North Queensland has been declared a disaster zone as towns continue to be inundated with water caused by days of torrential rain.
Homes have been inundated, schools and businesses closed and some residents have been told to flee to higher ground with more rain on the way.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said on Friday night a disaster declaration was now in place and emergency response crews were on notice with more wet weather on the way.
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“What we’ve seen is 200mm to 300mm of rainfall around the Ingham, Innisfail and Halifax area in the last 24 hours,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
“We have some weather worsening up in the Gulf from this weekend onwards and the Bureau is keeping an eye on the Coral Sea for later next week.
“In effect, about a third of our council areas in our state have been impacted.”
The Queensland Fire and Emergency Service confirmed there had been over a dozen attempted rescues of people trapped in cars and homes while the SES has received over 100 calls for help in the last 24 hours.
Queensland Police issued a warning for people in the Innisfail area, warning them that the local rivers are rising and homes may become inundated as waters continue to rise.
“The current situation is that the North and South Johnstone Rivers are rising and it is believed this will continue,” the statement read.
“Currently, modelling suggests that low lying homes in the Innisfail township near the North Johnston River may be the subject of inundation.”
They urged anyone in the area to adhere the following precautions:
- Protect your property if you are willing and able
- Consider the need to re-locate to higher ground if necessary
- Take any medications, documentation, pets and family members with you
- Advise family and friends if you are moving to higher ground and lock up your house
- Listen to instructions given by police and other emergency services
- NEVER drive in flooded waters
- If you need assistance and the matter is urgent or life threatening, ALWAYS call Triple Zero (000)
Police and local authorities are continuing to monitor the situation and officers are on the ground ready to respond.