Flood water has closed the Captain Cook Highway, cutting the road near the Cairns Kart Hire centre, between the Yorkeys Knob and Holloways Beach roundabouts.

The Department of Transport and Main Roads has advised the road is closed to all users and warned drivers against attempting to drive in flood waters.

All south bound traffic from the Yorkeys Knob, Smithfield and Trinity Park to the north will be diverted via the Cairns Western Arterial Road via Caravonica and Kamerunga.

Water over the road on the Captain Cook Highway between Yorkeys Knob and Cairns. PHOTO: Sharon Bucknall
Water over the road on the Captain Cook Highway between Yorkeys Knob and Cairns. PHOTO: Sharon Bucknall

Motorists are being warned to expect long delays.

There are also multiple reports of mudslides and debris on the Kuranda Range after heavy rains overnight, though at this stage the range remains open. Users are urged to drive to the conditions and with caution.

Water is over the rounabout connecting Kamerunga znd Brinsmead roads at the Freshwater.

Police have warned other low lying areas that traditionally flood due to heavy rain are expected to be closed throughout the day.

The majority of traffic in both directions along the Captain Cook highway at Ellis beach was blocked after a large tree had fallen across the road. PICTURE: JUSTIN BRIERTY
The majority of traffic in both directions along the Captain Cook highway at Ellis beach was blocked after a large tree had fallen across the road. PICTURE: JUSTIN BRIERTY

 

ROAD CLOSURES

  • The Captain Cook Highway between the Yorkeys Knob and Holloways Beach roundabouts
  • Mulligan Highway - Water over the road at McLeod River Bridge approximately 1 M over the crossing as of 6 am Monday.
  • Mossman/Mount Molloy road at Julatten.
  • Foxton Avenue, Mossman Daintree Road - Water over the Road at Foxton River Bridge
  • Bruce Highway at Cattle Creek Road near Ingham.
  • Kamerunga Road at the Freshwater roundabout due to flooding.
  • Ray Jones Drive at Portsmith - one inbound lane is closed - expect delays.
  • Kennedy Highway at the Kuranda lights is down to one lane - expect delays.
  • The MacAlister Range is down to one lane.

 

Qld wind map

 

Residents and businesses across Cairns and the Far North are bracing for more heavy rainfall after flash flooding caused chaos at the weekend.

Consistent rainfall is expected again today as well as the chance of a thunderstorm with possible heavy falls near the coast in the early morning.

Bureau of Meteorology duty forecaster James Pescott said the rain would then start to ease from late tomorrow.

Flooding in Dollisson St, Munanda. PICTURE: STEWART McLEAN
Flooding in Dollisson St, Munanda. PICTURE: STEWART McLEAN

He said the rain was somewhat related to Tropical Cyclone Nora, moving towards Cairns and developing into to a band of showers and thunderstorms.

"That band originated with Nora and is now sitting over Cairns and becoming stationary," he said.

 

 

 

 

Highest rainfall totals in the region from 9am to 5pm, yesterday (March 25)

Black Mountain 199mm

Mona Mona 187mm

Saddle Mountain 148mm

Cairns Airport 142mm

Myola 166mm

Hills Creek 156mm

Flaggy Creek 153mm

Brinsmead 106mm

Cairns Racecourse 105mm

 

Dennis Miles and co workers, block traffic in both directions along the Captain Cook highway at Ellis beach after a large tree had fallen across the road. PICTURE: JUSTIN BRIERTY
Dennis Miles and co workers, block traffic in both directions along the Captain Cook highway at Ellis beach after a large tree had fallen across the road. PICTURE: JUSTIN BRIERTY

 

Boxer Thomas Samuel doesnt mind the rain as he jogs along the Bruce Highway, Mount Sheriden. PICTURE: JUSTIN BRIERTY
Boxer Thomas Samuel doesnt mind the rain as he jogs along the Bruce Highway, Mount Sheriden. PICTURE: JUSTIN BRIERTY

Cafes and businesses in the city will also be on alert today after many experienced flash flooding up onto the pavement yesterday.

Rusty's Market was also forced to close from about 1.30pm due to flood waters making it unsafe for customers.

Rusty's markets shut down on Sunday after flood waters entered the area from Sheridan St. Stall holders packing up. PICTURE: STEWART MCLEAN
Rusty's markets shut down on Sunday after flood waters entered the area from Sheridan St. Stall holders packing up. PICTURE: STEWART MCLEAN

Stallholder Liz Pulverenti said her family had been attending the market for 30 years and had never seen flood waters get so high.

"We've never seen anything like this before … the water is up past our ankles," she said.

"Everything is up high so we haven't had any damage. It was raining pretty heavy throughout the day but the water came in all at once."

Rusty's markets shut down on Sunday after flood waters entered the area from Sheridan St. Alina Chang, 6, wades through the water as her stall holder parents pack up. PICTURE: STEWART MCLEAN
Rusty's markets shut down on Sunday after flood waters entered the area from Sheridan St. Alina Chang, 6, wades through the water as her stall holder parents pack up. PICTURE: STEWART MCLEAN

Market general manager Justin Welsh said he'd been in the Far North for about three years and hadn't seen such conditions.

"The drainage can't cope with the amount of water," he said.

"It came in from the street - it looks like a complete pool from where the cars are parked on the street right into the market.

"They're (stallholders) obviously disappointed because we have to close the makers and due to the flood conditions.

"Some people are suggesting it's too dangerous to pack up and will come back on Monday while others are pushing through but safety is the top priority."

 

 

Queensland satellite (rainfall)

 

 

 

 

 

SUNDAY: A SEVERE weather warning for damaging winds and heavy rainfall has been issued for people in parts of North Tropical Coast and Tablelands Forecast District.

A trough extends from Ex Tropical Cyclone Nora to the North Tropical Coast near Port Douglas and is expected to move south this evening and into tomorrow morning.

Flooding in Dollisson St, Munanda. PICTURE: STEWART McLEAN
Flooding in Dollisson St, Munanda. PICTURE: STEWART McLEAN

According to the Bureau of Meteorology, heavy rainfall that may lead to flash flooding and damaging wind gusts are expected along coastal regions tonight and into tomorrow morning.

Wind gusts in excess of 90km/h are possible.

Six hour totals of 100-200mm are likely with some locally heavier falls possible.

Currently the heviest rainfall is falling near Port Douglas and Babinda.

 

 

 

Black Mountain recorded 244mm in six hours to 3.20pm.

A flood watch is current for coastal catchments between Townsville and Cape Tribulation.

Locations which may be affected include Cairns, Port Douglas, Innisfail, Mossman, Gordonvale and Babinda.

 

 

 

EARLIER: THE Kuranda Range has reopened to one lane following landslides that caused rocks and debris to block lanes.

Traffic delays are expected for at least the next 30 minutes.

The Kuranda Range was temporarily closed on Sunday, March 25 after several landslides threw rocks and boulders onto the roadway. PICTURE: Diane Amory
The Kuranda Range was temporarily closed on Sunday, March 25 after several landslides threw rocks and boulders onto the roadway. PICTURE: Diane Amory

 

 

EARLIER: FLOOD waters are quickly rising across Cairns and the Far Northern region with motorists reminded to take the advice from authorities and If It's Flooded, Forget It.

Angela Willemsen says she could barely walk home after finishing work at Palm Cove about 12.30pm, after a rose quickly along Cedar Rd.

"I couldn't believe it," she said.

Ute braving floodwaters along Cedar Rd, Palm Cove. Photo: Angela Willemsen
Ute braving floodwaters along Cedar Rd, Palm Cove. Photo: Angela Willemsen

"It was right up over 1m, it may have even been deeper.

Cedar Rd, Palm Cove flooded. PICTURE: Robert Levin
Cedar Rd, Palm Cove flooded. PICTURE: Robert Levin

"Walking through was a bit scary, because there was a strong current."

She said she was amazed that some motorists had attempted to drive through the floodwaters.

"There was a big, white campervan that stalled going through," she said.

"The passengers all jumped out and went to the surf club to get beers."

 

 

 

 

EARLIER: Rusty's Markets has been forced to close after flash flooding filled the site on Grafton St. Stallholders are now working to pack up their produce.

Market general manager Justin Welsh said he started trying to get everyone out of the market from about 1.30pm.

"They're (stallholders) obviously disappointed because we have to close the makers and due to the flood conditions," he said.

"Some people are suggesting it's too dangerous to pack up today and will come back tomorrow while others are pushing through but we need to do what's safe for everyone."

 

Rusty's markets shut down on Sunday after flood waters entered the area from Sheridan St. Stall holders packing up. PICTURE: STEWART MCLEAN
Rusty's markets shut down on Sunday after flood waters entered the area from Sheridan St. Stall holders packing up. PICTURE: STEWART MCLEAN

 

EARLIER: Multiple landslides and trees down have caused the closure of the Captain Cook Highway between Oak Beach and Wangetti.

Douglas Shire Council has warned motorists there will be severe delays along the highway between Cairns and Port Douglas, due to the heavy downpour.

The council has also reported that Foxton Bridge in Mossman is expected to be underwater for at least several hours.

Flash flooding has also struck Cairns, with water pouring into Rusty's Markets on Grafton St, and there is reports of water on the road from Smithfield to Clifton Beach.

The Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) is urging motorists not to drive in flooded areas.

Rusty's markets shut down on Sunday after flood waters entered the area from Sheridan St. PICTURE: STEWART MCLEAN
Rusty's markets shut down on Sunday after flood waters entered the area from Sheridan St. PICTURE: STEWART MCLEAN

TMR is also working to get all vehicles off the Kuranda Range before completely closing it to all traffic in both directions.

Several rockslides and trees have come down on the range throughout the afternoon due to heavy rainfall.

 

Flash flooding reaches pavement where cafes are on Grafton St, Cairns. Photo: Simon Stephenson
Flash flooding reaches pavement where cafes are on Grafton St, Cairns. Photo: Simon Stephenson

 

 

EARLIER: The Kuranda Range has been temporarily closed after several landslides have thrown rocks and boulders onto the roadway.

Motorists are expected to experience delays while emergency service crews work to clear the debris.

One of the falling rocks has also come down onto a car that had been travelling on the range. No injuries are reported.

 

 

 

Rainfall totals of up to 300mm are expected in some parts of the Far North until tomorrow with the wet weather showing no sign of slowing down.

Since 9am today more than 100mm has been recorded in some areas, including 105mm at Mona Mona, 100mm at Black Mountain, 95mm at Myola and 87mm at Flaggy Creek.

 

Boxer Thomas Samuel doesnt mind the rain as he jogs along the Bruce Highway, Mount Sheriden. PICTURE: JUSTIN BRIERTY
Boxer Thomas Samuel doesnt mind the rain as he jogs along the Bruce Highway, Mount Sheriden. PICTURE: JUSTIN BRIERTY

 

While Cairns has just 41.1mm so far, that's expected to continue to rise throughout the afternoon and evening.

"It's definitely going to continue on with a similar amount of rainfall if not increase into this afternoon and into tomorrow morning," Bureau of Meteorology duty forecaster James Pescott said.

"Monday is much of the same and easing off into the second half of Tuesday ... and beyond that it will ease off."

 

Mr Pescott said the consistent rain was somewhat related to Cyclone Nora, but had further developed due to a band of showers and thunderstorms.

"That band originated with Nora and is now sitting over Cairns and becoming stationary," he said.

 

 

 

In the last 24 hours Daintree Village had received 185mm and Kowanyama Airport has recorded 128mm.

Flood warnings have been issued for the Russell, Daintree and Mossman rivers, Cooper Creek, Upper Thomson and Upper Barcoo rivers, and the Tully and Murray rivers.