Beer truckies stranded in flooded North Queensland

Beer truckies stranded in flooded North Queensland

A beer truck has been stranded in Longreach as heavy rain continues to fall in North Queensland.

Truckie Michael Patch was heading to Darwin earlier this week with his precious cargo when flooded roads prevented him from travelling north.

He told ABC News it’s likely the beer will be stuck there for a week or more.

“They’ll be all thirsty up there,” he said.

About 25 trucks are delayed in the Queensland town, as flooded roads prevent them from travelling north. Meanwhile, hundreds of truckies were stranded at Charters Towers after the Burdekin River burst its banks.

In some towns there has been a silver-lining to the situation, with Woolies and Coles donating stranded perishables to hungry locals. Walkabout Creek Hotel publican said Frank Wust told The North Queensland Register: “The Woolies and Coles trucks were going to Darwin and they reckoned the food would be out of date before they got there now, and they would have had to write it off.

“There’s packaged steak, chicken pieces, you name it – it’s just like everything you’d see on the shelves in a supermarket.”

Ironically, however, the pub’s beer resupply truck was stranded at Winton.

“We’ll just drink something else when the beer runs out,” Wurst said.

Coles chartered a plane to Cairns on Sunday to bring supplies to the region.

A Coles spokeswoman told the Cairns Post half the load would be trucked to Townsville on “recently reopened roads”.

“We are also investigating alternative delivery routes with trucks from Adelaide and Darwin on the roads to deliver to other flood-impacted areas of Far North Queensland,” they added.

The one-in-100-year weather event is far from over with the Bureau of Meteorology warning more heavy rain is likely from Palm Island, north of Townsville, south to Mackay today.

Woolworths had five delivery trucks en route to Cairns parked in Ingham over the weekend waiting for tidal flooding to subside.

“Road situations have been challenging and we are looking at every avenue possible to get stock into our stores …” Woolworths Northern Queensland operations manager Tina Anandji said.

It secured a barge in Mackay and fillled it with 300 tonnes of groceries while also chartering two planes.

Both supermarkets are expected to charter more planes over the next few days to ensure supplies to affected towns. 

A Carlton & United Breweries spokesman told NT News its beers were still able to travel to Darwin, so thirsty Darwinites shouldn’t be too afraid.

In other tragic news, two men drowned in a stormwater drain earlier this week in Townsville. Police who had been searching for the men after an attempted break-in at a nearby Dan Murphy's liquor store at 3am on Monday.


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