Owen brings flash flooding to north Queensland

Ex-tropical cyclone Owen brings flash flooding to north Queensland communities


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Authorities are telling people to remain vigilant as the threat from Cyclone Owen isn't over yet.

Authorities are telling people to remain vigilant as the threat from Cyclone Owen isn't over yet.

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The weather system is expected to move further offshore over the next few days.

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Record-breaking rain from ex-tropical cyclone Owen has wiped out crops in parts of north Queensland, and caused the death of a teen who jumped into a flooded creek.

However experts say the worst is over, and Owen won't reform again.

The Bureau of Meteorology said Halifax, inland of Ingham, was hardest hit on the weekend, recording 680mm of rain in just 24 hours.

This is almost five times the December average for the region, and decimates the previous record of around 470mm in 1991.

The rain has caused flash flooding in the area, with local farmers reporting cane fields are now underwater.

"This water over the top is not good for the cane (because) afterwards heat comes out and starts to boil the cane in the paddock and that's when we'll get our cane losses," one farmer told ABC radio on Monday.

Meanwhile an 18-year-old man who jumped into Big Crystal Creek with friends about 4pm on Sunday was swept away by rapids in the flood-affected creek in Mutarnee, north of Townsville.

Dane Bracey's body was found by a friend a short time later, and paramedics were unable to revive him.

Friends have paid tribute to the teen on Facebook.

"Heartbreaking news, our hearts go out to Dane's family and friends," Jennifer George wrote.

The weather system is currently sitting off the coast of Mackay, and is expected to move further offshore over the next few days.

Meteorologist David Crock said earlier fears Cyclone Owen would reform are now unfounded.

"There's no prospect of it becoming a cyclone again, which is good because we've had enough," he said.

However heavy rain is still causing issues for motorists, with roads around Dalby cut after more than 250mm fell in the region in the last 24 hours.

Authorities have pleaded with drivers not to attempt to cross flooded waterways, after two men on the Darling Downs were rescued from their utes on the weekend.

Flood warnings remain in place for Myall Creek at Dalby, and the nearby Condamine River.

Warrill Creek at Amberley, west of Brisbane, is also expected to peak at minor flood levels on Monday afternoon.

Australian Associated Press

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