This is an exclusive special report from Blast Magazine.
BRISBANE, Australia — As bush fires continue to devastate the southern state of Victoria, residents in far north Queensland are still battling floodwaters resulting from ex- Cyclone Ellie’s torrential rainfall.
The cyclone, which was downgraded to a tropical low after crossing the coast on Feb. 2, has dumped rain continuously for the past week, causing massive flood damage to the state’s roads and infrastructure.
According to ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) online, the Emergency Services Minister Neil Roberts has declared more than 62 percent of Queensland a “disaster zone.”
“Rainfall of between 200-300 millimeters (8-12 inches) has fallen in the Cairns to Mackay region since tropical cyclone Ellie crossed the coast and it has recharged already flooded rivers,” he said.
Over 330 millimeters (13 inches) of rain has been recorded in the town of Ingham alone, which has been cut off for the past eight days as flood waters hit record levels. At least 3000 properties have been affected by the floodwaters, the town only recognizable from the roofs visible above the water.
More than 50 percent of Ingham residents have been forced to seek accommodation at the evacuation center, as food and water supplies begin to run low.
Not only have schools and businesses been closed but local authorities are also urging citizens not to go into the water after several reports of crocodile sightings close to residential areas.
In Cairns it is already feared that a five year old boy is dead, following a suspected crocodile attack.
The Army and the Red Cross have been called in to help with the relief effort in the far north and other affected areas, with weather forecasts suggesting that the waters will finally begin to recede.
However the damage bill is estimated to cost Queensland $109 million, with that number expected to rise once the full extent of the destruction is ascertained.