Published on: 21st December 2023
If you need support, contact our emergency interpreting line on 0455 068 500 (call or SMS)
Callie Rigby (Cairns) – 0438 716 068 (SMS, IMO or Facetime)
This morning, Deputy Premier Cameron Dick held a press conference about ex-Cyclone Jasper. There are now concerns for major flooding in the Cape York Peninsula because of heavy rain. In the next few days it is likely there will be a major flood in Kowanyama. Evacuations have already taken place for people in homes that are at risk of flooding in Kowanyama.
If you are in Kowanyama, prepare for either staying safe at home or plan where you might go if waters rise over the coming days.
In good news. BOM says no rain has fallen in the past 24 hours for the north tropical coast, so river levels will start to recede.
Ergon Energy have also said this morning they want to have electricity restored to all affected areas by Christmas Eve so that North Queenslanders can have Christmas with power.
Premier Steven Miles is in Cairns and was talking this morning about 35 communities still isolated by the severe weather. Emergency services are on the ground in these locations and are pleased to say there is no loss of life reported yet.
The mass evacuation of Wujal Wujal continues, there are helicopters taking residents to Cooktown while cleanup is underway.
Many roads remain closed, so drivers are urged to take care. Bruce Highway, Captain Cook Highway, access road to Yorkeys Knob is open. The road to Holloways Beach and Machans Beach is restricted to emergency vehicles and local residents only. If it’s flooded, forget it.
Now Emergency Services are starting to coordinate recovery operations to clean up and rebuild over the next few months. If your home was underwater and you want to organise a washout, contact SES assistance app, or call 132 500 to access that support.
There is now a flood appeal with Australian Red Cross, the Salvation Army, Uniting Care and Givit to support affected North Queenslanders. More information will come out over the next few days. Stay safe and well.
The flooding in Cairns and Far North Queensland has reached dangerous levels, and the Bureau of Meteorology says heavy rainfall is expected to continue for most of today.
The new Queensland Premier, Steven Miles has recently completed a press conference, which was interpreted in Auslan. The link is on Deaf Connect’s Facebook page:
SES crews are actively evacuating people in the areas surrounding Cairns, including Holloway Beach and Yorkeys Knob. The entire town of Wujal Wujal is being evacuated as well.
The greatest concern now is access to supplies, including drinking water, food and fuel for generators. Make sure you save water to drink wherever you can.
The state government has said Cairns, Mareeba, Tablelands and Cassowary Coast, and some parts of Cook Shire will now be eligible for Personal Hardship Assistance to cover emergency essentials like food and medicine. This is $180 for individuals or up to $900 for families of 9 or more.
You can apply for the grants at this website https://www.qld.gov.au/community/disasters-emergencies/disasters/money-finance/eligibility-apply/tc-jasper-december-2023
The Deaf Connect office has been flooded and will be closed until further notice.
Deaf Connect staff have been in constant contact with the local community across the weekend, and today – and everyone has reported to be safe. I want to take a moment to thank Callie Rigby, our Service Access Facilitator, who has been working hard to keep our clients connected to information.
We hope everyone in Far North Queensland can stay safe and please reach out if you require any assistance.