All four of theme parks on Queensland’s Gold Coast have been closed, after a month’s worth of rain fell in parts of the state overnight.
A severe storm warning was issued by the Bureau of Meteorology after intense rainfall from a mega cell lashed the state, and has caused “life-threatening” flash flooding on major roads.
Both the Cunningham Highway and M1 were closed at Helensvale on Saturday for six hours, where cars were forced to pull onto the side of the road, unable to drive through floodwaters.
Two of the city’s biggest attractions, MovieWorld and Wet N Wild, closed their doors due to flooding in the parks, and motorists have been advised to avoid the area “at all costs”.
“Please be aware that due to severe weather and flooding, Warner Bros. Movie World will be closed today for the safety of our guests and team members,” a post by the theme park on Facebook read.
The parks said they hoped to re-open tomorrow.
One employee tweeted images of the flooded attraction and surrounding roads, writing that Movie World usually only closed on Christmas and Anzac Day.
Meanwhile the suburb of Coomera, where Dreamworld and WhiteWater World are located, was inundated with 90mm of rain in just one hour on Saturday morning, prompting the parks to shut down as well.
“Very dangerous storms are producing intense rainfall around Coomera,” a warning from the Bureau of Meteorology read on Saturday morning.
“Dreamworld and WhiteWater World will be closed today, 18 January due to inclement weather. The safety of our guests and team is our first priority,” a Facebook post by the theme parks read.
Queensland Fire and Emergency Services have advised people to seek shelter, beware of fallen trees and powerlines and not to risk travelling through flooded areas.
“Fast-moving water can be extremely unpredictable and have devastating consequences,” a warning read.