Residents warned to seek higher ground as flood rises
"STICKYBEAKS" hitting Townsville's streets to gawk at flooded waterways have been urged to stay indoors as emergency services brace for heavy rains to set in for at least the next three days.
It comes as the Townsville Local Disaster Management Group urges Alligator Creek residents to seek higher ground.
Acting Chief Superintendent Steve Munro said the clear message to residents was if the roads are flooded don't drive through them.
"If you don't need to be out on the roadways stay home, stay indoors, don't create more dramas for the rest of the community by driving around having a stickybeak at the flooded roads and flooded rivers," he said.
Chief Supt Munro urged people to "exercise common sense" around any waterways.
"I think the example of a crocodile crossing the road the other day is a real classic example of why you need to stay safe out there," he said.
"Even if you think you'll venture across or walk across to see what's going on and see how deep the water is, we are in North Queensland so there are crocodiles about.
"Do not go swimming out in the flood waters, do not go driving through the flooded waters."
Chief Supt Munro said emergency services were well equipped to support the local Townsville community.
"Our communities generally a very resilient, they very much manage by themselves but as for the emergency service response, we are well positioned, we have people moved forward to a whole range of those what we perceive could become vulnerable communities in the future," he said.
"I stress once again, listen to the updates, this is unprecedented rain we've had in Townsville for a number of years, but we are doing our utmost but mother nature surprises us from time to time."
Mayor Jenny Hill, who is chair of the Townsville Local Disaster Management Group, said the current risk areas for flash flooding were Julago, Nome and Alligator Creek.
"Looking at the current forecast and the current weather pattern we're advising people in Alligator Creek, Nome and Julago to look to move to higher ground, particularly if their homes are based around waterways or water courses," he said.
Cr Hill said the Alligator Creek evacuation centre was opened at midday and the Bluewater centre had also been reopened to assist residents impacted by yesterday's flooding event.
"This weather looks like it will have set in for the next three to four days so we will be continually monitoring the weather," she said.
"Please if you can look after your neighbours as well, it's a very difficult time at the moment and the weather can be quite unpredictable."
Cr Hill said the gates of the Ross River Dam would continue to be opened.
"They've opened them a bit more today, we've modelled flows if the gates are fully opened, at the moment they're not," she said.
"Sunwater have what we call an emergency action plan and they are sticking to the letter of that plan.
"That's been devised and tested through their people, we've got to trust them."