The people of Townsville continue to suffer what has been described as a ‘once in a century’ flood.
The North Queensland city has been deluged by rain since last week by a slow moving monsoonal trough, with still more to come. The nearby town of Bluewater, one of the worst affected areas, has now recorded 1800mm of rain in just seven days.
Some 1000 people have been evacuated from their homes in Townsville, some of which have experienced flood waters engulfing entire ground floors.
Townsville Floods: Two men are feared missing in floodwaters, while the risk of dangerous flash flooding continues after an overnight deluge. https://t.co/vbok9u9R3D #Townsville #7News pic.twitter.com/fwLt0ZByFi— 7 News Central Queensland (@7NewsCQ) February 4, 2019
Authorities say certainly hundreds, and perhaps thousands, of homes have been flooded.
“If I was to say several hundred I could get that wrong — it might be thousands,” Queensland Fire and Emergency Services Commissioner Katarina Carroll said, according to the ABC.
“Particularly when you get the aerial shots and you go into the suburbs that are effected it’s easily hundreds and it could be thousands.”
Authorities were forced to open the city’s Ross River dam floodgates on Sunday after it swelled to nearly 250% of its capacity, subjecting residents to further flooding.
The flood risk for the region could continue into next week, according to the Bureau of Meteorology.
“There is an end in sight but we’re expecting further periods of heavy rainfall, some of it very heavy, about the north-east tropics for the next few days between about Cardwell and Mackay,” BOM’s Richard Wardle said on Tuesday.
Townsville residents have also been put on alert for crocodiles with some reptiles having found their way into populated areas with the flooding.
QUEENSLAND: Crocodiles and snakes have been spotted in the flooded streets of Townsville. Alina https://t.co/AQ89mb7ham— BBC Weather (@bbcweather) February 4, 2019
"That's unreal!"— ABC News (@ABC) February 5, 2019
A crocodile is seen climbing a tree in Townsville, Queensland to escape raging floodwaters. Crocodile warnings have been issued in the Australian city amid "unprecedented" levels of flooding. https://t.co/5Jf0tep9uH pic.twitter.com/xu7c4K641P
Visiting the city on Wednesday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison told reporters the government would be contributing tens of millions to help the city recover from the flood.
“People are rallying around and that’s fantastic,” the prime minister said after meeting with some of the flood victims.
“But in the next day it’s the shock as people come back into their homes and that’s when they’re going to need emotional support from friends and family and their community.”