North Queensland has been warned to expect more heavy rain and flooding as a monsoon trough continues to strengthen.
Bureau of Meteorology acting state manager for Queensland Dr Richard Wardle said the region was already seeing the impact of cumulative heavy falls, with a number of roads impassable and swift-water rescue teams on the ground in preparation for further rain.
“A renewed Flood Watch has been issued for further moderate to major flooding in coastal communities between Daintree and Mackay, and also parts of western Cape York Peninsula and eastern Gulf of Carpentaria catchments,” he said.
“Major flood levels are already occurring in the Haughton River and moderate flood levels in the Bohle River with further rainfall forecast for the Townsville region over the coming days.
“While some models indicate a deepening low and possible cyclone development, the main impact reflected consistently across all forecast scenarios is very heavy rainfall—and it is the widespread and cumulative nature of this rainfall which will see rivers and creeks respond rapidly, particularly in catchments which are sodden following several wet weeks.”
The Bruce Highway at Bluewater was open again tonight (Wednesday) after closing from Deep Creek to Forestry Rd following lash flooding.
And the Burdekin Local Disaster Management Group is advising motorists to keep out of floodwaters after rising river levels closed the Bruce Highway at the Haughton River Bridge, between Ayr and Townsville. At least 10 local roads were also closed this afternoon due to recent rainfall. (More at http://disaster.burdekin.qld.gov.au/)
Burdekin Shire Council Mayor and Local Disaster Management Group Chair Lyn McLaughlin said the bridge continued to remain underwater and a significant amount of debris covered the bridge.
“Once the floodwater recedes, RoadTek crews assess the safety of the Haughton River Bridge before commencing the laborious task of removing debris with assistance by council officers,” Cr McLaughlin said.
“We encourage all motorists wishing to travel between Ayr and Townsville to refrain from driving until the highway is reopened as this process may take some time.
“As soon as the Department of Main Roads declares the highway re-opened, we will communicate this with the community via our Burdekin Emergency Dashboard, Burdekin Shire Council Disaster Coordination Centre Facebook page and local radio.”
In Townsville the Bluewater Community Centre has been established as an evacuation centre and the Townsville City Council was last night providing free sand and sandbags to residents. (More at http://disaster.townsville.qld.gov.au/)