Qld dad found dead in ute in swollen creek

·3-min read

A young family has been plunged into grief after Queensland recorded its first death in floods that have left a massive clean-up task ahead.

Authorities had been expressing relief that no lives were lost in the deluge that swamped southern Queensland in recent days.

That changed late on Wednesday when swift water rescue crews and police divers fought strong currents to reach a ute submerged in the swollen Canungra Creek inland from the Gold Coast.

Inside the upturned vehicle they found the body of 38-year-old husband and father David Hornman, last seen leaving his father's house nearby on Monday morning.

His desperate wife spent the past two days pleading for information on social media.

"I just have to know he's ok. Please tell him no matter what I LOVE HIM," Angela Hornman wrote on her page, saying he left for work on Monday but never made it.

Police say the Canungra area copped atrocious weather on Monday. Forecasters say almost half a metre of rain has fallen in the Gold Coast hinterland since Sunday.

"A lot of the roads that wouldn't usually flood have flooded during that time, so certainly that is our focus in regards to the investigation," a police spokesman told reporters.

"But we'll look at all aspects of it to try to give some peace to the family about actually what has happened in the moments before he's passed away."

Torrential rain that began falling across a wide band of southern Queensland on Sunday has stopped for the most part.

But Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says the danger is not over, and water will continue to make its way through flooded areas for a couple more days.

"A major flood warning remains for the Logan River and a minor flood warning remains for the Albert River," she told parliament on Wednesday.

Despite March rainfall records falling in many places, the southeast's major dams received only relatively modest top ups, pushing the region's water grid to 58.6 per cent of capacity, up 4.6 per cent over the past week.

The automatic trigger point for water restrictions is 50 per cent, and the southeast's largest dam, Wivenhoe, is only 37 per cent full.

But it was a different story further inland, in the Southern Downs town of Stanthorpe, which has been trucking in drinking water for more than a year.

It's reservoirs, including essentially empty Storm King Dam, are now at 100 per cent, with Southern Downs mayor Vic Pennisi telling the ABC it has "rained hope".

"We have been waiting for that moment for a long time and it has finally come and there will be a lot of happy people on the Granite Belt as a result of what happened last night," he said of the region's drought-affected farmers.

State Emergency Services Minister Mark Ryan says it will be some time before there's a comprehensive tally of flooded properties and vehicles lost to floodwaters.

He says the activation of joint federal-state disaster assistance for the hard-hit Gold Coast, Logan and Scenic Rim councils would fund the removal of tonnes of debris, and repairs to roads and other infrastructure.