THE township of Ingham is bracing for a major flooding event with the town likely to be inundated early tomorrow morning.
Flood levels are likely to peak at 14.75m in Ingham at 5am, eclipsing the February 2009 flood which inundated the township and left residents isolated.
Hinchinbrook Mayor Raymon Jayo warned residents to finalise their preparations for what is likely to be the biggest flood in recent history.
“There is a major flood warning out and it’s going to peak around 5am, with an indication at the moment at 14.75m in Ingham,” Cr Jayo said.
“It will be bigger than the 2009 flood, which was the biggest event in recent history.
“The river has been rising quite rapidly, and we’re just waiting to see what happens.”
The Herbert River at Gairloch is expected to peak around 12.5m early Friday morning.
Cr Jayo said the disaster call centre was now operational and SES units were stationed at Halifax and Ingham.
Sand and sandbags are available for collection at BP Halifax, Carrs Farm at Cordelia and Shire Hall car park Ingham.
Several roads in the district have been closed including Hawkins Creek at Dalrymple and Bridge and Bosworths Crossing.
There is also water over the road at Halifax / Gairloch Washaway and the Blue Butterfly Road intersection.
Two swift-water rescue crews will be deployed to help bolster local resources in the Ingham area tonight.
Fire and Emergency Services Minister Craig Crawford said today said the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) crews – from the Brisbane Region and South-East Region – would fly to North Queensland from Brisbane later tonight.
“The two crews have been deployed to support local personnel in the area, as the Herbert River continues to rise,” Mr Crawford said.
“The BoM have advised that flooding in Ingham will reach the major level overnight, and is likely to reach the 2009 flood level early tomorrow morning. This will cause properties to be flooded.
“A major flood warning is also in place for the Tully River – this is likely to result in impacts to roads including the Bruce Highway.
“QFES crews are working closely with local councils and other response agencies. As heavy rain is still falling, the situation may change so residents are urged to monitor conditions and check the BoM website for flood updates.
“As always, it is important for people in that area to be vigilant and stay away from flood water. If you’re driving through the affected areas, be alert for the potential for roads to be flooded and as always remember: If it’s flooded, forget it.”
“Parts of Ingham and the surrounding areas may become isolated or inundated, so residents are urged to ensure their emergency kits are ready and that they have sufficient food, water, medication and infant supplies available. Residents who expect to be inundated are urged to move items to higher ground.”
Mr Crawford said QFES swift water rescue crews also remain on standby to assist in any floodwater emergencies in Mount Isa, Cloncurry and Julia Creek.