'Crocodiles are climbing trees... we've never seen anything like it' - Irish family forced to evacuate Queensland home in record flooding
- Irish family forced to abandon their Australian home due to severe flooding
- Parents fear they will be unable to get medication for their son, who suffers from epilepsy
- 'We got no warning at all to leave... everything happened so quickly' - Mick Doyle tells Independent.ie
An Irish family forced to abandon their Australia home due to severe flooding fear they will be unable to get medication for their son, who suffers from epilepsy, as there's no road access within five miles.
Father-of-three Mick Doyle, originally from Saggart, Dublin described how crocodiles are climbing trees to escape the gushing waters in Townsville, Queensland.
"We've never seen anything like this before," he said.
He and his wife Rachel have been living in Australia for over seven years and bought their first family home two years ago.
Now the Dubliner fears their house will be completely destroyed after they had to evacuate on Sunday.
His eldest child suffers from epilepsy and autism and they are worried about getting access to medication.
"We got no warning at all to leave... everything happened so quickly," Mr Doyle told Independent.ie.
"If we had left it another 20 minutes yesterday we wouldn't have made it out of our house.
"It's been really stressful. We fear everything will be destroyed when we go back. We brought the things that mean most to us but had to leave so much of our belongings behind.
"We've got three small kids, aged nine, four and two. Our eldest has epilepsy and it has been a massive upheaval for him. The other two kids think we're on holidays as we're staying with friends.
"The hospitals are closed and are only opening for emergency cases and there's no road access within five miles of where we are now. We're running low on medication for our son but we hope it will be okay and the rain will stop."
Queensland has been hit with its heaviest floods in a century after torrential rain poured over the weekend, while the south of Australia bakes in sizzling temperatures.
Hundreds of residents have already been evacuated after days of monsoon rains lashed on the region.
Crocodiles and snakes have been spotted in the water and people's driveways as army troops and police in boats have been searching for residents in need of help.
"The crocodiles don't like fast moving water so they've been climbing up trees," Mr Doyle said.
"We've never seen anything like this... we fear our cars are going to be gone when we get back. We haven't been able to get any sleep at all. I work as an electrician and was on call all week so it has been a difficult time.
"Because of the heat and the humidity we're worried our house will be covered in mould from the floor to the ceiling.
"We found out the hard way when we moved to Australia about rainy season and lost a lot of valuable stuff in our first year... we got things to dehumidify the rooms but we're worried that the dehumidifiers won't work this time round."
He said they had to leave family photographs behind and other "invaluable items".
Between 150mm and 200mm of rain fell across the weekend - equal to about a month's average rainfall.
Australia's tropical north expects heavy rains during the monsoon season at this time of the year, but the recent rainfall was far above normal.
Local authorities are deliberately flooding a number of areas after the record rainfall pushed a dam beyond capacity.
Dave Cullen of the North Queensland Irish Association said the rain "just hasn't stopped".
"The problem it’s just kept on raining... water is just gushing out as they had to open the floodgates of the dam."
Mr Cullen said the crocodiles in the water aren't the main fear.
"They are warning people about snakes and to be careful in pools of water, that's what's a danger for people," he said.
Vincent Meehan, from Co Leitrim, owns a Specsavers branch in the local Townsville shopping centre.
He had to send staff home after the centre was evacuated over the weekend.
Mr Meehan, who moved to Queensland in 2015 with his wife, described the chaos as he tried to stock up on food.
"We knew things were starting to get serious because the floods weren't going away," he said.
"We started to go down to the shops to try and get some food. There was barely anything left on the shelves. No meat, no bread, no bottled water. I was in the st ore for ten minutes and next minute there was an announcement asking all shoppers to leave. I couldn't even pay for the groceries... I went to another shop and the only meat left was dog meat."
Mr Meehan's house has luckily been unaffected but some of his friends haven't been so lucky.
"At least two of my friends had 20cm of water in their house. People might find it hard to believe that it comes on quickly but it does. It was raining the same level all week and there was nothing different and then all of a sudden it started to overspill.
"We're suffering a big loss of earnings now as we haven't been able to open Specsavers since Saturday morning. We have insurance but these things take a long time to pan out. We closed early on Thursday, Friday and Saturday and now we can't open as there's no power and we can't get an electrician to fix it".