Weather bureau’s warnings ‘way off’ for flood
THE Bureau of Meteorology has been slammed for "woeful" forecasts during Townsville's horrific flood event.
Member for Burdekin Dale Last told The Courier-Mail he thought the accuracy of some of the forecasts was "way off", after BOM predicted heavy rain for his home at Alligator Creek for Monday.
However he received "bugger all".
"Monday we were supposed to get heaps of rain (at Alligator Creek), that was the prediction," he said.
"There's a fair bit of flack hitting the bureau."
The rain-sodden city continued its cleanup yesterday as more residents made their way home to assess the devastation.
Mops and brooms were used to push mud out front doors as yards were piled high with ruined furniture and appliances.
Townsville is bracing for more rain today and tomorrow, with a low-pressure system that was sitting over Julia Creek and Mount Isa yesterday now moving towards the coast.
A Federal Government spokesman defended the bureau's work, and said it had received resounding praise from all levels of government.
"Monsoonal systems such as this one are unpredictable and difficult to forecast, but BOM is proud of the efforts of its meteorologists, hydrologists and many other staff who have worked around the clock to keep Australians safe," he said.
Mayor Jenny Hill said there were local BOM forecasters who had been affected by the floods.
"Look, BOM have given us the best that they can," she said.
"You can always look back with hindsight and think maybe we should have done these things better.
"We will do a lessons learnt out of that and hopefully then we will implement improvements based out of that lessons learnt."
Townsville Airport received just 8mm yesterday, while 14mm was recorded at Woodlands alert next to the Ross River Dam.
Bureau of Meteorology meteorologist Adam Blazak said today would be "tricky".
"(The low is) going to move off the coast on Thursday to Friday, it'll be taking with it all the weather but as it goes there will be increased chance of rain activity," he said.
"That will be a bit of test."
Showers were last night forecast to fall over the dam's catchment as well. As of 6pm last night, the dam had fallen to 186.8 per cent.
But while sun is forecast for the region on Saturday, residents are being warned they're not out of the woods just yet.
Affected residents are also being encouraged to lodge their insurance claims as quickly as possible, with Opposition Leader Bill Shorten calling for anyone with concerns to contact his office.
"I dealt with them (companies) … in hand-to-hand combat over the Brisbane floods where they were relying on technical definitions of floods to get out of paying insurance," he said.
"Recently I was down in Proserpine - some of the insurers are still dragging their feet (over Cyclone Debbie claims). We will invite people who are having concerns with their insurance claims to contact us."
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Scott Morrison yesterday announced changes to his Government's $1000 disaster relief eligibility following public pressure.
"People in Townsville are now eligible for the Federal Government's Disaster Recovery Payment if water has gone over floorboards in their house," he said on Twitter.
"That's all, 25 per cent rule gone."
People previously had to have received damage to 25 per cent of their primary place of residence following a disaster.
Eight more schools in the Townsville region will also reopen today.