Feb 02, 2019

Townsville hit by ‘unprecedented’ weather event

Townsville hit by ‘unprecedented’ weather event Aplins Weir in Townsville. Photo: BUDD PHOTOGRAPHY

Residents of Townsville and surrounding areas are continuing to deal with a weather event Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk today described as “unprecedented”.

“We have not seen this (type of) scenario before,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

“Some of the catchment levels are unprecedented.”

Ms Palaszczuk said the next 24 to 48 hours would be crucial for Townsville and district residents as Bureau of Meteorology state manager Bruce Gunn said the heavy rain was expected to continue into early next week.

The Townsville Local Disaster Management Group issued a warning this morning that residents in the Black River, Bluewater, Beach Holm, Toolakea and Yabulu areas could experience flash flooding.

Residents in the suburbs of Condon, Rasmussen, Kelso, Kirwan, Jensen, Deeragun and Burdell were also warned they may experience flash flooding.

Residents were advised to move to higher ground if concerned.

All access to Castle Hill has been closed to ensure community safety, while the TLDMG advised local residents there may be potential rock slides and debris over the road and tracks if heavy rain continued.

Stanley St has been closed to everyone except residents of the street.

Cungulla and Giru residents have been encouraged to conserve water because of issues with the water treatment plant’s operation.

The Townsville City Council has encouraged residents in those areas to conserve water until floodwaters recede and crews can get to the treatment plant.

An evacuation centre was expected to be opened at Ignatius Park College in Cranbrook by 2pm today, while evacuation centres at Bluewater, Heatley and Alligator Creek remained open and staffed.

The council has established a new site at the Ridge Drive shops carpark in Alice River, near the Rupertswood general store, where residents can collect free sand and sand bags.

Queensland Police Service and Australian Defence Force personnel will be door knocking homes in Oonoonba, Idalia, Rosslea, Hermit Park, Railway Estate, South Townsville, Cluden, Townsville City and some areas in Hyde Park this afternoon to warn residents of potential flooding risks.

Residents in those areas should decide whether or not to evacuate their home and move to higher ground and stay with friends or family, or move to one of the evacuation centres established around the city.

The door knocking operation will commence at 2pm, in anticipation of the further opening of the Ross River Dam spillway gates.

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