Roads shut as rainfall set to break records
CAIRNS Airport is looking likely to break its single-day April rainfall record, currently set in 1984 with 185.8mm.
The Bureau of Meteorology advised Cairns Airport had received 194mm between 9am Monday and 8.30am Tuesday, and that it would be "hard to suggest" the record hadn't already been broken, but the data needed to be confirmed, which could take days.
Another 79mm of rain has fallen at the airport in the past six hours, though the day's heaviest falls so far have been at Tully where 128mm has fallen since 9am.
The heavy rain has affected several roads across the region, including Gillies Range Road which has been shut to all traffic, while the Rex Range is also closed after a landslip.
BOM forecaster Peter Markworth said a large cell would mean the rain was set to intensify throughout the morning, as the shower activity moved on and off shore.
"Then it will fluctuate intensity, but anywhere from Tully to Cooktown can expect anywhere between 50 to 200mm today, with a large focus on the Innisfail to Cairns area," Mr Markworth said.
"There could be a slight easing tomorrow, as the trough moves offshore and we see increased activity towards Ingham and Townsville.
"But there is likely to be isolated heavy showers in the north tropical coast throughout Wednesday and Thursday."
The Bureau of Meteorology on Monday issued an initial flood warning and a flood watch for the Far North after the downpour started on Sunday.
Th big totals also moved north throughout Monday, with Whyanbeel Valley, north of Mossman, collecting 282mm in 24 hours.
Babinda Boulders also copped another 235mm on top of nearly 260mm the previous day.
ROADS CLOSED, TREES DOWN
GILLIES Range Road has been closed to all traffic due to flooding. The road is closed between Vico Road and Boar Pocket Road.
Long delays are expected. Police have urged motorists to avoid the area and use an alternative route.
In the same area, Peets Bridge is also closed after the area received 134mm of rain in 24 hours.
Police have warned the road will likely be closed for an extended period.
Councillor Terry James, chairman of the Cairns Local Disaster Management Group, said Lower Freshwater Road and Clyde Road in Babinda were also closed.
"We have water lapping the Kamerunga Road at Ryan Weare Park and it is likely that we will need to close this road with Freshwater Creek expected to rise," Cr James said
Stratford Connection Road at Freshwater/Redlynch is closed and the Freshwater roundabout is partially closed.
Traffic from Stratford will be directed down Brinsmead Rd (using one lane). Kamerunga Rd will remain closed until water levels drop.
"As often happens when we have substantial rainfall, Glenoma Park and Ryan Weare Park also closed this morning due to flood waters," Cr James said.
Cycle path bridges at Glenoma Park and Goomboora Park are also closed.
The Department of Transport and Main Roads has issued a warning for potholes on the Captain Cook Highway near Palm Cove.
The road damage, near Bokissa Road, is affecting both directions of traffic and motorists are urged to proceed with caution.
Silkwood Japoon Road is also closed in both directions due to flash flooding.
Police were directing traffic at nearby Collins Avenue in Edge Hill earlier this morning after a tree fell across the road.
There is water over the road at Yarrabah, while motorists have been driving through water on some innercity Cairns roads earlier this morning as well, including Aumuller Street.
Traffic lights at Bunda Street in Parramatta Park are also flashing yellow and motorists are urged to drive with caution in the area.
Cr James said that the council was monitoring Copperlode Dam, which has continued to steadily rise and at 7.30am today was about 73cm above the spillway.
DOUGLAS SHIRE CLOSURES
A landslip has occurred on the Rex Range and forced the Mossman - Mount Molloy road to be closed.
Mareeba Shire Council expects the road to reopen about 6pm today.
The Captain Cook Highway at Oak Beach, south of Port Douglas, has also been reduced to one lane due to a fallen boulder on the road.
Heavy rain has also closed Mudlo Street in Port Douglas.
Mossman residents are being urged to show caution through rising waters after one ute was captured in a precarious position on a flooded bridge.
It comes as the Bureau of Meteorology issued a minor to moderate flood watch for the Mossman and Daintree Rivers after more than 150mm dumped down in the last 24 hours.
And the deluge is showing no signs of stopping.
Douglas Shire Council's local disaster management team have issued a warning to motorists after a vehicle was seen driving through floodwaters at Anichs Bridge.
"We strongly discourage reckless driving through floodwaters as it may be the worst decision you make," the Local Disaster Management Group said.
"The decision to Back It Up is the bravest and smartest thing you can do.
"For any emergencies, please call the SES on 132 500."
POLICE responded to reports of fallen power lines near a primary school this morning.
About 8am police received call to attend Morgan St, Yorkeys Knob, following reports school children were in potential danger as they used the road to walk to Yorkeys Knob Primary school.
At 8.11am Ergon Energy confirmed nearly 1800 customers in Yorkeys Knob and Smithfield had lost power after supply was cut due to the safety concerns.
Power has since been restored to the area.
24-HOUR RAINFALL TO 9AM TUESDAY
Whyanbeel Valley: 282mm
Daintree Village: 121mm
White Cliff Point: 177mm
Saddle Mountain: 161mm
Cairns Airport: 177mm
Cairns Racecourse 172mm
Copperlode Dam: 173mm
Peets Bridge: 134mm
Vohland Rd: 174mm
The Boulders: 235mm
Glen Allyn: 149mm
For the North Tropical Coast between Cooktown and Ingham
Further heavy rainfall associated with a coastal trough is forecast across the flood watch area over the next few days, the BOM has advised.
The heaviest rainfall is expected close to the coast and ranges.
Rainfall totals of 100-250 mm were recorded over parts of the area in the 24 hours to 9am Monday, with the heaviest falls in the lower Johnstone and Mulgrave-Russell catchments. Many catchments within the area are now saturated and will therefore respond relatively quickly to further rainfall, BOM warns.
"Minor to moderate flooding is likely within the flood watch area from Tuesday.
"Localised flooding and disruption to transport routes are likely within the flood watch area.
A minor flood warning is current for the Mulgrave and Russell Rivers.
Catchments likely to be affected include: Endeavour River, Daintree River(Including the Bloomfield River), Mossman River, Barron River, Mulgrave and Russell Rivers, Johnstone River, Tully River, Murray River, Herbert River.
How much rain has your place had so far? Let us know in the comments below.
Originally published as Roads shut as rainfall set to break FNQ records