Boats, helicopters deployed for rescues in Australia floods

Adjust Comment Print

The trough that's been dumping flooding rain on north Queensland's east coast, and drought-hit parts of western Queensland, will drive the state's emergency for days to come.

His Castle Hill property outside Winton is now an island surrounded by an inland sea after receiving "bloody heaps" of rain, some 348mm since Tuesday. Further information about other schools will be communicated as necessary.

Two men are missing near floodwaters and thousands of people have been evacuated as north Queensland's flood crisis rolls into its 11th day.

"We're hoping to see an easing trend from tomorrow", bureau spokeswoman Jess Gardner said, adding that the rains could move further south, towards Mackay, a major coal exporting area.

Flooding in and around Townsville, Australia continued on Sunday, as the area was lashed by record rainfall, officials said.

It said Townsville had broken its record for the wettest seven days in a row, with 1,012mm of rain falling by the end of Saturday, compared with the previous record of 886mm in 1998. Flooding of properties in low-lying areas is expected as early as this afternoon.

A FAKE text message claiming the Ross River Dam is about to fail has reportedly been sent to residents in Townsville.

Queensland's flooded Daintree River reached a 118-year high this week.

"The vast bulk of the population will not have experienced this type of event in their lifetime", State Disaster Coordinator Bob Gee told reporters, referring to the extraordinary flooding.

"Particularly a number of locations to the west of Townsville where we've seen 1.4 to 1.6 metres of rain - for some locations this is approaching their yearly average in just a week", Mr Narramore said.

But while fear of crocodiles and losing everything to floods or looters is top of his mind right now, there's also anger building about the decision to open the gates at the swollen Ross River Dam.

The pair have not been located despite extensive inquiries with family and friends and a search of floodwaters and the area has begun as a precaution, police say.

"(It) was almost a meter or two long (3.3 to 6.6 feet)", she said.

Cars and livestock have already been swept away around the coastal city in the state of Queensland.

But scientists say climate change has pushed up land and sea temperatures and led to more extremely hot days and severe fire seasons.

The rains are causing significant flooding in the region.

Residents in many low-lying suburbs were warned to seek higher ground as floodwaters were expected to rise through the night and into the morning.