Warning issued as Cyclone Debbie remnant collides with cold front

"The state Disaster Management Committee has made the decision to close all schools in southeast Queensland between Agnes Waters and to the NSW border and out west to Nanango", Trad said.

An unroofed home at Bowen in the wake of Cyclone Debbie. "Swift water rescues overnight around the Mackay region", she said.

The premier said the worst weather had been forecast for Thursday afternoon, when schools were to break, and experts had recommended all people stay indoors and off flooded roads.

"Thursday is going to be a pretty soggy day and we are forecasting rain 20mm or more widespread".

"Because of that, there will be widespread rainfall over the eastern half of NSW on Thursday, with the heaviest falls to be around the northern rivers".

"This sting in the tail of Debbie is something we knew would happen", Commissioner of Police Ian Stewart said.

"These systems are notoriously hard to predict so we are asking the community to not drive through flood water, to keep children away from flooded drains and creeks and to prepare your properties now for high winds".

Bureau of Meteorology A large area of south-east Queensland is on Flood Watch.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk warns Queenslanders what to expect during a press conference following a Disaster Management Meeting in Brisbane, Tuesday, March 28, 2017 hours before Tropical Cyclone Debbie crossed Queensland's far north coast as a category 4 cyclone.

5pm: The Illawarra is set for a wet and windy Thursday as the remnant tropical low from Cyclone Debbie collides with an arriving cold front.

The rainfall totals on Thursday will be 100mm or more in many parts of the state, with some locations in the northern rivers predicted to get a dumping of 300mm or more, as a result of ex-cyclone Debbie.

But it is the winds which pose the greatest threat to Sydneysiders.

"It is essential that farmers continue to monitor their local situations as flood warnings have been issued for coastal catchments between Gladstone in Queensland and Bellingen in northern NSW", Mr Armitage said.

While not in the range of the cyclonic conditions of up to 263km/h seen in northern Queensland on Tuesday, it is still enough to blow branches from trees and create unsafe conditions on the road. On a brighter note, a baby girl was born at an ambulance station on the Whitsunday islands as the storm raged outside. Eleven flights are scheduled in and out of the island today, after flights had to be cancelled on Wednesday evening due to ongoing wild weather.

Hundreds of tourists and residents stranded for days on Hamilton and Daydream islands will be flown to safety on Thursday.

Malcolm Turnbull and Bill Shorten have been visiting the cyclone-ravaged communities of northern Queensland.

In addition to heavy rain and flooding, tropical storm force and hurricane force winds are possible, according to ABM.

With island airports now open, the mission to get them back to the mainland should be over quickly.

  • Leroy Wright