The flood map of Townsville this week.
The flood map of Townsville this week.

Ultimate low act in flood-hit Townsville

CASH, jewellery and electrical tools were stolen from a property at Rosslea yesterday.

An army issue trunk was stolen from a house at Hermit Park too.

And a mountain bike and surfboards were stolen from a house at Railway Estate.

The three properties in the Townsville area all have one thing in common - they were flooded and abandoned by their owners.

As the city counts the cost of devastating floods that swept through the north Queensland community this week, homeowners are facing a second cruel hit as opportunistic looting increases.

Townsville Police issued a statement yesterday urging property owners to be vigilant and "decrease your likelihood of becoming a victim of opportunistic crime".

They shared a number of addresses in the Townsville area that were broken into over the 24-hour period when flooding was at its worst.

 

The flood map of Townsville this week.
The flood map of Townsville this week.

 

To accommodate the expected increase in looting, additional officers have been brought into the region.

Townsville mayor Jenny Hill says it's only a matter of time before those responsible are caught.

"If anyone thinks that they can behave in that manner, I pray that the police catch them," Cr Hill told the Townsville Bulletin.

It's not the first time the Queensland community has been looted following a natural disaster.

There were a dozen cases of looting after Cyclone Yasi hit in February 2011.

Looters also struck during bushfires in Rockhampton and Gracemere at the end of last year.

The once-in-a-century big wet event has killed two men, forced thousands of people to evacuate and impacted 20,000 homes.

 

The Townsville hockey field has been destroyed. Picture: Townsville Drone Photography
The Townsville hockey field has been destroyed. Picture: Townsville Drone Photography

 

A car submerged in floodwater at Hermit Park in Townsville. Picture: Dan Peled/AAP
A car submerged in floodwater at Hermit Park in Townsville. Picture: Dan Peled/AAP

 

"To go back into your home and to have lost things and having to rebuild … is going to be very hard for many people to take on," Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said.

Much of the state's north is still underwater, and communities remain cut off. Food drops have been organised for stranded cattle, and locals at Palm Island have been told to boil all drinking water over fears of contamination.

The final bill was expected to top $80 million, the Insurance Council of Australia said on Wednesday. They have received more than 6500 claims.

And the wild weather is still not over. The monsoonal trough is expected to bring further heavy rain and damaging winds between Cardwell and Sarina, south of Mackay, and inland today but is expected to move offshore by Friday.

 

Local residents salvage items from their homes at Hermit Park. Picture: Dan Peled/AAP
Local residents salvage items from their homes at Hermit Park. Picture: Dan Peled/AAP

 

Major flood warnings remain in place for the Herbert, Haughton, Upper Burdekin, Flinders, Cloncurry, and Leichhardt rivers.

Australia's tropical north typically experiences heavy rains during the monsoon season, but the recent downpours have seen some areas get a year's worth of rainfall in just a week.

The floods have gained widespread attention abroad as locals share footage of snakes and crocodiles forced into the streets and up trees by floodwaters.

"Snakes and crocodiles have been spotted roaming the streets of northern Queensland in Australia after 'unprecedented' floods," the New York Times wrote.

And a tweet from ABC News in the US showed a crocodile escaping floodwaters by perching on a fallen tree.

- with AAP


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