Road damage may take years to repair: RACQ

Ex-Tropical Cyclone Debbie has left a trail of destruction across much of the State resulting in a transport lock-down for many regions in north and central Queensland.

Hundreds of roads have been cut, train services suspended and airports closed, with further damage expected to be revealed in the coming days.

Roads

RACQ spokesperson Renee Smith said wild weather and widespread flooding continued to cause damage to roads across the State.

“We always say ‘if it’s flooded, forget it’, but this message has never been more important,” Ms Smith said.

Ms Smith said the low-pressure system would continue to bring widespread rain and flooding across Queensland in the days to come, causing further damage to roads.

“With so much destruction, drivers won’t know what the road surface is like underneath the floodwaters – it could be washed out or in poor condition,” she said.

“1300km of Queensland coast is at risk of flooding so there’s likely to be further road damage long after the cyclone passes.

“Prolonged heavy rainfall can compromise the road foundations making the road surface susceptible to further damage like pot holes – this can be really dangerous to motorists.”

Ms Smith said the extent of the damage meant it could take years to repair.

“It might be years before the damage is repaired so we need to ensure the Queensland Government can get access to disaster funding as soon as possible – then we can get started on repairing vital infrastructure,” she said.

Motorists should also be aware traffic signals could also be affected with more than 63,000 homes in Mackay, Sarina, Airlie Beach and Proserpine without power.

Top four tips for motorists:

  • If it’s flooded, forget it!
  • Check for the latest road closure updates
  • Delay travel until later this week – conditions continue to change
  • When you do get back on the roads, be patient and allow extra travel time.

Rail

As the cyclone risk intensified on Monday and Tuesday, Queensland Rail terminated a number of long-distance services scheduled for north Queensland. Services have continued to be disrupted by weather conditions on Wednesday.

Air travel

Mackay Airport remained closed on Wednesday and Virgin Australia advised it had cancelled flights in and out of Hamilton Island, Mackay, Middlemount, Moranbah, Proserpine and Townsville on Tuesday.