Military steps in as Australia tackles ‘once-in-a-century’ floods
08:39, Feb 6, 2019
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Residents in Northern Queensland are now battling once in a century monsoon weather and record rainfall, but it's not just the water that they need to be anxious about!
"You just can't believe how much water has come down from the Ross River", he said.
Days of severe rainfall in the town of Townsville caused insurance losses estimated at more than A$45 million ($32.63 million), industry figures show, while weather officials have warned that heavy showers could continue in some areas.
To make matters worse for the terrified residents fleeing their homes, there have been numerous sightings of crocodiles and snakes being swept along with the floodwaters, 9 News reported.
The authorities were forced to open floodgates late Sunday, unleashing what they called "dangerous and high velocity flows". Around 400 Townsville residents have sought shelter at nearby Lavarak military barracks and the Red Cross is also assisting with the response and recovery effort.
Palaszczuk warned the communities face more difficulties ahead. More than 1,100 people have been moved to higher ground.
Australia Prime Minister Scott Morrison toured the region where once-in-a-century floods have inundated thousands of homes and closed airports and schools, leaving cars and houses submerged. "It's basically not just a one in 20-year event, it's a one-in-100-year event", said Palaszczuk.
Woolworths Northern Queensland Operations Manager Tina Anandji said the company had "secured two charter planes to carry 3,000 tonnes of fresh food and essential items" to the northern city of Cairns.
A silver lining to the deluge is that it has boosted drought-stricken farmers in western Queensland.
Authorities have advised Townsville residents who have remained in their homes to have a plan in place and be ready to leave if necessary.
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