North Qld floods declared a “catastrophe”

The Insurance Council of Australia has declared North Queensland a ‘catastrophe’ following days of torrential rain and flooding.

The region has been pelted by disastrous weather over the past four days and it’s not over yet, with the weather bureau warning more rain is on the way over the coming days.

Fire and Emergency Services Minister Craig Crawford said Specialist Queensland Fire and Emergency Services floodwater crews remain on alert to respond to emergencies in North and Far North Queensland


Mr Crawford said QFES swift-water rescue crews and State Emergency Service flood boats were involved in five property evacuations in Innisfail – evacuating 11 people.

“Crews have attended a number of incidents relating to floodwater in North and Far North Queensland… the majority of these were to assist people relocating from their homes,” he said.

“A total of 13 Swift Water Rescue Technicians have deployed north from Brisbane (7), North Coast (4) and South Western (2) Regions during this weather event.”

Mr Crawford said it was expected to take several days for floodwaters to recede.

“QFES is asking everyone to remain patient, to continue to follow the directions of local authorities and avoid flooded areas,” Mr Crawford said.

A number of schools are expected to remain closed in the region today, with people being warned to steer clear of flooded roads.

“There are still many swollen waterways and roads cut-off. Even though the flow of water may have decreased, the floodwaters will have carried a lot of debris which could still be hidden underwater. Do not enter any floodwater,” Mr Crawford warned.

It’s understood the extent of flood damage will not be known for weeks.