Kate Sullivan. Residents in a unit complex in Alexandra Street, North Ward were hit by flash flooding during monsoonal rain in Townsville. PICTURE: MATT TAYLOR.
Kate Sullivan. Residents in a unit complex in Alexandra Street, North Ward were hit by flash flooding during monsoonal rain in Townsville. PICTURE: MATT TAYLOR.

FIRST PICTURES: Flash flooding ruins Townsville unit

NORTH Ward resident Kate Sullivan had just finished replacing the last of her flood damaged items from 2019 when stormwater swept through her apartment tonight, inundating her home once more.

Ms Sullivan lives in one of four units that were impacted by flash flooding about 8pm tonight.

Four firefighting crews and a swift water boat were called out to her Alexandra St address.

 

Residents in a unit complex in Alexandra Street, North Ward were hit by flash flooding during monsoonal rain in Townsville. PICTURE: MATT TAYLOR.
Residents in a unit complex in Alexandra Street, North Ward were hit by flash flooding during monsoonal rain in Townsville. PICTURE: MATT TAYLOR.

There were fears an elderly woman next door had to be evacuated by the swift water rescue team after more than 1m of water washed through the car park, but South Townsville Fire

Station manager Luke Smith said the woman had been assessed by paramedics and was deemed healthy enough and willing to stay in her unit.

 

South Townsville Fire Station manager Luke Smith. PICTURE: MATT TAYLOR.
South Townsville Fire Station manager Luke Smith. PICTURE: MATT TAYLOR.

The block of units briefly lost power as a safety measure.

Ms Sullivan said she had been watching the epic tennis clash between Nick Kyrgios and Rafael Nadal when she noticed water bubbling in from her front door and her garage.

Her freezer began floating and at least 30cm of water came through her home, soaking her floor, furniture, and entering her car.

 

Residents in a unit complex in Alexandra Street, North Ward were hit by flash flooding during monsoonal rain in Townsville. PICTURE: MATT TAYLOR.
Residents in a unit complex in Alexandra Street, North Ward were hit by flash flooding during monsoonal rain in Townsville. PICTURE: MATT TAYLOR.

Ms Sullivan, who lives in the unit with her partner Dave, had replaced the last item she has lost in the 2019 floods before Christmas but her new fridge has lasted only a month.

"Last year I had a chance to lift all of this stuff because I had some warning … but this time it came so quick," she said.

"My insurance are going to love me."

 

Swift water rescue teams were sent to a unit complex in Alexandra St, North Ward. PICTURE: MATT TAYLOR.
Swift water rescue teams were sent to a unit complex in Alexandra St, North Ward. PICTURE: MATT TAYLOR.

Ms Sullivan and her neighbours believe the culprit could be a large council-owned drain, that runs from Castle Hill down, which became blocked after vegetation collected at the grate.

"So it's a bit like a plug, so once that's become blocked it's then all come down and the four units bore the brunt of it," she said

In true Townsville fashion, her neighbours have already offered Ms Sullivan and her pet dog a place to stay for the night and have poured her a gin and tonic to soothe her nerves.

 

EARLIER:

 

THE State Emergency Service have had multiple call-outs to help people caught out by the rain today and this evening.

Northern region area controller John Forde the helped included everything from tarping people's homes to sandbagging.

He said people on Magnetic Island and different suburbs throughout Townsville had called on the SES for help.

"We still have crews around the area in different locations," he said.

"Crews are working through the night at this stage."

 

Travis Grundmann took this earlier tonight at Heatley.
Travis Grundmann took this earlier tonight at Heatley.

Mr Forde said the SES wanted to be prepared for any heavy rainfall overnight or in the next few days.

From 8-9pm there was 42mm of rain recorded in North Ward, 29mm in South Townsville and 107mm at Nelly Bay, the latest statistics from the Bureau of Meteorology show.

 

EARLIER:

 

PEOPLE living at a North Ward unit are being told to head to the top storey of their unit because of localised flooding.

A Queensland Fire and Emergency Services spokeswoman said firefighters were at a North Ward unit on Alexandra St.

"We have crews in attendance and they're assisting the occupants," she said.

The spokeswoman said all occupants of the unit had been told to head to the top level because of localised flooding.

"We are just waiting for other services to arrive to make the area safe," she said.

The Bureau of Meteorology has issued a thunderstorm warning for people in parts of Herbert and Lower Burdekin Forecast District.

Hayley Fitzgerald took this photo of the rain in Townsville.
Hayley Fitzgerald took this photo of the rain in Townsville.

Weather situation:

Severe thunderstorms are likely to produce heavy rainfall that may lead to flash flooding in the warning area over the next several hours.

Locations which may be affected include Townsville, Giru, Woodstock and Rollingstone.

Up to 66mm has fallen in the last hour around the Townsville area.

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services advises that people should:

- Never drive, walk or ride through flood waters. If it's flooded, forget it.

- Seek shelter, preferably indoors and never under trees.

- Avoid using the telephone during a thunderstorm.

- Beware of fallen trees and powerlines.

- For emergency assistance contact the SES on 132 500.

The next warning is due to be issued by 11:05pm.

 

BOM has issued a thunderstorm warning for north and south of Townsville.
BOM has issued a thunderstorm warning for north and south of Townsville.

 

EARLIER

 

The heavy rain impacting Townsville has caused a rock slide in the city.

Rocks have fallen onto the road at Sturt St.

The Queensland Police Service and crew from Townsville City Council are on scene.

A QPS spokeswoman said there were large chunks of rocks in both lanes of traffic.

There have been no reports of injuries after the rock slide.

People are being urged to avoid the area as traffic diversions are expected as the street is cleaned up.



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