Two people missing as floods and heavy rain continue to ravage Townsville

Seen is a general view of the flooded Townsville suburb of Idalia on Monday Feb. 4 2019 in Townsville Australia. Ian Hitchcock  Getty Images

A severe weather warning was issued at 4.54am Monday for damaging, locally destructive winds and more heavy rainfall for Townsville, Herbert and the Lower Burdekin.

About 305mm of rain was dumped over the Ross River Dam catchment on Sunday, pushing it to a record 244 per cent full. This setting will release approximately 1900 cubic metres of water per second out of the dam.

Emergency crews have been stretched to the limit in flood-hit Townsville, with hundreds of people still waiting for help and evacuation centres filling up fast.

"We have not been in this situation before", Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC).

Military troops in inflatable Zodiac boats are rescuing hundreds of people trapped in homes hit by the unprecedented flash flood in a huge rescue operation unfolding in the city.

Deputy Commissioner Bob Gee urged residents to register their safety so family and friends knew they were safe.

"It's a little bit scary because when it floods in Townsville, the crocs get into the water".

Emergency services have struggled to respond to the scale of the disaster, with more than 1,100 people calling for help and 18 "swift water rescues" conducted overnight.

"We are now sitting on the side of the highway in the cab of his truck and other stranded people are in the back of his B double trailers".

Following record breaking heatwave, Australia is now enduring 'once in a century' floods
Townsville floods: Crocodiles in the streets as floodgates open in Queensland

Schools and courts remain closed, more rain and high winds are on the way and emergency warnings still in effect for more than a dozen rivers. Grocery store chain Woolworths said it was sending in food supplies by barge, while supermarket chain Coles was flying stocks into Cairns and trucking them to Townsville.

Despite these efforts, by Monday morning, the dam has held over 500,000 gigaliters of water which represents its 229 percent capacity.

Queensland police said spillway gates may be opened fully and warned residents to stay away from riverbanks and move to higher ground.

Up to 2000 properties in the state of Queensland may have been affected by flooding and residents are afraid of hungry crocodile coming inside their inundated homes.

Townsville Mayor Jenny Hill praised the plucky spirit of locals and urged the 185,000-strong community to "hang tough".

Risky and unpredictable conditions with the potential for more flash flooding are expected to continue for at least the next 24 hours.

Her calls were echoed by Andrew Gissing, General Manager of Resilience at Risk Frontiers - who said warnings were in place for good reason.

The Bureau of Meteorology said a slow-moving monsoonal trough was sitting above northern Queensland state, with some areas expected to receive more than a year's worth of rain before conditions ease.

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