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Queensland weather: Townsville hit with by downpour and flash flooding

By Sally Rafferty, Wednesday February 28, 2018 - 19:24 EDT
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The Townsville region was hit with flash flooding, with some areas getting more than 200mm. - ABC

Townsville has been hit with flash flooding after more than 200 millimetres of rain was dumped on the region, with predictions a further 300mm could fall in the next 24 hours.

A severe weather warning was issued between Townsville and Georgetown, more than 500 kilometres west of the north Queensland city.

Residents in low-lying areas of North Queensland have been urged to sandbag their homes with flooding expected in parts of Townsville tonight.

Kurt Rehbein, the deputy of Townsville's disaster management group, urged residents in other areas to start preparing.

"There's a number of sandbag locations around town so council and the SES are working hard to provide that to residents, so if they want to and feel the need to prepare and they know they are going to be affected, we would urge them to go to those points," he said.

Some residents in Gumlow have already become stranded due to rising water, but Geoff Keir's helicopter business certainly came in handy when he stepped in to provide a food drop.

"Beer was up there with the number one requests but bread, milk and eggs were pretty popular too," Mr Keir said.

"We generally have a creek party when the river rises so everyone gets around to each house and has a few beers."

Local police helped Mr Keir land his chopper on the road, and in a light-hearted moment, even made him complete a breath test.

Mayor Jenny Hill said the weather wasn't showing any signs of letting up.

"It's raining extensively south of Townsville at the moment and this system is likely to sit on top of us for another 24 hours," Cr Hill said.

Queensland Fire and Rescue and the State Emergency Service are on high alert, with swift water rescue boats at the ready.

"They are well prepared for this … we've got the resources, we've got the people. I'm hoping that we don't have to deploy any. The game over the next 24 hours is making sure no one gets hurt," Emergency Services Minister Craig Crawford said.

A number of roads including the Bohle Bridge have been closed and authorities are reminding motorists to take heed of warnings to stay clear of floodwaters.


© ABC 2018

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