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"Do not go swimming in those floodwaters", Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said.

An aerial shot of the flooding in Townsville on 4 February.

Overnight, Bluewater Creek in the city's north, copped 340mm of rain, with nearly 100 calls for help to emergency service crews. "Cannot stress it enough to stay out of the water".

"The fact that people are safe today here in Townsville I think is an extraordinary achievement and something that the people of Townsville can pat themselves on the back on", Mr Morrison said.

Emergency crews, including about 1,500 members of the Australian military, helped rescue people and their pets with inflatable boats.

Thousands of residents have abandoned their homes with warnings of rain with tornadoes been issued by authorities for the next few days.

The floods follow weeks of unrelenting heat across Australia, which caused mass animal die-offs, raging bush fires, and prolonged and severe drought.

"I know tonight that all of Queensland is thinking about the Townsville community and they've got a great spirit up here and they know what to do".

Police are still hunting for two men in Townsville amid fears they may have entered flood waters but there was a possible sighting of one of them.

He said: "The volume of water is just incredible".

Townsville is a major port in northern Australia and one of the country's top exporters of copper, zinc, lead, and sugar.

"It was just bucketing down last night. and the wind gusts were huge".

"We've been giving warnings for the last three days, we doorknocked the areas previously to warn people there was a significant risk, in fact some people were doorknocked twice".

A relative of the men said she had heard from family police had found the pair but they were yet to be formally identified.

The prime minister encouraged any Queenslander affected by floods over the past week to contact Centrelink for immediate food assistance.

Blazak said that with adverse weather predicted to continue for up to 72 hours, some regions could see record-breaking levels of rainfall.

Water levels in the Ross River Dam dropped to 211 per cent of capacity, down from 250 per cent earlier in the day.

Local authorities have used dam releases at the local Ross River dam to ease the impact of the rainfall, the Bureau of Meteorology said, but there remains a "risk to life and property". "It's very hard for us to predict what is going to happen over the next 24 hours so I would say to the community of Townsville, please stay strong", Hill said.

The Queensland Police tweeted: "Schools from Halixfax, Townsvile & Giru that were closed on Friday will remain closed tomorrow".

Residents also had to deal not only with flash floods, landslides and blackouts, but also with crocodiles appearing near homes.

Gunner Tavis McEwan from the Royal Australian Artillery helping to evacuate a resident from her home amid the rising floodwaters in Townsville.


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