Waves break over onlookers at Shorncliffe, a Brisbane suburb, 27 January 2013. The heavy rainfall following cyclone Oswald which caused widespread flooding in Queensland is hit Sydney on Monday, 28 January 2013. Photo: Michelle Smith / Sydney Morning Herald

By Sally Willoughby and Georgina Mitchell
28 January 2013

(Sydney Morning Herald) – The heavy rainfall following cyclone Oswald which has caused widespread flooding in Queensland is forecast to hit Sydney on Monday as long-weekend holidaymakers return to the city.

Experts describe the flooding and tornadoes battering the east coast as the worst they have seen in 30 years.

The weather bureau issued a severe weather warning for parts of the state with heavy rainfall and winds of up to 140 km/h expected. Up to 300 millimetres of rain could fall in areas of Sydney over 24 hours from Monday morning.

The Queensland Premier, Campbell Newman, said central Brisbane was expected to flood on Tuesday and Wednesday but the levels will not be as devastating as they were in 2011.

If current projections play out, 3600 residential properties will be affected in Brisbane and of those, 2100 are unit dwellings where only ground floor flooding is expected. About 1250 businesses are also expected to be affected while about 50 homes are projected to be inundated in the Ipswich suburb of Goodna.

Mr Newman called in the army to help with the crisis, as Bundaberg prepared for the worst flooding in more than a century.

Two Black Hawk army helicopters were sent there from Townsville to assist with rescues.

In Queensland the State Emergency Services received more than 1050 calls for assistance on Sunday, and Queensland Fire and Rescue Service conducted 34 floodwater rescues. In NSW, the SES received more than 450 calls for assistance and four people had to be plucked from floodwaters. […]

Six tornadoes that hit the Mackay and Bundaberg regions caused damage to hundreds of homes. More than 100,000 homes and businesses lost power in Ipswich, Moreton Bay, Logan, parts of the Gold Coast and Brisbane. One man drowned at Burnett Heads near Bundaberg and two people are missing after being swept into Widgee Creek and Traveston Dam, both near Gympie. […]

Weatherzone's senior meteorologist, Brett Dutschke, said the extreme weather was unusual.

''The extent of the rainfall and how heavy it's been would only be seen once every few decades,'' he said. ''To have a system this intense moving over such a large area with this kind of impact is really unusual.'' [more]

Sydney braces for wild weather as cyclone system moves south

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