Australians Warned About Crocs And Snakes in 'Unexpected Areas' After Heavy Floods

Minnie Murray
February 5, 2019

Two police and two ambulance officers caught in the flooding had to be plucked to safety - one officer having to climb a tree - after they were stranded in the flood disaster overnight while themselves trying to help others.

"Crocodiles may be seen crossing roads, and when flooding recedes, crocodiles can turn up in unusual places such as farm dams or waterholes where they have not been seen before", Queensland Minister for Environment Leeanne Enoch said in a statement.

Devastating flooding in northeast Australia has forced thousands of people from their homes and brought snakes and crocodiles onto the streets as authorities warn of strong winds and more rain on the way.

Australian soldiers drive through flood waters in Hermit Park, Townsville. Marissa Papageorge via REUTERS SES volunteers are seen rescuing residents in Rosslea, Townsville, Queensland, Australia February 2, 2019.

The army, police and emergency crews helped more than 1100 people evacuate their homes on Sunday night and efforts continued on Monday, with the aid of every available boat, helicopters and even tip trucks repurposed by resourceful council staff to carry people.

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. Some people were door-knocked twice. This is why we did this and we asked people to move to higher ground, secure their premises and move. The BoM warned that unsafe "high velocity flows" were likely along the Ross River in the wake of the release.

Mundingburra resident Erin Hahn told the broadcaster she spotted a freshwater crocodile in front of her father's house Sunday night.

The Bureau of Meteorology late Sunday issued a "major flood warning", announcing that spillway gates at the Ross River dam had been opened to their maximum setting and a rapid rise in the water level was predicted to follow.

The area's River Ross Dam was at over 200 percent capacity by 5pm yesterday.

The bodies were discovered by police in a storm water drain at Aitkenvale as the floodwaters started to clear across the city on Tuesday morning.

Intense rain with significant flash flooding is expected between Ingham and Bowen, and possibly as far south as Mackay, extending inland to Mt Isa near the Northern Territory border.

"We've never seen so much water in our lives", Gabi Elgood, a journalist from Townsville, said.

"That water needs to go somewhere".

"It's easily hundreds, it could be thousands", she said, but added audit teams were being hampered by the enduring risk of flash floods hitting with each new deluge.

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