Queensland hit by flooding even as Australia sizzles

North Queenslanders are in clean-up mode after floods triggered by heavy rain inundated communities. Source AAPMore

North Queenslanders are in clean-up mode after floods triggered by heavy rain inundated communities. Source AAPMore

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) chief superintendent Lance Duncan said swift water specialists remained on alert, with warnings of more torrential rain and flash flooding between Ingham, Townsville and Bowen over the next two days.

Residents in low lying areas around the Ross River including Rosslea, Hermit Park, Oonoonba, Idalia, Railway Estate and parts of Cluden are being urged to ensure their homes are prepared for possible flooding.

More than half a metre of rain has been dumped on Ingham in the past 12 hours.

Campbell Fuller from the Insurance Council of Australia said the Townsville flood had been declared a catastrophe and nearly 2,000 claims had already been lodged.

Assistance is being provided through the jointly funded Commonwealth-Queensland Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA) and is in addition to the assistance already activated for the region.

A dam has reached twice its capacity and water is being released to avoid putting further strain on it.

A couple head home down a flooded street in Townsville. Paul Shafer and his family lost two cars, a truck and a caravan when water was released from the dam, a risky move created to spare the town from more widespread flooding.

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"This was a very deliberate decision to minimise potential flooding of homes downstream from the dam if we keep getting major rainfalls over the dam catchment", she said.

"We have made a decision to stay rather than evacuate, we still have electricity but it will be a sleepless night ahead, that's for sure".

Meanwhile the Courier-Mail spoke to Randall Parker, who evacuated his family on a blow-up air bed after the water level rose as high as the couch inside his unit.

"There was less rain within the dam catchment overnight, which provides us some reprieve", Cr Hill said.

The bureau issued a flood warning for the Ross, Bohle and Black Rivers, and Bluewater Creek following ongoing heavy rainfall in the Townsville region shortly after midday on Friday.

Four tourists trapped in a auto were rescued by a grazier in a helicopter after being stranded by the flooded Diamantina River near Middleton yesterday.

Soldiers were mobilised to help sand-bag vulnerable properties as authorities went door to door telling people they should leave at-risk homes.

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