RAINFALL levels unseen since Cyclone Debbie have lashed southeast Queensland, with damaging winds and flash-flooding on the way for coastal towns north of the Sunshine Coast.

The Bureau of Meteorology issued a severe weather warning for damaging winds and heavy rainfall just before 5.30am on Tuesday.

"Heavy rainfall is likely to occur across the eastern Wide Bay and Burnett, and the Capricornia coast south of Rockhampton.

"An intensifying upper trough is forecast to remain slow-moving over the central Queensland interior.

"Combined with a moist air mass, and a coastal trough over the Hervey Bay and Capricornia waters, it will lead to areas of heavy rain and isolated thunderstorms.

Despite belting rain, waveriders made the most of the surging swell at Mooloolaba.
Despite belting rain, waveriders made the most of the surging swell at Mooloolaba. Mark Furler

"Heavy rainfall, which may lead to flash flooding, is expected to occur between Gladstone to Noosa Heads during Tuesday. 6 hourly rainfall totals of 120mm to 180mm are possible, particularly about the coast.

"Heavy rainfall is then expected to develop about the Capricornia Coast south of Rockhampton overnight Tuesday and into Wednesday morning, where 6 hourly totals of 100 to 140mm are possible."

The bureau said locally damaging wind gusts up to 90 km/h are possible over Fraser Island and the coastal areas within the warning area during Tuesday morning.

Severe thunderstorms are possible within the warning area.

Locations which may be affected include Bundaberg, Maryborough, Hervey Bay, Fraser Island, Toolara Forestry, Town of 1770 and Gladstone.

170mm of rainfall was recorded in the 6 hours to 4.30am at Westwood Range Alert, east of Miriam Vale.

The number of calls to SES were expected exceed 300 last night, with households calling for help to tarp roofs and pre-emptively sandbag homes.

The Bureau of Meteorology has issued an initial Flood Watch for coastal catchments from Gladstone to Caloundra

There's also an Initial Minor Flood Warning for the Mary River and Initial Moderate Flood Warning for the Burrum and Cherwell Rivers Catchments.

Catchments likely to be affected include:

   Calliope River

   Boyne River

   Baffle Creek

   Kolan River

   Burrum and Cherwell Rivers

   Mary River

   Noosa River

   Sunshine Coast Rivers and Creeks

See www.bom.gov.au/qld/warnings to view the current flood warnings for Queensland.

OVERFLOW: Wappa Dam is spilling over.
OVERFLOW: Wappa Dam is spilling over. QSCHW Australia/Facebook

A third of southeast Queensland dams have begun spilling and Seqwater confirmed at least a week's worth of water use has been collected since it began raining on Friday.

Spokesman Mike Foster said the rainfall had only added a "minor increase" to the region's water supply.

A number of beaches on the Sunshine Coast were forced to shut due to sand being whipped up by strong winds and dangerous surf.

Thunderstorms are likely across most of the Queensland coast today, with winds easing in the Gold Coast.

Lows of 19C and highs of 25C for the Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast, and Brisbane.

News Corp Australia

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