Southeast Queensland has weathered a record-breaking downpour, while more rain is expected for bushfire-ravaged NSW and Victoria.
The deluge hit the Gold Coast the hardest, with 325mm of rain falling at Loders Creek and more than 200mm in the Gold Coast Hinterland.
According to the weather bureau, triple the monthly rainfall has fallen on the Gold Coast in just 12 hours.
More moderate showers and storms are forecast for the region today with falls of up to 15mm predicted.
“There is an 80 percent chance of more storms and shower activity, but nothing to the extent that we have seen overnight,” a BoM spokesman said.
Flashfloods cut the M1 Motorway at Helensvale for almost seven hours yesterday, as debris blocked the drains and emergency workers struggled to pump the water clear.
Thousands were trapped in traffic gridlock before the M1 finally reopened just after 1pm.
On the southern end of the Gold Coast, two people were injured when a tree fell on their car on Currumbin Creek Rd during the downpour.
Flooding forced theme parks – Warner Bros Movie World, Dreamworld and Whitewater World Theme Park to close but the parks are expected to reopen today.
The state’s northeast and Northern Rivers regions are tipped to receive further showers today, as a system that has caused bucketing rain and flash flooding in Queensland moves south.
Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Abrar Shabren said yesterday afternoon the effect would be felt for at least another day in the northeast and Northern Rivers areas.
“The rainfall will continue for the next 24 hours and substantial rain is expected at those locations,” he said.
The Tweed and Northern Rivers regions have so far copped the state’s biggest falls, with Clothiers Creek receiving 250mm in the 24 hours to yesterday.
On the mid north coast, Grafton had 155mm of rain and Killabakh had 112mm.
Downpours over the last several days have provided relief for a state ravaged by bushfires, with the number of blazes in NSW dropping from 111 to 73 in six days.
However, there are concerns heavy rain could lead to flash flooding and landslips in parts of southeast NSW and the south coast as the weather system moves towards Victoria over the next 24 hours.
Storms expected to lash parts of central and eastern Victoria today could bring some good news for firefighting efforts, as more than a dozen blazes continue burning in the state.
But heavy rainfall could also bring challenges for fire-ravaged regions, namely the risk of debris washing into waterways and landslides.
There were 16 fires burning in Victoria late yesterday, predominantly in the East Gippsland and the northeastern alpine regions.
A blaze was also burning out-of-control on French Island at Western Port in southern Victoria.
An emergency warning – the highest alert level – had been issued about 4.30pm for the fire at the island’s Ridge Track, before being downgraded to advice level about six hours later.
“You should continue to stay informed and monitor conditions,” the advice warning read.
Authorities earlier downgraded emergency warnings in Victoria’s alpine region despite difficult fire conditions overnight.