Two dead in Australia floods as fresh warning issued

Posted February 06, 2019

People in the Australian city of Townsville are being warned to watch out for crocodiles and snakes that have been spotted in flooded residential areas.

Neighbourhoods were inundated after the authorities chose to open the floodgates of a dam on the River Ross on Sunday in response to days of torrential rain.

Flood warnings have been issued for 20 Townsville suburbs and worst-case scenario modelling showed up to 20,000 properties could be inundated - about one quarter of the city's homes.

"We're in a hard time, particularly in Townsville we're in response mode".

About 10,000 people have already lost power since Friday - and more power outages due to public safety concerns are likely.

"We've never seen anything like this before", Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said.

More news: Trump says he'll keep US troops in Iraq to 'watch Iran'

"What we're seeing in and around Townsville is absolutely devastating for the families and community but more help is on its way", Morrison said.

According to CNN affiliate 7 News, two men are feared missing near Townsville, amid fears they were swept away by the flood waters.

The dam has now fallen back to 203 per cent but Townsville Mayor Jenny Hill warns the city is not yet out of the woods despite the weather system moving slowly southwards.

The weather bureau warned of "dangerous and high velocity flows" along the Ross River after the floodgates were opened fully at the Ross River dam around 8 p.m. on February 3, releasing about 1,900 cubic metres of water a second toward already flooded suburbs downstream.

Authorities are begging locals to listen to emergency services as they're faced with at least another 24 hours of heavy rain and potential for flash flooding.

More than 1,000 people have had to be rescued from their homes and the military has been called in to bolster defences.

More news: China opposes USA withdrawal from INF

Desperate residents had to contend not only with flash flooding, landslides and power blackouts, but also several saltwater crocodiles that were spotted in residential roads and cul-de-sacs in the flood-ravaged Townsville area.

"Some people thought that they could get through this. and that hasn't been the case".

Floodgates of various dams were opened to tackle the unprecedented situation.

"It is very important for people to remain out of those flood waters, do not go swimming in those flood waters", she said.

With an estimated 20,000 homes at risk, the ICA yesterday declared the the flooding a catastrophe to ensure Townsville policyholders are given priority by insurers.

The massive downpours hitting Townsville come as Australia is reeling from a record-breaking heat wave that affected all eight of the country's states and territories. It also states that some areas may see intense rainfall with totals up to 300mm possible. "There is a chance it could be over the dam again", he said.

More news: 'SpongeBob SquarePants' Fans Fix Super Bowl Halftime Show By Adding "Sweet Victory"

"We will continue to send out emergency alerts where we think there is going to be a risk, please heed those alerts", she said.