Boats, helicopters deployed for rescues in Australia floods

Boats, helicopters deployed for rescues in Australia floods

People were warned to think about moving to safety before dark, particularly those in low lying houses.

With water levels at waist and chest height in some suburban streets, local police chief and District Disaster Coordinator Steve Munro said the crisis was only half over.

Flood evacuee Jade Bretzke, whose Hermit Park home is under water, said the forecasts and warning were "ominous" and "phenomenal". This number is expected to rise exponentially.

Up to 20,000 homes are also at risk of being inundated if the rains continue.

While receiving some respite from the rain today, forecasters expect the downpours to continue until at least Thursday.

Some areas are on track to receive more than their entire annual average rainfall before the downpours are over.

State premier Annastacia Palaszczuk warned the communities face more difficulties ahead.

Nathan Hughes via REUTERS Ross River Dam releases water in Queensland, Australia, in this still photo from a February 3, 2019 video by Julia Hunt.

About 100 homes were evacuated near the dam as the water was released.

"There's more water coming".

He understood the decision but said it was demoralising to see the destruction at his Hermit Park park home where water flows through the ground level of his home.

The trough that's been dumping flooding rain on north Queensland's east coast, and drought-hit parts of western Queensland, will drive the state's emergency for days to come.

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"Unfortunately, there is completely inaccurate information circulating our community - and it is unhelpful and potentially unsafe while we are dealing with this weather event".

News.com/au reports that people living in north Queensland were visited by officials over the weekend and told to prepare for the flood.

Many homes in Townsville had been left without power and cut off by flooded roads.

This morning the Bureau of Meteorology issued a severe thunderstorm warning for areas around Rollingstone and Bluewater, saying the storms could lead to flash flooding.

Erin wasn't the only one to spot a croc lurking not far from residential areas though, as Twitter user Chris Barlett shared a snap of a crocodile seeking refuge on a tree hanging over the river.

Queensland's flooded Daintree River reached a 118-year high this week.

Palaszczuk said 900 people were sheltering in evacuation centres, and they were getting full but it was possible more centres would be opened up.

"We don't know when this event will end", Townsville Mayor Jenny Hill said. "This situation is unprecedented", she said.

"I'm lucky my family are safe and well".

Cars and livestock have been swept away over a large area around the coastal city of Townsville.

Exceptional monsoon rains have caused severe flooding in parts of Australia's north-eastern state of Queensland.

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