‘ Pre­pare for heavy rain’

Townsville Bulletin - - News - by Alexis Gill­ham alexis. gill­ham@ townsville­bul­letin. com. au

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.

Res­i­dents be­tween

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.’’

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