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Homes have been completely inundated in Wujal Wujal.

Far North Queensland township evacuation delayed by weather, rain easing in Cairns and Cooktown

(ABC News) -- Authorities have called off today’s planned aerial evacuation of the town of Wujal Wujal as record rainfall and dangerous flooding continues to impact Far North Queensland.
Nine people who were trapped on the roof of the Wujal Wujal hospital have moved to higher ground.
But Premier Steven Miles said weather had prevented a large-scale evacuation.
“An attempt was made to aerially evacuate Wujal Wujal today but unfortunately the rain and cloud is still too strong,” he said on Monday afternoon.
“Another attempt is now planned for 8am [Tuesday], it’s a very detailed plan underway for how to do that and then how to take care of them in the evacuation centre.”
That will be conducted with help from the ADF and residents will be taken to Cooktown.
Mr Miles said HMAS Cairns and “every other boat we could find in Cairns” had been helping with rescues.
The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) cancelled the severe weather warning for the North Tropical Coast and Tablelands earlier on Monday afternoon.
Rain has stopped falling in Cairns and Cooktown.
But scattered showers are expected to continue across the tropical north.
Mr Miles praised emergency services and “good Samaritans” for flood rescue efforts on Monday.
“We have seen incredible acts of bravery continuing today with families saved from rooftops and locals lending a hand to look after their neighbours.”
The Captain Cook Highway remains closes between Port Douglas and Cairns, and the Bruce Highway is closed between Townsville and Innisfail.
The runway at Cairns Airport, which had been shut down by flooding over the tarmac, has been cleared.
Late on Monday afternoon, an airport spokesperson said it was now up to airlines to decide when flights could restart.
“The runway is now clear and the runway lighting is operational, so the aerodrome is serviceable for aircraft movements,” the spokesperson said.
But Deputy Commissioner Shane Chelepy said the airport was not yet fully operational and an engineering inspection will be conducted on Tuesday morning.
Queensland Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll said a man died at Holloways Beach as a result of a medical issue that was not related to the flood emergency.
She said police remain concerned about the possibility of people being caught in flash flooding.
Deputy Commissioner Chelepy said a number of rescues were conducted on Monday and that police had engaged with the Australian Defence Force for assistance.
“We’ve been in contact with the CEO of Wujal Wujal, who’s confirmed all persons there are safe and on higher ground,” he said.
In the Daintree, residents have been isolated for days, stranded by floodwaters over Stewart Creek Road since Cyclone Jasper hit on Wednesday.
Tony Bartels said there was a “good size” landslide overnight, but thankfully most homes escaped serious damage.
“Totally, totally underwater, it’s the highest anyone’s ever seen it over this end,” he said.
“Just an extreme amount of water.”
Holloways Beach resident Dan Bateman has lost his home, evacuating to a neighbour’s rooftop by boat overnight.
“We could see how fast the water was flowing. We had to dodge fridges floating past, big branches at one point, someone said there was a cow coming down the road,” he said.


(Latest Update December 19, 2023)

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