungerford on the NSW border on Wednesday night, but likely to remain around a moderate level in coming days with further rises are possible with more rain.