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Townsville floods: Latest Queensland weather forecast and Australia travel advice as crocodiles ‘roam flooded streets’

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Severe flooding in northern Australia has caused residents to be evacuated from their homes amid heavy monsoon rains, while locals have been warning people to stay away from the floodwater following sightings of crocodiles in the streets.

Large parts of Townsville in Queensland state is flooded and residents have been left without power, 7 News reported.

More than 1,100 people had been rescued from their homes on Sunday night and evacuation efforts were continuing Monday.

Australian army armoured vehicles can be seen on a flooded road in the Townsville suburb of Idalia (photo: Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images)

Emergency workers have been using boats and helicopters to rescue people from the flooded area, while more heavy rainfall has been forecast for the coming days.

Crocodile in driveway

Huge rainfall on Sunday forced authorities to open the floodgates on the Ross River Dam to relieve pressure and prevent a collapse. Nearly 1,900 cubic meters of water per second was released downriver.
And a crocodile reportedly washed up in a driveway in the residential neighbourhood of Mundingburra on Sunday night.
Local resident Erin Hahn told 9 News that on Sunday night she spotted a freshwater crocodile in front of her father’s house.
“(It) was nearly a meter or two long (3.3 to 6.6 feet),” she told the broadcaster.

Warnings from locals

Hahn warned fellow locals to stay out of the flood waters due to the reptile sighting.

Another crocodiles sighting that has been circulating on social media came from journalist Josh Bavas.

Hundreds of people impacted

Up to 500 homes in the city have already been hit with the heavy rainfall – there are concerns that between 10,000 and 20,000 properties could be at risk.

Hundreds of people are reportedly are taking refuge at evacuation centres and with family and friends after being pushed out of their homes.

The Bureau of Meteorology’s Adam Blazak told AFP the downpours could continue until Thursday.

The Queensland Bureau of Meteorology said in a statement: “Dangerous and high-velocity flows will occur in the Ross River Sunday night into Monday. Unprecedented areas of flooding will occur in Townsville. Expect access routes to be cut.”

On Monday it confirmed that while the rain has mostly eased, heavy falls and flash flooding remain possible from Ingham to Mackay and inland to Cloncurry and Winton. “This incredible event is far from over,” it warned.

This follows a severe weather warning on Sunday that claimed there was a “risk to life and property” in the area.

‘Once-in-a-century flooding’

The army has reportedly been deployed to tackle the devastating “once-in-a-century” floods that have closed schools and airports in the country’s northeast.

The Australian Defence Forces filled sandbags, deployed cargo vehicles and helped rescue residents from their rooftops on Monday.

Some areas are expected endure a year’s worth of rain in just a week.

“I’ve never seen anything like this,” Townsville resident Chris Brookehouse told national broadcaster ABC, adding that his house was flooded with water more than one metre deep.

“The volume of water is just incredible. Downstairs is gone, the fridge and freezer are floating. Another five or six steps and upstairs is gone too.”

“We have not been in this situation before,” Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk is quoted as saying by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC).

“There has been a lot of rain falling over the Townsville catchment and some of these levels are unprecedented.”

Rest of the country

Meanwhile, parts of southern Australian are experiencing a severe drought.

Bushfires are burning in the southern island state of Tasmania. As a whole January was the hottest month on record for the country.

Travel advice

On 4 February the UK Government stated in its latest travel advice that an emergency alert message had been issued to the residents of Townsville due to the risk of flashflooding, following flood warnings issued over the weekend. Anyone in the affected area should follow the advice of the Queensland Fire & Emergency Services. ” In a life threatening emergency always dial 000, or for flood and storm emergencies dial 132 500. You can also seek assistance from the State Emergency Service,” the advice states.

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