Major flooding remains across the area from Cloncurry to Hughenden with stock losses expected to be in the many thousands.
Large parts of the region resemble an inland sea and the scale of the disaster was brought home by the McKinlay Shire Council statement attached to this photo above.
“The assumption is that this is the Cloncurry River, Flinders River, Gilliat River, Williams River, Eastern Creek, Julia Creek, Gilliat Channels and all their subsidiaries joined together,” McKinlay Shire Council said.
“The photographer, Beau Harringtonwas a few kilometres over the start of the flood water when he took this photo and he could not see the other side. We are told that it’s a sight that no photo can do justice.”
McKinlay Shire said that just down stream they are it is joined by the Dugald River, Corella River and the Scrubby Channels “also all big gullies”.
Cloncurry, McKinlay, Richmond and Flinders Shire Councils are all struggling to reach affected landholders.
The Flinders River at Richmond is currently at 9.38 metres (above the 1974 flood level of 8.76 metres) and steady.
The river level is expected to remain above the major flood level (8m) into next week with further river level rises possible as upstream floodwaters arrive.
Major flooding is continuing downstream of Richmond and will continue into next week. Further rises are expected following heavy rainfall over the past few days.
The Flinders River at Walkers Bend was at 10.92m and rising on Wednesday afternoon – around 5.5m above the level of the Burke Development Rd. River levels will continue to rise over the coming week and remain well above the major flood level (5.6m) into next week.
A freight train derailed at Nelia Thursday though there is no threat to the public as the two houses had been evacuated earlier in the day.
It could be days before anyone gets to the scene.
All that water is now heading to the Gulf and places like Normanton, Burketown, Karumba and Doomadgee could be cut off for weeks.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk toured Cloncurry and saw dead cattle lining paddocks and thousands of cattle stranded at the Cloncurry saleyards and she spoke to devastated landholders about their loss.
“We are doing everything we can to get these people get back up on their feet. I have just had the opportunity to travel kilometres and as far as the eye can see there are dead cattle everywhere,” the Premier said.
“The conditions out here are unprecedented, the likes of which no one had ever seen before. So now we need to do a big coordination to make sure the support is getting to where it is needed the most.”
Federal Agriculture Minister David Littleproud was also in town having an aerial tour of flood affected properties.
“All I could see was an inland sea. It is unbelievable what I just saw,” Mr Littleproud said.
“We need to sit here and listen to what the community has to say and act. Landholders have been through the hardship of drought now the devastation of flood, we just have to support them though.”
Minister Littleproud said the government was prioritising the transportation of fuel with avgas coming from RAAF base at Amberley.