Residents in the Queensland town of Talgai have been told to evacuate immediately after a nearby dam failed late Friday.
A resident spotted a 3.5m hole in the Bolzan Quarry Dam on Friday afternoon, and after emergency repairs failed, residents in 250 homes in low-lying parts of the community were ordered to immediately evacuate via 5000 text messages and social media posts.
The Southern Downs Regional Council has warned that the Bolzan Quarry Dam was set to break, causing “dangerous downstream flooding” between Tolgai West Road and Dalrymple Creek Road in the early hours of Saturday morning.
“Residents need to act to protect life, leave now and move to higher ground,” the council said in a statement.
“Those evacuating have been urged to leave immediately and stay with family and friends in a safe area.”
The council said an evacuation centre had been set up in nearby Warwick.
The Courier Mail reported that firefighting and SES crews attended the dam to try and patch up the leak after it first overflowed, but the dam burst again.
Southern Downs Mayor Tracy Dobie late Friday night said she was confident people living downstream the failing dam would get out in time and that the deluge will dissipate quickly.
Ms Dobie said the dam hadn't completely failed and was confident those in the path of the floodwaters would be able to get out.
"The land is really flat so the water will just go out over that land and by the time it has got a bit downstream, it will have dissipated," she told Toowoomba's Chronicle newspaper late on Friday night.
"I have confidence in the people who live there. This is their land, they know what happens and they will do the right thing and know where to go."
Ms Dobier said an engineer would be sent to inspect the damage to the dam at first light on Saturday.
Days of downpours in southeast Queensland have led to flooding that is yet to subside.
On the Gold Coast, police are still searching for Yang Chen, 26, who disappeared in the hinterland area while walking near Gorge Falls in the Tallebudgera Valley earlier in the week.
Hazardous surf that has drawn surfers and onlookers to the Gold Coast was also due to settle overnight on Friday.
Melbourne is mopping up after intense rain lashed the city's outer eastern and southeastern suburbs on Friday leading to flash flooding and fallen trees and cutting power to thousands of properties.
Parts of Victoria's Gippsland and La Trobe Valley also experienced heavy rain as severe thunderstorms hit the state.
The State Emergency Service fielded 550 requests for help by 9.30pm Friday night, with 175 of them for flooding, 156 for building damage and 180 for trees that had come down.
Victoria's fire-ravaged northeast is expected to experience a drenching when thunderstorms hit the region on Saturday.
NSW flash flooding
More rain is expected to hit Sydney and parts of the New South Wales east coast from Saturday afternoon as ex-tropical cyclone Uesi moves south through the Tasman Sea.
Rain and thunderstorm activity is expected through the bushfire-ravaged South Coast, the Southern Tablelands and western Sydney.
Flood warnings also remain in place after the weekend's wet weather deluge, particularly through the NSW Mid North Coast.
Flash flooding may also occur in the Tweed, Richmond, Wilson, Clarence, Bellinger, Macleay, Upper Nepean, Wyong, Tuggerah, Orara, Gwydir, Castlereagh, Paroo, Nambucca and Weir rivers.