Hundreds of millimetres of rain have been dumped across the south-east, causing flash flooding on the Gold and Sunshine Coasts and in Brisbane. Homes were flooded, roads were closed and authorities rescued several motorists as heavy rain drenches south-east Queensland.

Sunshine Coast

81 mm of rain fell in just one hour. A dozen homes were partially flooded are road closures across the south-east.

At Boondall in Brisbane's north a childcare centre has been inundated and the downpour is causing delays at the Brisbane Airport.

Three people have escaped after their car was stuck on a flooded road in Brisbane's south-west and cars are floating on some streets in the inner city.

The Department of Community Safety says the trio managed to escape unharmed but their car is still partially submerged on Gap Creek Road at Kenmore Hills.

Another driver had to be rescued from a flooded road earlier this morning on the Gold Coast.

Nearly 200 millimetres of rain has been recorded in the Gold Coast hinterland in the past 24 hours.

A home at Jacob's Well on the Gold Coast has been flooded and the owner forced to evacuate.

"An inch is the most through the house in certain spots and then in other spots it's half an inch," he said.

"I just got out of Jacob's Well - at the Pimpama Jacobs Well Road the water's lapping at the side of the bridge and it's halfway on the road in some spots.

"I've got a four-month-old baby and wife away - they are going to come home to a wet house."

Energex says power has been cut to 3,500 homes and business across the south-east.

On standby

Swift water rescue specialists are on standby with localised flooding expected to worsen on the Gold Coast.

Greg Tomlinson from the Queensland Fire and Rescue Service (QFRS) says a number of roads are closed and known hotspots in low lying areas are causing the most concern.

He says crews are familiarising themselves with areas including Upper Coomera, Oxenford, Gilston, Worongary, Mudgeeraba and Tallebudgera.

"Those crews will then go out with the other crews to make sure that they in their own mind are very comfortable with the situation," he said.

"If they need to go back to that location to perform a rescue they have it all mapped out and in a comfortable situation."

QFRS's Bruce Byatt says people must stay out of floodwaters.

"In a very short space of time you can be in difficulty and lose your lives," he said.

The SES has received almost 70 calls for help across the state in the last 24 hours - mainly to fallen branches and leaky roofs.

No respite

Michelle Berry from the weather bureau says large parts of the state are being drenched but south-east Queensland has had the heaviest falls.

"We were seeing hourly rainfall totals of at least 80mm," she said.

"We're expecting these rain bands to just keep moving off the water and also extend inland and generate some heavy falls.

"Further 24-hour totals in excess of 150mm are expected."

Thunderstorms are also dumping heavy rain across the north of the state with more than 100mm recorded near Innisfail and more than 140mm near Mackay since yesterday.