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Media Updates

Mini tornado and wet weather in Northern and Far Northern Queensland
20/03/2012

Emergency Services are responding to reports of damaged houses after a mini tornado swept through Vincent near Townsville around 5.15am. Approximately 25 to 30 houses have been damaged and there are reports that some houses have lost their roofs.

At 7am, the SES had received 38 calls for assistance in Townsville and more calls for assistance were expected.

Overnight, the SES received 155 calls for assistance. The majority of these jobs were for tarping and sandbagging in the Townsville, Ingham, Tully, Innisfail and Cairns areas.

The Queensland Fire and Rescue Service (QFRS) is reminding residents if itís flooded, forget it.

QFRS crews rescued nine people from seven vehicles caught between two flooded causeways on Gillies Range Road at Little Mulgrave, south of Cairns near Gordonvale. Swift water rescue teams were called around 8.30pm and worked until 11pm to rescue the occupants.

Swift water rescue crews also rescued a man trapped on the tray of his ute in floodwaters at El Arish near Mission Beach around 2.30am. The man was rescued around 5.50am.

Under no circumstances should people drive, walk, swim or ride through floodwaters. By entering floodwaters, people are not only putting their lives at risk but the lives of their rescuers.

If conditions are unfavourable, take the time to check road closure information prior to getting in the car.

While flash flooding can occur quickly and catch drivers unaware there is no excuse for those who deliberately drive past a road closed sign into flood water.

If residents require flood assistance they should contact the SES on 132 500. In a life-threatening emergency, which includes vehicles trapped in floodwater, always dial triple zero (000).

Contact for media enquiries: Department of Community Safety Media Unit on (07) 3247 8186.