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  • Renee Cluff

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    UPDATE 3.30PM THURSDAY - Rainfall totals revised upwards for Cairns

    The Bureau of Meteorology is now predicting almost 400 millimetres of rain will fall over Cairns in the next three days.

    Tomorrow, the forecast is for totals up to 120 millimetres.

    Saturday will see up to 150 millimetres and Sunday 120 millimetres.

    Innisfail is expecting even heavier rainfall, with up to 470 millimetres expected between Friday and Sunday.

    A major flood warning has this afternoon been issued for the Tully and Murray Rivers.

    The Bureau says the major flood level may cause the Bruce Highway south of Tully to close.

    Some locations, including Murray Upper, Cardwell, Bilyana, Tully Heads and Hull Heads may become isolated for several days.

    Locations affected by the March 2018 flooding could again be impacted during this flood event. 


    More extreme wet weather on the way as TNQ cleans up from record-breaking deluge

    Tropical North Queensland leaders have issued a warning to prepare for more flooding.

    Up to 500 millimetres of rain is forecast to fall between tomorrow (Wednesday) and Sunday.

    Saturday could see up to 150 millimetres and up to 100 millimetres is predicted for Thursday, with the heaviest falls between Cairns and Innisfail.

    Chair of the Local Disaster Management Group (LDMG), Councillor Terry James, said low-lying areas are again expected to be inundated.

    “Our catchments are already saturated, so it’s likely that we’d be looking at more flooding.

    “The LDMG is closely monitoring the weather conditions and we’ll put any advice out via social media and the Cairns Disaster Dashboard,” he said.

    Authorities say they’ll also continue to monitor Copperlode Falls Dam, which on Saturday night, was 1.5 metres above the spillway, triggering an “alert” level for the dam’s emergency action plan.

    The ‘lean forward’ level is 2.2 metres above the spillway, or where cracks and bulging are becoming significant, which is known as a sunny day failure.

    The highest level is ‘stand up’, at 2.5 metres above the spillway.

    An early warning system consisting of speakers mounted to towers, are planned for Redlynch Valley, to alert residents in the event of the dam wall failing.

    The warning from authorities comes as the clean-up from the weekend deluge is continuing.

    471 millimetres was recorded on Sunday in the Whyanbeel Valley, between Port Douglas and the Daintree, which saw the Daintree River record its highest ever flood level, at 12.6 metres.

    The Daintree River ferry is now back in action but the clean-up of neighbouring offices, which were inundated, is continuing.

    Ergon Energy is still working to re-connect 10 homes in Upper Daintree, that lost power due to the flood event.

    Other highest one-day rainfall totals included 378 millimetres in Mossman on Sunday, while Kuranda received 350 millimetres and Cairns Airport 276 millimetres.

    In the past five days, Cairns Airport has recorded 539 millimetres of rain.

    Council crews are still clearing landslips on the Redlynch Intake Road to Crystal Cascades and Lake Morris Road, both of which remain closed.

    Other work includes road and pot-hole repairs and the clearing of drains, to ensure they’re flowing freely.

    The LDMG says residents can also prepare for more wet weather by ensuring their drains are clear and homes are stocked with food and water.

    People are also reminded to stay clear of creeks and drains during flood events.

    In the Douglas Shire, orders have been made for more sand bags, which will be available at the SES shed behind the council building in Mossman, as well as the Port Douglas Sports Oval car park.

    Mayor Julia Leu is urging residents to again be prepared for possible isolation.

    “Although these are initial predictions, we are not taking any chances and encourage our residents to be vigilant.

    “This means ensuring you have adequate medicine, food, water and fuel supplies to keep you going for several days," she said.