OVERFLOWING: More than 24 hours of rain on the Sunshine Coast left water over many roads, including Cotton Tree Esplanade.
OVERFLOWING: More than 24 hours of rain on the Sunshine Coast left water over many roads, including Cotton Tree Esplanade. Patrick Woods

Rainfall and damage numbers tallied as bullet "dodged"

WE DODGED a bullet.

That was the word from the Sunshine Coast Disaster Management team and SES volunteers who kept watch over the Sunshine Coast as the wrath of Cyclone Marcia was felt across the region.

The Coast copped a second belting early yesterday morning when ex-Tropical Cyclone Marcia headed south as a low-pressure system after wreaking havoc in north Queensland.

In the 24 hours between 9am on Friday and 9am yesterday, the equivalent of almost the total average monthly rainfall pounded the Coast.

Petrie Creek was pushed to its limits when 193mm fell yesterday, and at Sippy Downs 243mm bucketed down.

At Landsborough, 253mm fell and Noosa copped 70mm.

As ex-Tropical Cyclone Marcia moved offshore, all eyes were on Gympie, where the Mary River was rising.

Gympie businesses started evacuating early yesterday afternoon as the swollen Mary rose. It is expected to peak at 17 metres.

Gympie mayor Mick Curran said the city's evacuation plans had kicked in at 14m, but the rising water was not expected to reach the Mary Street shops.

However, the Bruce Highway was expected to be cut both north and south by today , leaving motorists stranded.

Mayor Mark Jamieson said there were no reports of major damage across the region.

As the weather began to improve, the Local Disaster Management Group moved into damage evaluation and assessment mode.

The council had 24 crews assessing and inspecting roads, parks and beaches to ensure they were safe.

Even yesterday afternoon, 60 roads were still closed across the Coast.

Much earlier, at 7.30am, there were reports of a submerged car at Nambour's Ann St overpass, and Sixth Ave in Maroochydore also became a hazardous stretch.

As the rain continued to pour, more roads became danger zones, including Fleming St at Yandina, Yandina Coolum Rd and Cooroy Noosa Rd.

Meridan Way, at Meridan Plains, was also closed.

Weatherzone meteorologist Kim Westcott said the Sunshine Coast could expect to see some blue sky over the next few days.

"That should be it for the Sunshine Coast now," she said. "The ex-tropical cyclone will gradually drift off into the sea.

"There will be onshore winds continuing to push showers towards the Coast and (today) there will be patchy showers as opposed to the rain the ex-tropical cyclone was bringing."

Forecast

  • Today: Possible showers, 1-5mm of rain, 31 degrees
  • Monday: Possible showers 1-5mm of rain, 31 degrees
  • Tuesday: Possible showers, 1-5mm of rain, 28 degrees

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