Troy Mathieson, 25, and Hughie Morton, 20, missing in Townsville's floodwaters, last seen at Dan Murphy's Aitkenvale between 8pm and 9pm on Sunday February 3. Picture: Supplied
Troy Mathieson, 25, and Hughie Morton, 20, missing in Townsville's floodwaters, last seen at Dan Murphy's Aitkenvale between 8pm and 9pm on Sunday February 3. Picture: Supplied

Men feared drowned in floodwater

TWO men are feared to have been washed away by floodwaters after running away from the scene of an alleged looting in Townsville.

The men have been identified as 23-year-old Troy Mathieson and 21-year-old Hughie Morton.

Police hold concerns for the welfare of Mr Mathieson and Mr Morton and fear the pair may have been swept into a drain.

Townsville Police District Duty Officer Ian Wilkie confirmed two men had been reported as missing from the vicinity of Dan Murphy's on Ross River Rd, Aitkenvale.

It is understood searches on Monday have yielded no results.

"There is a possibility that they have entered flowing water near the Dan Murphy's," Sen-Sgt Wilkie said.

"Police are conducting inquiries attempting to locate those persons.

"If they have entered floodwaters we have concerns for their welfare."

 

Troy Mathieson, 25, and Hughie Morton, 20, missing in Townsville's floodwaters, last seen at Dan Murphy's Aitkenvale between 8pm and 9pm on Sunday February 3. Picture: Supplied
Troy Mathieson, 25, and Hughie Morton, 20, missing in Townsville's floodwaters, last seen at Dan Murphy's Aitkenvale between 8pm and 9pm on Sunday February 3. Picture: Supplied

Police are investigating whether the missing men are the same pair who ran away from officer's responding to a break and enter at the Dan Murphy's store.

In the height of the floods, shortly before 3am, officers were called to the break and enter at the liquor store.

Kirwan Police Station officer-in-charge Senior Sergeant Jason Brosnan said police responded to a call from security after three men were spotted on CCTV forcing their way through a roller door.

Sen-Sgt Brosnan said police were nearby and responded quickly.

"One was arrested nearby and the other two have fled the scene," Sen-Sgt Brosnan said.

"There is no excuse for that sort of behaviour in a natural disaster, people are doing it tough."

It is understood police, fearing for the safety of the young men, contacted their families on Monday.

When it was confirmed the pair had last been seen in floodwaters a missing persons incident was lodged

Sen-Sgt Brosnan said at least another six businesses were hit by looters in the Kirwan and Mundingburra police divisions.

Several homes were also broken into and police are anticipating more reports of property crime to be filed as residents return to their homes once floodwaters recede.

Anyone with information on the wherabouts of Mr Mathieson or Mr Morton are urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or Police Link on 131 444.

 

EXTRAORDINARY DELIVERY

A barge filled with 30,000 tonnes of groceries is expected to arrive in Townsville on Thursday to refill stripped shelves at Woolworth stores.

Meanwhile, a Coles spokesman said a plane will touch down in Cairns by 1pm before trucking half its load to Townsville.

Eight of Townsville's dozen Woolworths stores remain open.

Those at Fairfield, Hermit Park, Castletown and Nathan Plaza are closed.

Woolworths Northern Queensland operations manager Tina Anandji said a barge has been secured to deliver 30,000 tonnes of fresh food, nappies, baby formula and other essential items.

 

Very little bread is left at Woolworths in City Lane.
Very little bread is left at Woolworths in City Lane.

The barge will be dispatched from Mackay and is expected to arrive in Townsville on Thursday.

"Additionally we have 30 contingency containers carrying essential lines such as water, long life milk, baby formula, beans, noodles and toilet paper, which we're drawing on to increase the stock in our stores," she said.

 

Bread? What bread? Shoppers have emptied shelves of loaves at Woolworth City Lane.
Bread? What bread? Shoppers have emptied shelves of loaves at Woolworth City Lane.

 

Woolworth stores in Ingham remain open and trading with stock expected to arrive around midday today from Townsville.

Stores in Ayr are open and trading and will be receiving supplies from Brisbane by road.

Coles Queensland state manager Jerry Farrell said Coles has chartered a plane to deliver fresh produce, groceries and bakery flour to Townsville and Cairns.

"The plane will land in Cairns this afternoon and half the load will be trucked to Townsville on recently reopened roads," he said.

GALLERY: Dam gates opened

"We are also investigating alternative delivery routes with trucks from Adelaide and Darwin on the roads to deliver to other flood-impacted areas of Far North Queensland.

"Coles would like to thank our local suppliers, who have helped keep fresh milk, eggs and produce in stores wherever possible."

The only Coles stores closed are Townsville Rising Sun, due to flooding, and Aitkenvale and The Willows because the shopping complexes themselves did not open today.

 

 

SEVERE WEATHER WARNING

Another round of heavy rainfall and isolated thunderstorms was expected to hit the Ross River Dam catchment overnight, the bureau warned.

A severe weather warning for heavy rainfall and damaging winds was issued at 5pm Monday for people between Ingham and Mackay.

"Observed rainfall rates have remained mostly moderate during today. However, further heavy rainfall may still develop tonight and/or on Tuesday, with six-hourly rainfall totals between 150mm to 200mm likely," the bureau warns.

"Concentrated areas of intense rainfall with totals up to 300mm are possible, particularly with bands of thunderstorms.

"Creek and river catchments are already saturated and will therefore respond extremely rapidly to any rainfall. Landslides have been reported with this event and will continue to be possible in vulnerable areas that have experienced significant rainfall."

Rollingstone has recorded 137mm in the seven hours to 4pm today. Paluma has recorded 92mm, and Clarke Range 58mm.

 

 

POWER OUTAGES

A total of 14,553 homes and businesses remained without power as of 3pm on Monday afternoon, as Ergon Energy warned residents about the dangers of generators running in their homes.

Homes across Annandale, Cluden, Idalia, Oonoonba, Shaw, Wulguru, Railway Estate, Douglas, Kelso, Condon, Thuringowa, Hermit Park, Pimlico, Currajong, Hyde Park, Mundingburra, Garbutt, and Mysterton are affected by power outages.

A spokeswoman for Ergon Energy urged customers to be patient, with crews unable to restore power in many places due to substations being flooded.

She said in those cases crews would need to wait for floodwaters to subside before any damage can be assessed.

"The biggest impact has been in Hermit Park where the substation was switched off late yesterday when water entered the switchyard," the Ergon spokeswoman said.

"Our number one priority is to keep everyone safe around our network - water and electricity don't mix.

"Preventing major flood damage to electrical assets will also lead to more efficient restoration for the community.

"Significant restoration of customers will not occur until the floodwaters have receded and crews have completed damage assessments of the inundated network."

 

Flooding at the Hermit Park Substation. Picture: Ergon Energy/ Supplied
Flooding at the Hermit Park Substation. Picture: Ergon Energy/ Supplied

Meanwhile, Ergon Energy has also warned of the dangers of running generators indoors, especially in situations where residents are choosing to remain in their homes.

"This is extremely dangerous and potentially deadly," a spokeswoman said.

"As petrol and diesel-powered generators produce deadly carbon monoxide fumes, always run portable generators outside the house - never inside or in a garage.

"Keep generators well away from open windows - including your neighbours' - so deadly exhaust does not enter the home."

 

LATEST FROM AUTHORITIES

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has warned Townsville residents that they're not out of the woods yet, with further heavy rainfall predicted for the region.

About 1000 people are currently taking refuge in Townsville's evacuation centres, with multiple locations at capacity.

It is understood at least 650 homes have been significantly inundated.

 

Speaking at the Local Disaster Management Centre in Townsville this morning, Premier Palaszczuk said heavy rainfall was expected to continue for the next couple of days, as well as damaging wind gusts with significant flash flooding.

"There is still heavy rainfall across this area, this monsoonal trough just doesn't seem to want to move much at all," she said.

"If you don't need to be out on the roads, please don't."

Premier Palaszczuk said Townsville schools would likely need to be audited to assess flood damage and safety precautions.



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