Parts of Brisbane under water after heavy rain.
Parts of Brisbane are again under water following heavy rain, which is hitting multiple centres. Image by Darren England/AAP PHOTOS
  • windstorms

Heavy rain causes floods as tropical cyclone looms

February 16, 2024

A third cyclone in as many months has formed off the Australian coast as rain-lashed cities and regions brace for more wild conditions as part of a deadly weather system.

Wind gusts up to 110km/h and heavy rain are set to impact Gulf of Carpentaria coastal areas after Tropical Cyclone Lincoln formed on Friday.

It is set to make landfall as a category one system near the Northern Territory-Queensland border late in the day, the Bureau of Meteorology forecast.

“We’re expecting this tropical cyclone to cross over the coastline and start to make its way onto land,” Senior Meteorologist Angus Hines said.

“It is going to pretty quickly become a tropical low.”

The weather system is expected to track west across the NT towards Western Australia over the weekend, bringing heavy rain to inland communities.

Tennant Creek and Elliott in the NT and some northern parts of Queensland could record 24-hour rainfall totals of 50mm to 100mm, with 200mm possible in isolated areas.

In parts of Brisbane roads and lowlands were under water and suburban waterways overflowed.

In what was described as Brisbane’s wettest day since the 2022 floods, Rosalie recorded 197mm, Bowen Hills copped 135mm while 148mm soaked Mt Cootha.

Waterways spill over after heavy rain.
 Some parts of Brisbane were swamped by heavy rain which flooded minor waterways. Image by Darren England/AAP PHOTOS 

Some regions in Lincoln’s sights are still reeling from the last cyclone, Kirrily.

In northwest Queensland, communities remain isolated following widespread flooding in the wake of Kirrily, which lingered for days after crossing the Queensland coast weeks ago.

“Floodwaters are still easing through some of these places, but with the further incoming rainfall renewed rises are possible,” Mr Hines said.

“This could be a particular concern around Burketown and Doomadgee.”

More than 60 residents have been evacuated from Burketown, which has recorded 135mm of rain in the past 24 hours.

Burke Shire mayor Ernie Camp said while Gulf communities were used to some isolation during the wet season, the consecutive severe weather events were taking a toll.

“Everybody is feeling a little bit nervous,” he told AAP.

‘It’s certainly draining our resources, mentally as well considering these events are so close together.”

Mr Camp said supplies have been dropped into the Aboriginal community of Doomadgee which has been cut off by floodwaters for more than a month.

Burketown suffered severe flooding in March 2023.
 Burketown flooded in March 2023 and faces another deluge, with 135mm of rain recorded in 24 hours. Image by HANDOUT/QLD POLICE 

In the NT, people have been evacuated from the community of Beswick, south of Katherine.

The cyclone warning includes parts of northwest Queensland, Mornington Island, and the NT’s east, with gale-force winds expected.

The bureau said the system was at “moderate” risk of becoming a cyclone again if it reached waters west of the Kimberley in WA later next week.

It comes as the body of a woman was found in a submerged car in floodwaters near Mount Isa on Thursday.

It is believed the 28-year-old had tried to drive through a flooded causeway.

“Heartbreaking tragedy in Australia: an Indian national lost her life in a flooding incident near Mount Isa, Queensland,” the Indian High Commission in Australia posted on social media on Friday.

“Deepest condolence to the family of the deceased.”

Tropical Cyclone Jasper in mid-December also caused record flooding in Queensland’s far north after making landfall north of Cairns.