Queenslanders are being hit with thunderstorms on Christmas Day as residents and authorities continue cleaning up in the state’s north after ex-tropical cyclone Jasper.
The Bureau of Meteorology issued warnings for damaging thunderstorms across the state’s east on Sunday, with the heaviest falls concentrated in the state’s southeast corner.
A severe thunderstorm warning was also issued for parts of the northern interior, southwest of Townsville on Monday with damaging winds, hail and heavy rainfall.
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The warning applied to parts of Northern Goldfields and Upper Flinders, Central Highlands and Coalfields, and Central West forecast districts.
Hundreds of people were without power on Christmas morning, as the severe weather impacted infrastructure.
The bureau’s Angus Hines said there will be a potential for severe thunderstorms to continue throughout Monday and Boxing Day.
“There’s a chance of thunder and maybe even severe storms through Brisbane, Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne,” he said.
“There could be some damaging winds, there could be some large hail.”
Further north, water continues to be re-connected to properties damaged by the flooding from Jasper.
Crews around Port Douglas and Mossman have reconnected more than 200km of pipeline.
Queensland Deputy Premier Cameron Dick has urged travellers to continue with their plans to visit the far north.
Overnight, five people were rescued after their vehicle went into flood water on the Leichhardt Highway at 7pm.
All five were uninjured and did not require hospitalisation.
Flash floods have prompted multiple rescues and calls for help as thunderstorms brought hail, damaging winds and heavy rainfall to areas across NSW stretching to the Queensland and Victorian borders.
Almost 600 NSW SES volunteers were responding to calls for assistance late on Christmas Eve — including 25 separate flood rescue incidents, the bulk of them in the Sydney and Illawarra areas.
NSW SES Acting Assistant Commissioner Allison Flaxman said most of the rescues involved vehicles trapped in flood water.
“We also had several reports of buildings impacted by the flash flooding, with water leaking through roofs and under doors into garages and car parks,” she said.
“SES members assisted with sandbagging and clean-outs.
“Fortunately, there were no reports of significant injuries or major damage from the flood rescues.”
SES volunteers spent Christmas morning continuing to help with clean-up efforts after significant storms ravaged parts of the Northern Rivers, Metropolitan Sydney, Illawarra, South Coast and Riverina.
Sydney copped a hammering on Sunday evening, with the suburb of Little Bay in the city’s east recording 56mm of rain in one hour.
The SES was called to 492 incidents on Christmas Eve, 313 of them across Metropolitan Sydney.
Sunday’s storms were widespread up and down the coast, with hail of up to 10cm in diameter reported in far north NSW near the Queensland border.
Acting Assistant Commissioner Flaxman said crews were prepared for a busy stretch and urged people to take care.
“It is critical people assess the conditions of not only their route but their destination before travelling and avoid camping in low-lying areas,” she said.
“If you come across flooded roads, please turn around and find an alternative route.
“Never drive through floodwaters.”
She said flood rescue teams have been positioned and prepared for the coming days.
The bureau has issued a flood watch for parts of the south coast through to the Upper Murrumbidgee.
“Heavy rainfall, more intense with thunderstorms, is forecast with a low-pressure system expected to move through southern NSW,” the flood alert read.