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Dublin: 7 °C Monday 9 December, 2019

Crocodiles spotted in suburban streets after 'once-in-a-century floods' hit Australia

Police confirmed that crocodiles have been reported in flood waters in parts of Townsville.

Photo of a crocodile moving to higher ground in Annandale, Townsville.
Photo of a crocodile moving to higher ground in Annandale, Townsville.
Image: Kim Macdonald/Facebook via WIN News Townsville

RESIDENTS IN TOWNSVILLE, Australia, have been urged not to walk or play in floodwaters following multiple crocodile sightings in the city which experienced “once-in-a-century floods” over the weekend.

Police in Townsville issued a warning to residents after hearing several reports of children playing in the flood waters and as well as removing road closure signs. 

“Playing in flood waters is extremely dangerous, not just because of the unpredictable nature of the water itself, but also because what may lie beneath the surface. Crocodiles have been reported in flood waters in parts of Townsville, and there can also be snakes and other wildlife present.” 

“Removing road closure signs is also extremely dangerous for people driving around on the island – and doing so could lead to a tragedy,” Townsville police said in a statement. 

The floods in northeast Australia have turned streets into rivers and forced thousands to abandon their homes. Australia’s tropical north typically experiences heavy rains during the monsoon season at this time of the year, but the recent downpour has far exceeded normal levels.

‘Stay out of the water’

Townsville resident, Erin Hahn, posted a photo of a freshwater crocodile in her father’s driveway on Facebook last night. 

“Cannot stress it enough to stay out of the water,” she posted. 

Aus Croc Facebook Source: Erin Hahn/Facebook

Speaking to local media, Hahn believed the crocodile she spotted outside her father’s house was a metre or two long. She added that it swam off down the road shortly after the photo was taken. 

It’s just crazy when it’s outside of your home.

Australia’s Environment Minister Leeanne Enoch warned that crocodiles and snakes could turn up in unexpected places during flooding.

“Crocodiles prefer calmer waters and they may move around in search of a quiet place to wait for floodwaters to recede.” 

“Crocodiles may be seen crossing roads, and when flooding recedes, crocodiles can turn up in unusual places such as farm dams or waterholes where they have not been seen before,” Enoch said.

TOWNSVILLE FLOODS Rosslea residents Stephen Jubbs, Stacie Little and Stephen Dobbs take their boat around floodwaters in Rosslea, Townsville Source: AAP/PA Images

 A year’s worth of rain

Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology said a slow-moving monsoonal trough was sitting above Queensland, with some areas expected to receive more than a year’s worth of rain before conditions ease.

Bureau meteorologist Adam Blazak told AFP the downpours could continue until Thursday, while floodwaters will take some time to recede even when the rains lessen.

The region receives an average of about 2,000 millimetres (6.5 feet) of rain annually, but some towns are already on track to pass that.

With reporting from © – AFP, 2019

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Adam Daly

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