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Flood crisis widens in Southern Queensland and Northern NSW

South Eastern Queensland and the Northern Rivers in New South Wales are on high flood alert as an "unrelenting" weather system that has been drenching the region for days slowly moves south.

South Eastern Queensland and the Northern Rivers in New South Wales are on high flood alert as an “unrelenting” weather system that has been drenching the region for days slowly moves south.

In Queensland, the Brisbane River has peaked with three people missing in floodwaters, seven dead and more than 15,000 homes impacted by major flooding in southeast Queensland.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says life-threatening flash-flooding is underway and some rivers are still yet to peak, particularly in Logan and Gold Coast.

She said the Brisbane River is falling after peaking 3.85 metres on Monday morning, below the 2011 flood peak of 4.46m.

“It is still a significant event, and I think everyone would agree no one has seen this amount of rain in such a short period of time over our entire southeast catchment zone,” Ms Palaszczuk told reporters.

Queensland Fire and Emergency services conducted more than 130 swiftwater rescues and responded to more than 2200 calls for help in the past 24 hours.

All schools in the southeast have been closed and people are urged to work from home.

Brisbane Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner said the floods are “very different” to 2011 because the rain pummelled the region for five days.

“We’ve seen incredible amounts of rain,” he told ABC Radio on Monday. 

The flood emergency in northern NSW is widening with three rivers now at major risk of breaking their banks, as the city of Lismore faces an “unprecedented” crisis as thousands evacuate amid rapidly rising waters.

About 15,000 people have been evacuated across the north coast and the entire Lismore CBD is inundated after days of unrelenting torrential rain that led to the Wilson River breaching its levee overnight.

People were caught unawares by the speed of the rapidly rising waters, with some forced to take refuge on the roofs of their inundated homes overnight.

The Bureau of Meteorology issued a major flood warning at 9.42am on Monday for the Tweed River, adding to major warnings already in place for the Wilson and Clarence rivers as large swathes of the northern rivers grappled with the crisis.

Near the Tweed River, the BOM said major flooding was occurring at Tumbulgum, Murwillumbah and Chinderah, with further rain forecast for Monday, stoking fears waters could rise even higher.

Lismore is bracing for its worst-ever flood crisis that will surpass the devastation caused in 1954 and 1974, with Wilsons River set to reach around 14.20 metres on Monday afternoon, prompting fears of unparalleled inundation in the area.

Our thoughts and support are with all those affected. Please, stay safe, get to higher ground and if you need assistance, call the following numbers:

  • For emergency assistance, contact SES in NSW or QLD on 132 500.
  • If your life is at risk, call Triple Zero (000) immediately.

For up-to-date flood information, click here for ABC’s live blog.

Source: AAP