Record breaking floods hit north Australia

CAIRNS, Australia (AFP) – Communities were cut off, farmers stranded and cows washed offshore as heavy rain pelted northeast Australia yesterday, with one major river breaking 118-year-old floodwater records.

The Bureau of Meteorology said Queensland’s Daintree River rose to 12.60 metres – a level not seen in over a century – and local authorities warned that some residents in remote areas could be cut off for days.

The heritage listed Daintree Rainforest received more than 300 millimetres of rain in just 24 hours and Northern Queensland is bracing for monsoonal conditions for the rest of the week.

Residents in this tropical region of Australia are used to a heavy wet season, but the recent deluge has cut off a ferry line that is the only means of accessing some areas.

Port Douglas Shire Council Mayor, Julia Leu, told AFP those who are still in their homes could be cut off for two days, with no power or phone service.

Meanwhile the conditions have caused havoc for farmers and livestock.

One family of four were stranded on the farm they manage, with live power lines falling into floodwaters.

Local paper Newsport Daily reported the caretakers of the “Tranquility” farm were stuck with their two children for 16 hours until the State Emergency Services helicopter could rescue them.