Big Wet: Cairns next in the firing line

The flooding in the town of Ingham has subsided this morning, but authorities have put Cairns on notice with heavy rain expected to head north.

flooding in Innisfail

Innisfail resident drags boat through flooded street.

ABC News

More than 200 homes and businesses have been inundated in Ingham after flood levels peaked at 14.7m, just shy of the 2009 flood levels.

The Bureau of Meteorology recorded just 6mm of rain in Ingham in the last 24 hours, whereas Cairns recorded 159mm and Innisfail 65mm of rain in the 24 hours up to 5:00am.

BOM forecaster Jim Richardson told ABC News there were still a number of major flood warnings for local rivers and streams.

“The focus is shifting north and the system is weakening a little bit, but we could still see some flooding up north with that heavier stuff, so just keep an eye out for that for the warnings,” Mr Richardson said.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk last night declared North Queensland a natural disaster zone and had put emergency response crews on notice for ‘worsening weather’.

“We have some weather worsening up in the Gulf from this weekend onwards and the Bureau (of Meteorology) is keeping an eye on the Coral Sea for later next week,” Premier Palaszczuk said.

“In effect, about a third of our council areas in our state have been impacted.”


RACQ’s Lauren Ritchie said the Bruce Highway south of Innisfail remained cut, with Ingham still completely isolated.

“Flooded roads remain our greatest concern with a number of drivers still attempting to cross,” Ms Ritchie said.

“More than 150 roads in Queensland are closed to drivers due to flooding, hazards or debris and with more rain predicted for the Cairns area we would expect that number to rise.

“This weekend if you do not need to be on the roads, we would strongly advise staying home and keeping the roads clear for emergency services and authorities to do their jobs.”

Motorists who needed to travel this weekend were urged to check the road conditions on RACQ’s website.