Northern Queenslanders are on the lookout for flash floods as monsoon rains pour over large areas.
The Bureau of Meteorology has issued a severe weather warning for possible flash flooding on the state coast between Cooktown and Mackay and the northern and central interior.
Heavy rain is set to hit the region Friday afternoon through the next week.
Flash floods hit areas north of Mackay after falling more than 200 mm in several places over a period of 24 hours from 9am on Friday.
The inland towns of Julia Creek, Hughenden and Richmond are at risk of severe flooding after a major flood warning has been issued for the state’s westernmost Georgina River.
At least 17 basin rivers and streams that have already been flooded by recent rains are at risk of levee failure.
The agency said severe weather warnings were in effect for heavy rain in parts of northern Queensland, with flash floods and river flooding possible.
“Moderate to severe flood warnings are currently in effect for many river systems passing through northern Australia, with further warnings likely in the coming days,” it said.
Police posted pictures of flooding on beaches and the Eaton area north of Mackay on Friday morning, warning people in the north of the state of “extreme weather” over the next few days.
Not content with the status quo, they urged people to keep their rain forecast maps up to date and avoid flooding.
“Attempting to navigate these hazards by car or on foot can be dangerous, as water levels rise and fall very quickly, often with little or no warning,” police said in a statement.
“Emergency services are struggling to understand why some drivers ignore notice signs and warnings on flooded roads.”
The agency also warned of a possible tropical storm near the northeast coast over the weekend or early next week.