HOUSES have been inundated, residents evacuated, roads cut and landslips are occurring as torrential rain continues to lash the Townsville district.
The heavy rain and flash flooding is forecast to continue in the region in coming days, with six hourly rainfall totals up to 200mm possible.
The Bureau of Meteorology has warned another one to two metres of rain could be dumped over the saturated Townsville, Herbert and Lower Burdekin areas in the next week.
The Premier this afternoon ordered all Townsville schools and childcare centres to close tomorrow with more flash flooding expected.
Several properties around Stanley Street in Townsville city were evacuated this afternoon following a landslip on Castle Hill, while a rock slip has also been reported at Mount Stuart.
BOM meteorologist Dr Adam Morgan said severe weather warnings remained current for Tully, Cardwell, Ingham, Townsville and Bowen.
“We've seen extraordinary rainfall across the Townsville coast for the last 24 hours and there is even more on the way,” Dr Morgan said.
“This is a high impact historic event that is unfolding with inundation of homes, flood water rescues. landslides and trees down.”
Homes in Bluewater were inundated yesterday, with Upper Bluewater receiving 376mm in the 24 hours to 9am, with Bluewater itself receiving 203mm in just two hours.
An evacuation centre was opened in the community, though only one family stayed over night with others opting to stay with family and friends.
Townsville itself received 153mm yesterday and the city has recorded double its usual rainfall for January and almost half of its annual yearly rainfall in just one month.
The monsoon shifted to the south today, with Majors Creek receiving 193mm in just six hours this morning.
Alligator Creek has reached a major flood level and residents of that suburb, Nome and Julago were earlier warned to evacuate or move to higher ground, with an evacuated centre opened at Alligator Creek for concerned residents.
“Further six hour totals from 150mm-200mm are likely to continue today,” Dr Morgan said.
“This sort of rainfall intensity is something we would only expect to see once in 100 years.
“This is likely to be a protracted period of heavy rain extending through the weekend and in to next week.
“700mm-1000mm, one metre, has fallen across the region over the past five days
“Over the coming week it is possible the region around Townsville and the Herbert and Lower Burdekin could see an additional one to two metres.”
Council has provided free sandbags for residents to prepare for the coming deluge.
Major flooding is occurring in the Haughton River with record amounts of rain falling in the catchment area overnight.
The township of Giru, about 50km south of Townsville has been inundated and the Bruce Highway is cut at the Haughton River.
The Haughton River at Piccaninny, Majors Creek and Powerline are continuing to rise. The river is currently at 3.2 metres in Giru with floodwaters through the town though no habitable rooms have experienced inundation.