14 Feb 2009

Tricky repair job amid floods and crocs

12:42 pm on 14 February 2009

A remote town in north Queensland needs fresh water. But flooding and crocodiles prevent the repair of a broken water main for the people of Karumba.

The pipeline from Normanton has burst and fresh water will run out in as little as three days.

The pipeline is two metres under water and can't be fixed until the floodwaters in the Gulf of Carpentaria drop, which is not likely until next month.

A portable water treatment plant is being flown in. Carpentaria Shire Council chief executive Mark Kelleher said the plant should be installed over the weekend.

Drops of food supplies continue to be made by air or transported by barge to Normanton, Croydon and other isolated communities in the Gulf which expect to be cut off by road for at least another six weeks.