It’s about to get wild out there: Dick’s warning to ‘battle hardened’ Qlders

Still reeling from wild weather, far north Queensland is bracing for more flooding with another cyclone threat looming.

Jan 12, 2024, updated Jan 12, 2024
A woman walks with her dog past floodwater in the suburb of Holloways Beach in Cairns,as far north Queensland are bracing for more rain and further significant flooding. (AAP Image/Joshua Prieto)

A woman walks with her dog past floodwater in the suburb of Holloways Beach in Cairns,as far north Queensland are bracing for more rain and further significant flooding. (AAP Image/Joshua Prieto)

Deputy Premier Cameron Dick was confident they would be ready having already been tested by ex-tropical cyclone Jasper in the far north and storms and flash floods in the southeast.

“Queenslanders are very battle-hardened,” he said.

Heavy rain has lashed the region on Friday, prompting a severe weather warning for the north tropical coast and tablelands near Cairns.

The region is still recovering from record flooding caused by Tropical Cyclone Jasper just weeks ago.

“Heavy rainfall which may lead to flash flooding is developing between an area from Port Douglas to Daintree, possibly extending northwards to Wujal Wujal by late morning,” the Bureau of Meteorology warning said.

“Six-hourly rainfall totals between 140 and 180mm are possible.”

A minor flood warning is current for the nearby Daintree River.

The heavy rain risk may not ease until Friday night, with possibly another cyclone on the way.

A monsoon trough in the Gulf of Carpentaria has brought the wet weather.

The bureau said the trough may form a tropical low by Friday, with a low chance of developing further into a tropical cyclone on Sunday.

The downpour has struck as communities begin to rebuild in Jasper’s aftermath.

Some are still largely isolated and receiving supply drops via helicopter as roads are cleared of debris.

Record flooding caused by Jasper destroyed homes and prompted the evacuation of about 300 people from Wujal Wujal to Cooktown.

In another blow the Port Douglas, Mossman and Newell Beach areas are on water restrictions after a supply main was damaged by rain.

“We can’t stress enough how important it is for everyone to respect the new restrictions to protect our already vulnerable water supply,” Douglas Shire Council’s Scott Mason said.

A council travel warning has also been issued with all roads north of the Daintree River now closed due to landslips and rockfalls.

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Cairns Mayor Terry James said he was concerned more flooding would impact his region with heavy rain set to coincide with king tides.

“Absolutely. Our biggest fear is complacency … (but) I think after the last event people will sit up and listen,” he said.

The Cairns region is also counting the cost of the last floods, with Mr James predicting it would take up to two years to repair the damage.

Dick was confident Queenslanders would be ready for the latest weather threat.

“The message to all Queenslanders during the summer storm season is to get ready … for whatever nature might throw at us,” he said.

“I think the recent storm events across Queensland have been a test of our systems.

“I think that’s been a very good thing for Queensland and I think we’ve come through very strongly.”

Queensland’s southeast is also rebuilding after seven people died in storm-related incidents over the Christmas period.

More than 121,000 people across the state have received almost $22 million in disaster recovery financial assistance.

Queensland’s repair bill to date has been estimated at $2 billion but is expected to rise.

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