“This is going to be I think a very grim day,” said Premier Anna Bligh during this morning’s press conference.

As we go to press, the Queensland floods continue to rage. The size of this emergency is playing out in real time. The death toll from flash flooding in the Toowoomba region is still being assessed just as Brisbane suburbs are being evacuated. As the Premier pointed out this morning, authorities are struggling to redraw anticipated flood levels in the area in line with the torrential rain fall from the last 24 hours.

The #qldfloods Twitter stream is moving too fast to read properly. One woman is concerned about her grandmother in Toowoomba; she can’t get through because the phone lines are down. Another has just heard from a family friend that they found their neighbour dead.

Sometimes the best way to comprehend a disaster of this scale is to boil the information down to numbers. It seems more manageable, somehow. And yet, not, when we realise how fast these numbers are changing:

15: the current death toll from the Queensland floods. This is expected to rise in the aftermath of the most recent flash flooding in the Toowoomba region (via The Sydney Morning Herald) in which eight people are confirmed dead. Police are warning that southern Queensland’s flash flood death toll will top 20 (via The Australian).

8: the height, in metres, of some of the “tsunami-like waves” that swept through Toowoomba and the Lockyer Valley yesterday (via the Herald Sun).

18,000: the number of customers in Queensland currently without power (via ABC News).

7.7: the percentage value that dam levels dropped to in 2009 in Toowoomba, an all-time low after a decade-long drought. (via The SMH).

700: the height, in metres, Toowoomba sits above sea level, on the crest of the Great Dividing Range (via The SMH).

65: the number of people evacuated from Dalby overnight (via ABC News).

4500: the number of calls the SES received for assistance from Toowoomba (via ABC News).

70: the number of millimeters of rain an hour that storms continue to dump in some areas of the Darling Downs (via The Courier Mail).

$5-6 billion: the estimated cost to the Queensland economy from the floods (via The Australian).

20: the percentage of Queensland mines that have been shut down by the flooding, with 60% operating at reduced levels (via The Australian).

$50-100 million: the estimated amount of tourism business wiped from the Bundaberg and Rockhampton regions (via The Sunday Mail).

200 (more than): the number of homes and businesses along the river that the Brisbane City Council says are at risk, most at Rocklea, Albion, Milton and Auchenflower (via ABC News).

3: the number of river systems flooded (via The Guardian).

In fact, the only numbers not set to change over the coming hours are these ones:

1300 993 191: the telephone hotline set up for people seeking information on friends and relatives caught up in the flooding disaster.

1800 219 028: the number to call to donate to the Queensland flood relief appeal.