Press "Enter" to skip to content

Record Flooding in Queensland, Australia

Townsville, Queensland, Australia —(Map)

Unusually heavy rains in Queensland, Australia have caused massive flooding. The government was forced to open the Ross River Dam, flooding up to 20,000 homes.

Over the last ten days, Queensland has been trapped under a slow-moving monsoon. Monsoons are winds that bring lots of rain when they move over warm land from cooler oceans. The winds and the rain they bring can last for months.

West Townsville - from Castle Hill, 2014
The city of Townsville has been hit especially hard. Over the last ten days, Townsville has gotten more rain than it usually gets in a year. This picture shows Townsville in more normal conditions.
(Source: gérard, via Flickr.com.)

For cities and towns of northeastern Queensland, the monsoon has had awful effects. In some areas, as much as 16 inches (40 centimeters) of rain has fallen in a day.

The city of Townsville has been hit especially hard. In the last ten days, Townsville has gotten about 3 feet 9 inches (113 centimeters) of rain. That’s more rain than it usually gets in a year, and it beats a record that was set 80 years ago.

Flooded Weir in Townsville, 2009. After 28 days of rain - 4.5 feet of water over the dam. that bridge is 15 feet high!
Water from heavy rains has gushed into Townsville, flooding hundreds of homes. This picture of Townsville is from another flood in 2009. The bridge in this picture is now under water.
(Source: Rob and Stephanie Levy, via Flickr.com.)

The Ross River Dam near Townsville holds back river water in a huge pool. The dam was built to store water and control floods. But the massive rains filled the dam’s pool more than twice as full as it is supposed to be. The dam’s floodgates, which usually hold the water back, had to be opened.

Ross River Dam at night, Floodgates are full open.
The Ross River Dam near Townsville has had to open its floodgates, since it was holding back more than twice as much water as it was meant to. This picture shows the floodgates in normal use. Now the water is bursting out much more violently.
(Source: Rob and Stephanie Levy [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons.)

The water has gushed into Townsville, flooding hundreds of homes. Many large roads are flooded, cutting people off. The local grocery stores are out of food and new food must be brought in by boat.

Thousands of people have left their homes for safety. Some reports say 10,000 to 20,000 homes in Queensland could wind up being flooded.

Queensland’s leader, Annastacia Palaszczuk, said, “It’s basically not just a one in 20 year event, it’s a one in 100 year event.”

These pictures were posted on the internet by an Australian news channel.

Emergency workers are using boats and helicopters to try and help move people to higher ground. Over 1,000 people have called for help. Some people are standing on roofs until help arrives. Two police officers were left holding onto trees after their car was washed away.

As if the floods weren’t enough, there is another problem. The flood water contains three things that most people don’t want to come into contact with: crocodiles, snakes, and poop. The poop is there because factories that normally treat sewage – dirty water from drains and toilets – have been flooded. Instead of being cleaned, the dirty water has been mixed in with all the other water.

Crocodiles and snakes have gotten washed away in the flood waters. Government workers are warning people to look out for them in unusual places once the flood waters start to go down. This picture was posted on the internet.

The crocodiles and snakes have gotten washed away in the flood waters. They swim very well, so government workers are warning people to look out for crocodiles and snakes in unusual places once the flood waters start to go down.

But it doesn’t look like the flood waters will be going down soon. The forecast for the area is for more rain.

It’s not all bad news, though. In the west of Queensland, where the land was very dry after record heats and long periods without rain, the rains have been good news for farmers.

Townsville, Queensland, Australia


View Larger Map
Share:

Settings

Most news on NewsForKids.net is appropriate for all ages. When there is news that may not be suitable for all ages, we try to tag it. You can use the setting below to control whether content tagged in this manner is shown.