Record Flooding Hit Australia's Northeast

The landslide caused a retaining wall to collapse on Stanley Street Townsville. Source Ben Downie/7NewsMore

The landslide caused a retaining wall to collapse on Stanley Street Townsville. Source Ben Downie/7NewsMore

"As I said we are in unprecedented times, there is more rain to come". "We'll be all right".

"Remember to keep an eye out for your neighbours affected by flood where it is safe to do so and call emergency services if you need help", Queensland Police said.

The monsoon trough that's flooded large swathes of Townsville unleashed another deluge overnight, on communities in the city's north.

"It's basically not just a one in 20-year event, it's a one-in-100-year event,", Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk told reporters Saturday.

"Lots of families are going to be going through a rough time, it's very stressful", she said'.

The army has been helping to protect homes with sandbags, while rescue teams have been evacuating people using rafts.

"We are expecting six-hour rainfall totals 150-200mm or even isolated occurrence of 300mm in just a few hours".

"You can't say you weren't warned that something would happen".

"Some people thought that they could get through this. and that hasn't been the case". "Unprecedented areas of flooding will occur in Townsville", a statement by the bureau said, adding there was a "risk to life and property".

But Bureau of Meteorology has estimated that a further 450mm of rain will have fallen over the Ross River Dam catchment in the 24 hours to 9am on Monday.

The Ross River Dam gates were opened last night to release water, with unsafe and unprecedented flash flooding expected in surrounding suburbs as a result.

A couple head home down a flooded street in Townsville.

That order sparked warnings that 21 suburbs could see flash flooding, including high velocity flows that could kill people.

"The system will also impact other parts of the north and central Queensland regions in the coming days".

The Bureau of Meteorology has also warned that tornadoes could form, with gale- force winds seen in Townsville overnight.

Evacuations were posted in 20 suburbs of the coastal city as authorities were forced to fully open the Ross River floodgates with the river at almost 250 percent capacity, The New York Times reported.

Australia's military has been deployed to tackle devastating "once-in-a-century" floods that have inundated homes, schools and airports in the country's northeast, forcing hundreds to flee and bringing crocodiles onto the streets.

My most vivid memory of Althea was watching through the window from a back bedroom at my parents home in Gulliver. On Sunday the figure was between 400 and 500.

Disaster officials yesterday defended their decision not to forcibly move stranded residents - with 1,100 people assisted to relocate at the height of catastrophic flooding - despite special powers granted to police under a disaster declaration.

Water levels in the Ross River Dam dropped to 211 per cent of capacity, down from 250 per cent earlier in the day.

"This continued heavy rain and flooding has damaged homes, isolated communities and displaced people from their homes", said Shannon Fentiman, acting communities minister in Queensland.

Hill said that although the "dam levels have stabilised", the potential of further rain means that "things can change".

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