Help Townsville Residents
After long days of heat and drought, 388mm of rain now washes of the heat in Cloncurry. According to Cloncurry Mayor Greg Campbell, the rain fell “just in time”. Mount Isa had 232mm rains, Leichhardt River, recorded 529mm and 400mm in Richmond. Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the rains were a relief for farmers who had struggled with the severe drought. “There were … a few tears of happiness.”
While some parts of Australia now enjoy the pouring rain, Townsville residents are currently suffering from floods all over town. Today, soldiers are using every boat they could get their hands on to be able to rescue and evacuate more residents. Up to 2000 properties may have been flooded by now. Thousands of residents’ homes and businesses are still out of power. A spokeswoman for Ergon Energy urged customers to be patient, with crews unable to restore power in many places due to substations being flooded. “The biggest impact has been in Hermit Park where the substation was switched off late yesterday when water entered the switchyard,” the Ergon spokeswoman said.
“Our number one priority is to keep everyone safe around our network — water and electricity don’t mix.
“Preventing major flood damage to electrical assets will also lead to more efficient restoration for the community.
“Significant restoration of customers will not occur until the floodwaters have receded and crews have completed damage assessments of the inundated network.”
Flood continues to rise
Flood increased as Ross River Dam tripped open after days of rain. With Townsville residents’ worst flood on record, residents have been told to evacuate and thousands of homes are feared to be at risk. According to The Courier-Mail, Queensland Fire and Emergency Services received a massive 850 SES calls in 24 hours. Even police and ambulance officers needed to be rescued while they themselves try to rescue others. Locals also spotted large crocodiles and snakes in the floodwaters as levels continue to rise. Refuge facilities including schools and halls are over capacity as emergency call centers continue to receive cries for help.
The Bureau of Meteorology tweeted:
“Atmospheric conditions are ripe for tornadoes and waterspouts around Townsville, Ayr, Bowen,’’ it said. “On Doppler radar they show up as red-blue ‘couplets’ like these near Alva Beach. Damaging to destructive winds are possible in these intense storm cells.’’
Townsville Mayor Jenny Hill states “We still don’t know how much more rain will fall in the catchment,’’ she said.
“It is quite dangerous.”
Residents must remember to adhere to authority advice in the case of a weather emergency. Keep your radios and phones on for emergency updates. Have an emergency kit handy with items such as torches, batteries and first aid supplies.