31/03/2017 11:57 AM AEDT | Updated 31/03/2017 2:59 PM AEDT

Queensland Drink Driver Left Family Trapped In Floodwaters

"The vehicle was submerged and the water... had reached the roof."

An alleged drink driver who drove his family into flood waters and then fled, leaving them trapped inside the vehicle, has been charged.

Police were able to rescue the man's partner and children, aged four and six, who had been able to free themselves from the flooded vehicle at 8.30pm on Thursday evening in the Ipswich suburb of Karrabin, south-west of Brisbane.

Thursday night saw south-east Queensland lashed by an unprecedented downpour and gale-force winds, with emergency services receiving thousands of calls for assistance and evacuating 40,000 people from their homes.

The vehicle was submerged and the water has risen pretty quickly and had reached the roof."

Police said that the man was able to free himself from the car, and when he realised his family was in danger, called 000 for help.

"When police arrived the driver had run from the scene," a police spokeswoman said.

"Police located an adult female and two young kids... they managed to get out of the vehicle but obviously were quite distressed.

"The vehicle was submerged and the water has risen pretty quickly and had reached the roof. The car couldn't be retrieved."

The man was found by police a short time later and breath tested, allegedly returning a blood alcohol reading of 0.09 per cent.

State Disaster Coordinator Stephan Gollschewski has lambasted the "foolish and stupid" behaviour of some people amid the ongoing flooding crisis.

"We had a person rescued last night that had driven into waters with family members and that person was charged with drink driving afterwards," he said.

"This causes enormous risk to our community and all the emergency services responders."