Floods that have turned streets into rivers and forced thousands to abandon their homes in northeast Australia are far from over.
Thousands of residents in the city of Townsville in Queensland have been without power and cut off by flooded roads.
Landslides were reported with more possible in the worst-hit areas, the Bureau of Meteorology said today, warning of further "intense rainfall" and "significant flash flooding" along the eastern shore.
The weather office earlier announced that spillway gates at the Ross River dam had been opened to their maximum setting with a rapid rise in the water level predicted to follow.
"Dangerous and high-velocity flows will occur in the Ross River [today]. Unprecedented areas of flooding will occur in Townsville," a statement said, adding that there was a "risk to life and property".
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk praised the work of emergency services earlier today but warned residents it wasn't over yet.
"We've never seen anything like this before," she told Today.
"In Queensland, of course, we're used to seeing natural disasters, but Townsville has never seen the likes of this.
"Don't go sightseeing, if you don't need to be out on the roads, don't be. We haven't yet got to the peak … this monsoonal pressure will keep shifting, so we don't know where it's going to dump the water."
Hundreds of people have already been rescued, with at least 500 homes inundated.
But trapped residents have made desperate pleas for assistance on social media.
"Please we are stuck… waiting for SES for hours. We have a 6-year-old and a large dog, neither can swim, anyone have a boat they can get to us please?" one worried resident wrote.
"Anyone out there with a boat please go to [address] my wife is going to drown with my 2-year-old child," another desperate man wrote.
More severe weather could whip up tornadoes and destructive winds in the days ahead, Bureau of Meteorology state manager Bruce Gunn told reporters yesterday.
Up to 20,000 homes are also at risk of being inundated if the rains continue.
Military personnel were delivering tens of thousands of sandbags to affected locals, as Palaszczuk warned residents to be careful.
"It's basically not just a one in 20-year event, it's a one in 100-year event," she told reporters yesterday.
The Bureau of Meteorology said a slow-moving monsoonal trough was sitting above Queensland, with some areas expected to receive more than a year's worth of rain before conditions ease.
Bureau meteorologist Adam Blazak told AFP the heavy downpours could continue until Thursday, while floodwaters would take some time to recede even when the rains lessen.
The region receives an average of some 2000 millimetres of rain annually but some towns were already on track to pass that.
The town of Ingham, north of Townsville, received 506mm of rain in 24 hours between Saturday and Sunday, of which 145mm fell in just one hour, Blazak said.
"I've never seen anything like this," Townsville resident Chris Brookehouse told the ABC, adding that his house was flooded with water more than 1m deep.
"The volume of water is just incredible. Downstairs is gone, the fridge and freezer are floating. Another five or six steps and upstairs is gone too."
Blazak said that with adverse weather predicted to continue for up to 72 hours, some regions could see record-breaking levels of rainfall.
There has been a silver lining to the deluge, with drought-stricken farmers in western Queensland welcoming the soaking.
"It is a welcome relief, especially in our western communities, to not only get the rain but also to fill up their dams," Palaszczuk said.
"We're getting food supplies in there. We still have many roads that are cut around those areas."
The deluge comes amid a severe drought in the eastern inland of the vast Australian continent, including parts of Queensland state, that's left graziers struggling to survive.