Wild weather and rising floodwaters are set to wreak further havoc across southeast Queensland, after leaving one man dead.
The State Emergency Service has received more than 1,000 calls for assistance since the worst weather in decades dumped up to 300mm of rain from Tuesday.
Premier Anna Bligh has declared the region a natural disaster zone.
She says rainfall in the past 24 hours has led to the most extensive flooding since the 1974 floods, when the Brisbane River broke its banks.
The Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) has issued a severe weather warning for Thursday for coastal areas south of the Sunshine Coast to the NSW border.
Dangerously high tides predicted
Moderate to heavy falls are expected as the low pressure system moves south with flood warnings in force for coastal streams between Noosa and Coolangatta.
Wind gusts of up to 100km/h are expected near the coast and adjoining inland areas south of Brisbane but should be felt only on the southern Gold Coast on Thursday.
Tides will be higher than normal and may exceed the highest tide levels of the year, threatening low lying coastal areas.
Dangerous surf conditions along Queensland\’s southeast coast are expected to continue for the rest of the week.
Brisbane was in chaos on Wednesday evening after falls of up to 300mm of rain in 24 hours.
Man killed in Surfers Paradise
Strong winds led to the death of a man who was hit in the chest by pieces of metal and shards of flying glass when the window blew in at a building in Surfers Paradise.
Police declared an emergency situation in the tourist mecca and cordoned off streets as tables, chairs and even barbecues blew from the tops of high-rise buildings and through the streets.
Up to 50 people stranded in vehicles near Brisbane\’s major hospital had to be rescued, while others remain trapped in cars and homes throughout southeast Queensland.
Tens of thousands of homes lost power in the Brisbane and Gold Coast regions, and thousands of students were sent home early from schools throughout the region – some had to be evacuated when flash floods cut them off.
Amid the havoc, the combined level of Brisbane\’s dams has risen to 67.5 per cent of capacity, a jump of 8.22 points, the most water held in the dams since 2002.