Queensland’s flood crisis is set to worsen with more heavy rain forecast for the State’s north.
Townsville has been declared a disaster zone with the situation described as a one-in-100 year rain event.
The region has already received more than its annual rainfall of 1.1 metres with some areas forecast to receive another 400mm each day for the next few days.
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Up to 50 homes have already been inundated or damaged but there are fears that will rise under a risky plan to release water from Townsville’s Ross River Dam.
Between 90 and 100 homes downstream from the dam are now being evacuated ahead of the water release.
Affected areas include Cluden, Rosslea, Hermit Park, Oonoonba, Idalia and Railway Estate.
Townsville Mayor Jenny Hill says the decision to release water from the dam was not taken lightly and admits it might not even work.
“What we’re trying to do is to get ahead of the system, so we reduce the risk of any further flooding in the city, but that’s not guaranteed,” Ms Hill said.
Extra emergency resources are being sent to the region.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has warned that the drama is far from over.
“This concentration of this monsoonal trough that is sitting now over Townsville does mean that it’s basically not just a one-in-20 year event, it’s a one-in-100 year event,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
The Bruce Highway remains shut just south of Townsville while many local roads are also under water.
58 schools and childcare centres were ordered to close on Friday and are expected to remain closed until the crisis is over.