Townsville flood: evacuation continues as waters peak

North Queenslanders are in clean-up mode after floods triggered by heavy rain inundated communities. Source AAPMore

North Queenslanders are in clean-up mode after floods triggered by heavy rain inundated communities. Source AAPMore

There are fears thousands of others could have been inundated overnight.

"Requests for emergency assistance should be passed through the emergency services and residents should not contact Defence directly".

Townsville residents have reported at least three crocodile sightings in the floodwaters, sharing photos of the creatures on social media. "Water is raising (sic) fast", his wife Bronywn had previously written.

"Can anyone please help", Nicole Brewster wrote.

It is believed 424 residents are at Lavarack Barracks this morning in a temporary evacuation centre, with helicopters and army personnel preparing to head out to assess the damage and evacuate further people needing help. The suburb had waist-height water overnight.

"Please we are stuck ..."

The latest police deployment adds support for extra officers already stationed in the flood-affected region, with Commissioner Gee saying security was a priority moving forward.

Crocodiles have been spotted outside suburban homes.

Residents have been told not to try to return to their sodden homes until authorities tell them it's safe to do so.

More than 1,100 people have been evacuated, with even more rainfall expected in the coming days.

"We are now sitting on the side of the highway in the cab of his truck and other stranded people are in the back of his B double trailers. We'll be all right".

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services told The Courier-Mail a massive 850 SES calls were made in the 24 hours leading up to 5am today.

Affected suburbs would include Rosslea, Hermit Park, Railway Estate, Townsville City, Oonoonba, Idalia, Cluden, West End, Rowes Bay, Garbutt, Aitkenvale, Cranbrook, Currajong, Mysterton, Pimlico, Mundingburra, Douglas, Annandale, Kirwan and Thuringowa Central and South Townsville areas. AAP Image/Andrew Rankin/via REUTERS Flooding is seen in Rosslea, Townsville, Queensland, Australia February 2, 2019.

"We've just seen the wettest week on record in Townsville with more than 1000mm of rain falling - and it's not over yet".

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"As it moves further south, everyone needs to take care, if you don't need to be on the roads, please don't be".

"To provide some comfort, of course, that was our pleasure to do that today, but the real work is to make sure that they can get through the clean-up and rebuild their lives, and we know that.it's just going to be tough for a while".

"What do you have to say to them, how many times do you have to give them warnings".

"Townsville has had the equivalent of more than one metre of rain over the last seven days, this is an all time record", the premier said.

Woolworths Northern Queensland Operations Manager Tina Anandji said the company had "secured two charter planes to carry 3,000 tonnes of fresh food and essential items" to the northern city of Cairns.

He said he was confident his visit would reassure residents they had federal government support, but warned there was a lengthy recovery process ahead. Some people were door-knocked twice.

"You can't say you weren't warned that something would happen".

"We've got a long way to go". Fundamentally the public have a responsibility to heed those warnings.

It's already dumped a metre of rain in less than a week, forcing the opening of Townsville's dam.

The opening of the floodgates of the Ross River dam in Queensland created what Australia's weather bureau called "dangerous and high velocity flows".

The monsoon 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.

A severe weather warning covers communities from Mackay, on the coast, north to Ingham, and right out west, nearly as far as the Northern Territory border.

There are also warnings for the potential for tornado-strength winds. On Sunday the figure was between 400 and 500, but that was before dam releases were doubled.

Australian man Andrew Roberts is more anxious about being eaten by a crocodile in his Townsville home than chest-high water surging through the ground floor. "There is a chance it could be over the dam again", he said. "This situation is unprecedented", she said.

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