Thousands of sandbags picked up by far north Queensland residents as predicted deluge looms

Updated February 14, 2015 13:11:31

Far north Queensland residents are scooping up thousands of sandbags as they brace for up to 300 millimetres of rain forecast for the coming three days.

Although there have been no major issues yet, hundreds of residents have taken up offers of free sandbags from local governments.

Port Douglas had the highest uptake of sandbags with 2,000 going out so far, while residents in Cairns have picked up 1,000.

Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) forecaster Nicholas Shera said a tropical low, expected to dump between 200-300mm of rain between Cape Tribulation and Cardwell between Saturday and Monday, could turn into a cyclone over the Gulf of Carpentaria by Tuesday or Wednesday.

"On Monday it looks like it could be moderate, like around 20 to 50 per cent chance, and then on Tuesday there could be a high chance, greater than 50 per cent chance on Tuesday and Wednesday, but it's worth mentioning that it is extremely uncertain as to where that low is going to be so it's worth keeping your eye on the updates," Mr Shera said.

In the BoM's latest flood watch alert issued 11:39am on Saturday, it said the highest rainfall totals were expected close to the coast and over the northern parts of the flood watch area.

Catchments at risk within the flood watch area include the Daintree, Mossman, Barron, Mulgrave, Russell, Johnstone, Tully and Murray rivers.

River level rises above the minor flood level are possible and heavy rainfall may also lead to localised flash flooding, the BoM has warned.

The next flood watch is due to be issued by 12:00pm Sunday.

Cairns Mayor Bob Manning has previously reminded motorists about the dangers of driving through floodwaters.

"When a road is flooded, you can't see what is going on under the water. The road may be damaged or the water could be deeper than you think," Cr Manning said.

The Queensland Fire and Emergency Service (QFES) said specialist swiftwater rescue crews would be based in Cairns, Cooktown and the Douglas Shire for the coming week.

Topics:floods, emergency-planning, rainfall, cairns-4870, cooktown-4895, townsville-4810

First posted February 14, 2015 13:02:13

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Updated February 14, 2015 13:17:46

Tens of thousands of people are again lining the streets of Perth to watch a giant marionette walk through the city as part of the Perth International Arts Festival.

The six-metre tall little girl giant is today continuing her search for a second giant, an 11-metre deep sea diver who has been resting outside the Perth train station.

The two figures are due to meet on Sunday at Langley Park and leave on a barge on the Swan River.

The performance, The Incredible and Phenomenal Journey of the Giants, attracted an estimated 180,000 people to the city on Friday, and bigger numbers are expected today.

The little girl giant is operated by a team of 25 people, pulling strings to make her limbs move.

Yesterday the girl travelled several city blocks before resting in a deck chair at Wellington Square and reading from a giant book.

The $5 million event is expected to draw in more than one million people over three days.

Information on finding and following The Giants is at Perth Festival website.

Topics:street-art, performance-art, perth-6000

First posted February 14, 2015 13:12:44

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