Disaster officials yesterday defended their decision not to forcibly move stranded residents - with 1,100 people assisted to relocate at the height of catastrophic flooding - despite special powers granted to police under a disaster declaration.
Queensland Fire and Emergency Services Commissioner Katarina Carroll said it was impossible to know how many homes had gone under across the city. "Cannot stress it enough to stay out of the water".
Ergon Energy's spokesperson Emma Oliveri told the AFP that more than 16,000 people were without power, with the supplier unable to say when the lights will come back on.
Queensland state Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said that it had been a "really testing night for a lot of people", and unfortunately the strain was likely to continue with extreme weather and flood warnings still in place for many communities.
The authorities were forced to open floodgates at a dam near the city of Townsville late on Sunday, unleashing a torrent that threatened to swamp thousands of homes - many already affected after days of heavy rain.
"We've never seen so much water in our lives", said local radio journalist Gabi Elgood.
The premier said a recovery centre was opened in Townsville as food and other supplies are on their way on the re-opened Bruce Highway.
That order sparked warnings that 21 suburbs could see flash flooding, including high velocity flows that could kill people.
Palaszczuk also warned residents not to be outside their homes or out on the roads if not necessary.
Townsville is a major port in northern Australia and one of the country's top exporters of copper, zinc, lead, and sugar.
February 2019's PlayStation Plus Games Revealed
As Sony revealed past year , free PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita games will no longer be coming to PS Plus following March 8. On PS3, members can download Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots .
There's more water coming, make steps to keep yourself safe.
"Last night it was insane", he said.
Aitkenvale on Monday, but their families say they have not heard from them. We don't want to get to that stage [but] we can't control that, ' Munro said.
Reports suggest 2000 properties have been affected by flooding, with vehicles also damaged.
Australia's tropical north experiences heavy rains during the monsoon season this time of the year, but the recent downpour has surged far above normal levels.
NRL player Kalifa Faifai Loa helps Danielle Josey and Lyndon Josey remove valuable belongings from their home in Idalia, Townsville.
A staggering 1.8 metres of rain has fallen on Upper Blue Water over the past seven days, but the Bureau of Meteorology was not able to immediately confirm if that might be an all-time record for Australia.
"Residents still in their homes in these suburbs should move to the highest ground in their dwelling".
BoM Meteorologist Adam Blazak said waterspouts or tornadoes develop in severe thunderstorms of the monsoonal trough.
The Queensland Police tweeted: "Schools from Halixfax, Townsvile & Giru that were closed on Friday will remain closed tomorrow".