Authorities also warned residents about crocodiles and snakes in the water.
Authorities in the Australian town of Townsville opened a dam that held back the river to reduce flood damage due to heavy rains, Reuters and The Guardianreport . According to media reports, because of this, about 2 thousand houses were flooded.
Simultaneously with the announcement of the opening of the dam, the authorities warned local residents about the danger of the emergence of crocodiles, snakes and other animals that could leave the territory of the river and end up near apartment buildings.
Locals fear crocodiles “more than water, the level of which reaches the chest,” writes the publication Stuff. They have to carefully check the water before moving. Some reptiles climb trees to escape water streams. Also, residents fear that they will run into feces and other wastes.
After the opening, the dam let through about 1.9 thousand cubic meters of water per second. The authorities warned local residents about the “dangerous and fast stream of water” and asked them to find shelter or move to a higher location. However, even after the discovery, the dam holds about 532 thousand galliters of water.
— Ahron Young (@AhronYoung) February 1, 2019
Townsville Mayor Jenny Hill stated that there are no guarantees that the plan to open the dam will work. Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszuk (Annastacia Palaszczuk) noted that in this way the authorities are trying to reduce the risk of further flooding the city. She added that rescuers warned locals about the need for evacuation.
[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]We notified residents for three days, some even twice. You cannot say that you were not warned that something might happen.[/perfectpullquote]
Since late January, the rainfall in Townsville was 1.16 meters. On February 4, another 100 millimeters of precipitation is expected, the meteorological bureau warned . Because of the floods, hundreds of homes were left without electricity and were cut off from the city. On January 31, schools were closed in the city , but by February 4 they were not opened for the sake of the safety of children. According to the Sydney Morning Herald, a weekly amount of precipitation fell in Townsville.