This handout photo taken on March 10, 2023 and received on March 11, 2023 from the Queensland Police Service shows an aerial view of the flooded northern Queensland town of Burketown. (PHOTO / QUEENSLAND POLICE SERVICE / AFP)
SYDNEY – With major flooding still occurring in Burketown and the Gregory River, the police force in the Australian state of Queensland on Monday reminded residents to limit movement in floodwaters due to unseen hazards and recent crocodile sightings.
"Police rescued a baby kangaroo from floodwaters behind a residential community in Burketown yesterday. A helicopter pilot flew over at the time and spotted two very large crocs nearby, a timely reminder to stay out of floodwaters as you never know what is lurking beneath," Queensland Police Service warned on social media.
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In an update on the severe weather event affecting northwestern Queensland, the state police said sewage and water treatment plants in Burketown are now offline, with residents instructed to conserve water usage and continue to monitor advice from local councils.
Major flooding is expected to be easing slowly on Monday. The river level along the Albert River at Burketown Airstrip is expected to continue easing slowly over the next few days, but is likely to remain above the major flood level (6.00 m) during Monday and Tuesday, possibly longer.
Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BOM)
As significant flooding is surging downstream of Urandangi to Roxborough Downs, police are closely monitoring the situation in Urandangi, with 16 people so far evacuated from the town in preparation for rising floodwaters.
According to the police, air assets are stationed nearby and on standby for emergency rescues and transport of food, water and medical supplies.
Days of heavy rainfall led to major to record-breaking floodings through parts of northwestern Queensland.
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"No observations are available for the Burketown Airstrip manual gauge. Based on anecdotal information from Burketown, the river level is expected to have peaked above the 2011 record flood level of 6.78 meters on Sunday," said the Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BOM).
"Major flooding is expected to be easing slowly on Monday. The river level along the Albert River at Burketown Airstrip is expected to continue easing slowly over the next few days, but is likely to remain above the major flood level (6.00 m) during Monday and Tuesday, possibly longer," the BOM added.
READ MORE: 'Once in a century' flood cuts off communities in Australia
Burke Shire Mayor Ernie Camp told Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) on Monday morning that up to 100 people had been evacuated from Burketown, with another 120 across the shire.
Camp noted that the water levels dropped about 400 millimeters. "So hopefully, there won't be no any further rises and we'll keep it positive."