Australia PM tours flood-hit city where two men reported missing

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

"Unprecedented areas of flooding will occur in Townsville", a statement said, adding that there was a "risk to life and property".

The unprecedented flooding has brought devastation to much of the region - especially Townsville - leaving potentially thousands of homes underwater and causing roads and bridges to disappear.

"I just couldn't believe what I saw. there were just wades of water coming through the shed and [patio]".

The vigorous weather system has delivered disaster to Townsville and generated floods out west, with farmers around Cloncurry, McKinlay and Flinders shire reporting livestock losses.

About 1000 people in Townsville have been evacuated from their homes and more evacuation centres were opened yesterday to house those who had nowhere else to go.

The national broadcaster ABC reported that thousands of homes had been abandoned in the suburbs of Townsville and that evacuations were being conducted. Local resident Gresham Ross told 9 News that the floodwaters are the highest he's seen in 30 years of living in the area.

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Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk praised the work of emergency services earlier today but warned residents it wasn't over yet.

The government also warned locals to beware of crocodiles and snakes, which have been seen in suburban areas since the floods hit.

One native resident, Erin Hahn, shared pictures of a crocodile sitting in shallow water on the tip of her father's drive.

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.

Authorities maintain been forced to initiating the gates on the Ross River dam on Sunday evening to lower water levels - releasing up to 1,900 cubic metres of water a 2d. The dam was holding 224% of its capacity Monday afternoon, according to CNN affiliate 9 News, after peaking Sunday night at 247%.

Townsville Mayor Jenny Hill had described the rainfall as a "one-in-100-year event" and said Monday, "We're not out of the woods yet".

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Lori Stockstill said she knew something was awry before the twin-engine plane nosedived into her usually peaceful neighborhood. Elfver, 75, said he ran to his backyard and saw a house engulfed in flames. "The plane didn't hit and scatter.

"Everyone held their breath hopeful that that rainfall wouldn't fall into the Ross River catchment".

Ergon Energy's spokesperson Emma Oliveri told the AFP that more than 16,000 people were without power, with the supplier unable to say when the lights will come back on. "We are not out of the woods yet".

"But we are expecting further periods of heavy rainfall, some of it very heavy, about the northeast tropics for the next few days. with that there is the real elevated risk of flash flooding".

Some residents have expressed anger that water was allowed to build for so long, rather than be released more steadily during the previous week of continued heavy monsoonal rain.

And police are still searching for two men who were last seen on Monday morning near floodwaters.

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