Royal visit north could be a wash- out

Townsville Bulletin - - Inside Today - Emily Mac­don­ald

PRINCE Wil­liam may ex­pe­ri­ence a royal flush and be forced to steer clear of North Queens­land due to wide­spread flood­ing.

Gov­er­nor-Gen­eral Quentin Bryce has also de­layed her plans to visit the cy­clone zone.

Days of tor­ren­tial rain have left North Queens­land towns iso­lated with no signs of it let­ting up for com­mu­ni­ties still strug­gling to re­cover from Cy­clone Yasi.

Schools have closed and busi­nesses are send­ing peo­ple home.

Premier Anna Bligh said the con­tin­ued flood­ing could af­fect Prince Wil­liam’s itin­er­ary when he vis­ited Aus-

Prince Wil­liam tralia from March 19 to 21.

‘‘ Clearly he will only be go­ing to places where it is safe to do so,’’ Ms Bligh said.

‘‘ I doubt he would want to go any­where where his pres­ence would in­ter­fere with any emer­gency re­sponse.

‘‘ We an­tic­i­pate that this rain will be fin­ished on Satur­day . . . his team have stressed he is very keen . . . to chat to peo­ple in these cy­clone-af­fected ar­eas.’’

Cas­sowary Coast mayor Bill Shan­non said the sit­u­a­tion in his shire was get­ting se­ri­ous.

‘‘ We get flood­ing ev­ery wet sea­son, but this is worse than nor­mal,’’ he said.

The lat­est event has added al­most a me­tre of rain to the trop­i­cal coast al­ready sav­aged by the cy­clone.

Cr Shan­non said the floodi ng sit­u­a­tion would get worse be­cause t he mon­soonal in­flu­ence was so slow mov­ing.

‘‘ It’s sup­posed to be re­treat­ing to the north,’’ he said.

He said the flood­ing had hit Card­well, Mis­sion Beach and Tully and the heav­i­est rain was ex­pected to move north to In­n­is­fail.

He said Ms Bryce had can­celled a trip to the cy­clone­hit area planned for this week­end.

‘‘ To her credit she’s can­celled it, so she wants to come back in a month or two when we’re not un­der the pres­sure we’re go­ing to be un­der this week­end,’’ Cr Shan­non said.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.