Thousands hit by record floods in Australia

Thousands hit by record floods in Australia

Thousands hit by record floods in Australia

It's still raining in Townsville, but falls there weren't as bad as forecasters had feared.

The town of Ingham, north of Townsville, received 506 mm of rain in 24 hours between Saturday and Sunday, of which 145 mm fell in just one hour, Blazak said. Millions of litres of water were released in a matter of seconds as the dam reached over it's capacity.

It is believed 424 residents are at Lavarack Barracks this morning in a temporary evacuation centre, with helicopters and army personnel preparing to head out to assess the damage and evacuate further people needing help.

Officials earlier warned that up to 20,000 homes could be flooded.

"It's a little bit scary because when it floods in Townsville, the crocs get into the water", resident Andrew Roberts told the AAP.

"They've held together and they've kept each other safe".

"We're knee deep in water rising steadily", another Townsville resident wrote.

More than 1,100 people have been evacuated from Townsville in what has been described as a "once in a century" flood.

"In Queensland, of course, we're used to seeing natural disasters, but Townsville has never seen the likes of this".

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison front and Australian Army Brigadier Scott Winter right visit flood-affected areas in Townsville Australia Tuesday Feb. 5 2019. An estimated 500 homes and business in the city of 230,000 people were flooded

"The monsoon trough is near stationery which is why we're getting persistent heavy showers affecting many areas, it's particularly of interest in Herbert catchment, Upper Burdekin, Haughton and Ross River catchments", Mr Gunn said.

Affected suburbs would include Rosslea, Hermit Park, Railway Estate, Townsville City, Oonoonba, Idalia, Cluden, West End, Rowes Bay, Garbutt, Aitkenvale, Cranbrook, Currajong, Mysterton, Pimlico, Mundingburra, Douglas, Annandale, Kirwan and Thuringowa Central and South Townsville areas.

Ergon Energy's spokesperson Emma Oliveri told the AFP that more than 16,000 people were without power and they are unable to say when the lights will come back on.

Mayor Jenny Hill said it was impossible to provide complete certainty about rainfall levels and urged residents to follow directions from emergency services.

Queensland police said spillway gates may be opened fully and warned residents to stay away from riverbanks and move to higher ground.

"It's easily hundreds, it could be thousands", she said, but added audit teams were being hampered by the enduring risk of flash floods hitting with each new deluge.

In hardest-hit Rosslea, Megan Simmonds, 26, has been helping neighbours carry out their belongings from devastated homes where many are already under 2m of water.

A record 1.16 metres (3.8 ft) of rain has lashed the Townsville area over the past seven days, with another 100 millimetres expected to be dumped over the area on Monday, the Bureau of Meteorology said.

Her calls were echoed by Andrew Gissing, General Manager of Resilience at Risk Frontiers - who said warnings were in place for good reason. Unprecedented areas of flooding will occur in Townsville.

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