After eight days of heavy monsoonal rain, to relieve pressure authorities in the north Queensland city of Townsville was bound to open the floodgates of the Ross River Dam. As a result, floods have turned streets into rivers and thousands of residents were without power and up to 20,000 homes are at risk.
State government warns residents to beware of crocodiles and snakes and have been told to seek shelter on higher ground. Military personnel were delivering tens of thousands of sandbags to affected locals
As floodgates on the Ross River Dam, releasing around 1,900 cubic meters of water per second downriver, which is a serious “risk to life and property”.
“It’s basically not just a one in 20-year event, it’s a one in 100-year event,” state Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said Saturday,
Suburbs to be affected include Rosslea, Hermit Park, Railway Estate, Townsville City, Oonoonba, Isalia, Cluden, West End, Rowes Bay, Garbutt, Aitkenvale, Cranbrook, Currajong, Musterton, Pimlico, Mundingburra, Douglas, Annandale, Kirwan and Thuringowa Central, and South Townsville areas.
People in the affected suburbs above are being urged to reach higher ground and move away from riverbanks.
Some conducted by the State Emergency Service, some by helpful locals in their single- motor fishing boats to help residents escape the floodwaters and some compelled to seek safety on the roofs of their homes
Schools were closed and students will be told to remain at home on Tuesday. Townsville Airport has closed, with all flights in and out canceled.
The Queensland premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, said she had “never seen” a flood like this before. She said the floodgates had to be opened “to make sure the water had somewhere to go”.
Queensland’s environment minister, Leeanne Enoch said, “Crocodiles prefer calmer waters and they may move around in search of a quiet place to wait for floodwaters to recede. Crocodiles can turn up in unusual places such as farm dams or waterholes where they have not been seen before”.
“Similarly, snakes are very good swimmers and they too may turn up unexpectedly.”
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