Qld flood toll rises to three

The body of a motorcyclist swept away by floodwaters in Brisbane's southwest last night has been recovered, bringing the official death toll due to Queensland's lethal storm event to three on Monday morning.

The man's body was pulled from Oxley Creek around 9am, after hours of searching by police and swift water rescue crews.

The motorcylist was washed off a bridge along the Greenbank-Goodna Road around 11pm.

Passers-by threw in a rope but failed to rescue the man, who was swept downstream.

Earlier, Gympie police recovered the body of a man swept away in flood waters at Widgee Creek yesterday, with an 81-year-old man pulled from the water near Bundaberg at the weekend.

Premier Campbell Newman has stepped up the severity of the “very serious challenge” facing Queensland battling flooding from ex-tropical cyclone Oswald.

Brisbane residents are being warned to brace for the worst.

Mr Newman said it was time for residents in the 3600 properties shown on new Brisbane Catchment flood maps to “take action” at a press conference on Monday morning.

Though Mr Newman again stressed the situation facing the capital would not be as bad as in 2011 in Brisbane, Bundaberg is likely to experience its worst flood on record.

On Monday morning the Burnett River was at 8.7 metres and rising, with nine evacuation centres established in the city he said.

But attempts to rescue about 30 people stranded on roofs were being hampered by “very swift, very dangerous water” flowing in the area.

Mr Newman said six winch cable helicopters had been deployed with the support of army Black Hawks.

“Queensland is facing a very serious challenge right now,” Mr Newman said, with Laidley, Lockyer Creek and Bremer River standing as a “grave concern this morning”.

Mr Newman will visit the Lockyer Valley today, where evacuation orders are in place due to flooding in Lockyer Creek and Laidley Creek.

Meanwhile flood peaks moving through the Brisbane catchment would begin to impact residents at Ipswich and Brisbane from Monday, and residents could not afford to be complacent.

“If their properties are on [the flood maps] I must say this morning you must take action,” Mr Newman said.

“I believe this morning they will be impacted in Ipswich and along the Brisbane River."

The Bremer River in Ipswich is expected to peak above the January 2011 flood level of 11.7 metres by midday today.

Residents in areas that flooded two years ago are moving possessions higher, or moving out of affected streets altogether.

The Mary River at Gympie is expected to peak at 21 metres, higher than the 2011 level of 19.45 metres.

Meanwhile Rockhampton is preparing for a “very significant” flood event, with a flood peak moving down the river over the coming days.

Mr Newman said the full impact would be be felt at the weekend.

Flood waters are also rising in the Gympie CBD, with suburbs in Maryborough already flooding and preparations underway two evacuation centres established.

And while the situation was still unfolding across the state, Mr Newman said the clean-up in some districts had already begun and called for support from the federal government.

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