Queensland, February 2000

Flood - North and Central Queensland

Quick Statistics

10 Injured
$12 million Insurance Costs

In February 2000, Queensland’s far north experienced heavy rainfall during three distinct wet periods. The first of these affected coastal catchments from Mackay to Ingham from early to mid-February, Then from mid-February, heavy rainfall occurred in the far western catchments, followed by Cyclone Steven in late February, which caused flooding from Ingham to Cooktown. 

Across the month of February, minor flooding occurred at Pioneer River, Burdekin River, Barron River, Paroo River and Gulf River. Moderate and/or major flooding occurred at Don River, Haughton River, Herbert River, Tully River, Bulloo River, lower Barron River, Thomson River, Barcoo River, Cooper Creek, Diamantina River and Georgina River/Eyre Creek.

The city of Cairns was also affected. Emergency services opened a disaster co-ordination centre after a record 208 mm deluge.. 

More than 3000 sandbags were distributed to Cairns residents and it was reported that around whilst 10,000 residents experienced blackouts.

Almost a third of Queensland was declared a natural disaster area by the State Government in the wake of the extensive flooding throughout northern, central and western Queensland.  In relative terms one out of three individuals were directly affected by the floods.

Wide spread floods caused damage to plantations, crops and infrastructure, which resulted in several large damage estimates.  This included $70 million to cane and banana industries along with $50 million to existing infrastructure. 

The Insurance Council of Australia estimated the 2000 damage at $12 million, with the 2011 estimated normalised cost of $30 million.

Information Sources

Bureau of Meteorology, Queensland flood summary 2000-2009, website viewed 5 May 2011
Insurance Council of Australia, Historical disaster statistics, March 2012, website viewed 15 May 2011