Powerful storms follow heavy Qld downpours

Michael Doyle
Regional Queensland town Dalby is warned of possible further flooding after heavy weekend rainfall

Another line of powerful storms is sweeping across southeast Queensland on Monday afternoon, with insurers declaring a catastrophe after heavy weekend falls caused widespread rain damage.

It comes after Dalby, Oakey, Applethorpe, Warwick, and Roma surpassed their February rainfall average, with Oakey and Warwick exceeding their monthly averages in a day after the massive weekend deluge.

Flood warnings have now been issued for Dalby and Bell, in the Western Downs region.

Most beaches on the Gold Coast have been closed to swimmers due to rough seas and large tides. Shark nets and baited hooks are also being removed from beaches there and on the Sunshine Coast.

Tropical Cyclone Uesi has formed in the Coral Sea just northwest of Vanuatu and is expected to strengthen as it moves southwards towards New Caledonia on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Apart from causing large swells, the category 2 storm is not expected to impact the Queensland coast.

The town of Dalby, northwest of Brisbane, has been warned of more potential flooding after heavy rainfall in the region.

Rain is also forecast for the Cape York Peninsula with a monsoon off the coast, while Thursday Island could receive up to 70mm over Monday and Tuesday.

Western parts of Queensland are forecast to stay dry throughout the week, and a trough is preventing rain heading to the state's southwest.

There is good news for the southern interior, however, where further falls are forecast.

Up to 15mm of rain could fall in the town of Stanthorpe, which officially ran out of drinking water in January and had to start trucking in supplies from a nearby dam.

Southern Downs mayor Tracy Dobie said Stanthorpe's main water supply, Storm King Dam, recently had a month's worth of drinking water flow into it.

"We have had almost as much rain in January and February as we had in all of 2019," Ms Dobie told AAP on Sunday.

She said the dam would need six months' worth of water to end water trucking.

However, insurers expect a large number of claims for rain damage along Australia's east coast after heavy weekend falls.

It is the sixth catastrophe declared nationally in the past five months after a series of bushfires and extreme weather events, the Insurance Council of Australia said.

"So far, most of the claims are from south-east Queensland and along NSW coastal regions, but damage has also been reported several hundred kilometres inland and in the ACT," the council's Karl Sullivan said.

Rains are expected to ease in Queensland throughout the week.