Feb 08, 2019

Townsville counts the cost of catastrophic flooding

Townsville counts the cost of catastrophic flooding Latest estimates indicate abut 1500 homes have been damaged by flooding in Townsville. Photo: BUDD PHOTOGRAPHY

Authorities have begun the task of assessing the full extent of damage from flooding which has wreaked havoc in Townsville.

Townsville Local Disaster Management chairwoman, Jenny Hill, said the floods had eclipsed previous records for the city.

“The Townsville floods were much bigger than a one-in-100-year event,” Cr Hill said.

“A team of experts is currently analysing the data but it is clear that the flood levels in the Ross River were greater than a one-in-500-year event.”

Staff from a range of agencies have been checking households and other infrastructure for flood damage.

As of 5pm yesterday, almost 1500 homes and commercial properties had been identified as having damage rated as minor, moderate or major.

“There is still a large amount of the city waiting for damage assessments and it will be a long road to recovery,” Cr Hill said.

“At the moment we are looking at around 80 properties that were inundated by more than one metre of water, 489 with 25cm to one metre and 870 with less than 25cm.

“This number is going to grow over the coming weeks as we work out exactly how much damage has occurred throughout Townsville.”

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services Minister, Craig Crawford, will request the Inspector-General undertake a review into the devastating floods which have indundated much of north and north-west Queensland.

Mr Crawford said the review was standard practice after such a major event.

He said members of the community would be given the opportunity to provide submissions to the review.

“This event has devastated communities and destroyed homes and businesses,” Mr Crawford said.

“There are always lessons which can be learned from events like this.”

The terms of reference for the review will be available on the Inspector-General Emergency Management website from today.

Meanwhile, disaster assistance has been activated for the local government area of Flinders and extended for primary producers, small businesses and not-for-profit organisations across Townsville and a number of regions impacted by the flooding.

Flinders becomes the 21st local government area eligible for assistance through the jointly funded Commonwealth-Queensland Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements.

Low-interest loans to support the recovery of primary producers, small businesses and not-for-profit organisations have been made available in the Burdekin, Cloncurry, Douglas, Flinders, Hinchinbrook, McKinlay and Richmond.

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