7 Feb 2009

Flash flooding warning in North Queensland

6:44 am on 7 February 2009

A warning of flash floods has been issued for parts of northern Queensland where more rain is on the way. The warning covers the north tropical coast and the tablelands district south of Cairns.

A monsoonal low sitting south of Innisfail is causing the wild weather and is moving slowly south.

The ABC reports flood warnings have been issued for at least seven rivers.

There is localised flooding in the Innisfail area where the Johnstone River has broken its banks. The river is predicted to peak at about six metres.

Earlier, the SES said the water was up to a metre deep on some streets.

In the Burdekin region, the towns of Ayr and Home Hill remain cut off.

The main road from Townsville to Charters Towers in the state's north-west is closed.

Floodwaters have damaged the Macrossan Bridge - also known as the Burdekin Bridge - on the Flinders Highway.

The Bruce Highway between Cairns and Innisfail is also closed.

Towns on the Gulf of Carpentaria expect to remain cut off by road for at least another six weeks.

Flood appeal

Some 62% of the state is considered a disaster area. About one million square km are underwater in 35 shires.

Queensland Premier Anna Bligh announced a flood appeal after visiting the flooded town of Ingham - north of Townsville - on Friday. She kicked off the appeal with a $A500,000 donation from the state government.

Ingham has had more than 230mm of rain since 9am (AEST) on Friday. Up to 100mm was recorded in one hour.