January 30, 2019 14:18:07

Multiple swift water rescues are underway to reach people stranded as homes are inundated by floodwater at Bluewater Park in Townsville’s north.

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services said there were five incidents along Forestry Road including two people and a dog stranded in a flooded home.

In the past four hours Bluewater has recorded 187 millimetres, causing flash flooding.

Upper Black River to the west of Townsville has had more than 200 millimetres of rain since 9:00am.

The Bureau of Meteorology said significant flash flooding was occurring after intense thunderstorms around Toolakea, Bluewater and Upper Black River.

Hervey Range resident Sue Atkins has lived on the bank of the Black River for 14 years and said she’s never seen so much rain.

“We’ve never seen anything like it. It’s broken its banks on the other side to us,” she said.

“It’s just covered in water. We’ve seen cattle tyring to swim up it and go back again.”

Ms Atkins has had 230mm of rain since 9am and more than 600mm in the last two days.

“It’s more than they had in the Daintree. We’ve just never seen anything like it.

“We’re just watching all the trees and things running down the river here.”

Inspector Damien Crosby said there has been significant rain.

“We are now starting to see water inundation on our roads and we are responding to a developing incident in Northern Beaches and Bluewater, where we have had reports of some houses being inundated with surface water,” he said.

“We’ve maximised our resources at the moment, like I said we do have an evolving issue in the northern suburbs in Bluewater.

“It’s quite fluid, we’re receiving numerous calls for service, initially we received reports of houses in Forestry Road which had water inundation into the house so we’re responding with our colleagues from Queensland Fire and Emergency Service to see what level of assistance is required.

“We’re also monitoring the situation at the Bluewater Primary School which is quite close to a river there which we’re concerned there may be an impact on the school if that river inundates its banks.”

The school has been closed and parents are being urged to collect their children.

“There is significant water on the highway and possible closure shortly. Staff will remain with students until all students have departed the school,” the school posted on its Facebook page.

Police said flash flooding was impacting Bluewater Drive and motorists were urged to avoid the area completely.








First posted

January 30, 2019 13:40:31

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