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NORTH Queensland could be cut off from the state’s south by road and rail from tomorrow until Saturday as flood levels peak in Rockhampton.
The state’s principal regional freight and passenger rail track, the North Coast line from Nambour to Cairns, remains closed between Rockhampton and Ayr.
The only way to transport freight over land this week has been by road, but now the Bruce Highway is facing flooding at the Fitzroy River.
The Bureau of Meteorology anticipate the river will peak at Rockhampton at 9m tomorrow, potentially cutting the highway until the weekend.
A Queensland Rail spokeswoman said more than 100 people were working around the clock to repair damage to the North Coast line.
“This unfortunately means that northbound freight trains are not able to travel north of Rockhampton until the track can be safely reopened,” the spokeswoman said.
Passengers on Spirit of Queensland services from Brisbane are being conveyed by road between Gladstone and Cairns and stops between, with travel not guaranteed due to changing road and weather conditions in coming days.
Rail freight company Aurizon was able to bring groceries for two major retailers to Collinsville on the weekend, with two trucks bringing supplies for local supermarkets after the town was cut off for four days.
The Flood Recovery Road Access Group, established by the Department of Transport and Main Roads and police, said it would work to “ensure delivery of essential provisions to affected areas” by issuing emergency permits to freight consignors and heavy vehicle transport operators in central and North Queensland.
This article first appeared on www.townsvillebulletin.com.au
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