Ross Dam spillway gates to be opened further

Date published: 1 February 2019

Authorities will further open the Ross River Dam spillway gates to try and prevent more significant flooding for downstream suburbs if this major rain event continues.

The spillway gates will be opened to a higher level, allowing more water to flow out now in order to reduce the potential for significant downstream flooding given the forecast for heavy rain to continue for the next few days.

Residents in areas such as Rosslea, Railway Estate, South Townsville, Idalia and Oonoonba should prepare their homes for potential inundation – which includes sand bagging and moving items to higher ground.

Police and the State Emergency Service will be doorknocking homes in the affected areas to notify residents. Residents are urged to have a plan if their homes become inundated.

Council crews will also be doing targeted sandbagging to protect homes in the area.

The Australian Defence Force will be assisting with the sandbagging effort.

Townsville Local Disaster Management Group (TLDMG) Chair Mayor Jenny Hill said all on-ground conditions, rainfall predictions and data were being constantly monitored.

“The TLDMG is totally focused on ensuring the appropriate response to this big rain event that our community has been dealing with,” Cr Hill said.

“Our expert staff believe the most prudent course of action is to release more water from the dam now, to reduce the risk of significant flooding if this heavy rain continues or gets worse.

“This monsoonal low is dumping huge amounts of rain across our community and we want to keep residents safe.”

Cr Hill encouraged residents to listen to safety warning and prepare their homes and consider leaving their property to find higher ground, if necessary.

“It’s really important that residents listen to emergency services or Council employees because they are working hard to ensure your safety,” Cr Hill said.

“We’re no strangers to big wet events in the North but this is one of the most significant rain events Townsville has had in many years.

“Please use common sense and stay safe.”

For more information about the weather event, road closures and flood warnings, residents should visit Council’s Emergency Management Dashboard at