‘ Prepare for heavy rain’
NORTH Queenslanders are being warned to prepare for more flooding with heavy falls expected in some parts of the region.
Townsville has already recorded its sixth highest wet season, with 1733mm falling since November.
Cook- town and Mackay have been warned to expect moderate to heavy rainfall across the w e e k e n d , w i t h i s o l a t e d thunderstorms also forecast.
Bureau meteorologist Dr Greg Connor said that locally, the rain should ease on Sunday before picking up again on Monday.
‘‘ For Townsville there will be rain Friday and Saturday and then through Saturday night but there should be an easing on Sunday,’’ he said.
‘‘ It should pick up again early next week and there are going to be surges in rainfall through the week.
‘‘ It will be wettest to the north of Townsville and then into the central coast ( south of Townsville).’’
Emergency Management Queensland assistant director-general Bruce Grady said localised flooding could lead to roads becoming cut off.
‘‘ If this does occur it is i mportant motori s t s a r e patient, heed road closures and do not attempt to cross f l ooded creeks ways," he said.
‘‘ This warning applies not only for people in vehicles but those considering walking or swimming through floodwaters."
Mr Grady said it only took 15cm of fast-running water to knock a person off their feet and only 60cm of water to sweep a four-wheel-drive off a flooded road.
‘‘ People often underestimate the dangers, thinking they can make it, but the
cause- reality is many don’t and countless lives have been lost as a result of people being careless around floodwaters,’’ he said.
‘‘ Parents should also supervise children to ensure they stay well away from flooded areas as well as creeks, drains and rivers."
Mr Grady also asked people to consider emergency services personnel who had been working around the clock over recent months.
Townsville Water Police officer-in-charge Sergeant Matt Pegg said water police had also been frustrated by recent unnecessary searches and rescues.
Sgt Pegg said a trip to the reef should be a highlight of a weekend, not the start to a life and death situation.
‘‘ Quite often bad weather is forecast hours or even days ahead of time, yet we still see people going out,’’ he said.
‘‘ The marine environment is not the place to be when the weather turns bad.’’