QUEENSLAND, Australia – Some Queenslanders didn’t take police warnings to stay out of flood waters very seriously — until a bull shark washed up in the street.
Northeastern Australia is still dealing with the aftermath of Cyclone Debbie, which swept across the Queensland coast on Tuesday, causing widespread damage with winds up to 114 mph.
It has since been downgraded to a low pressure system but is still moving slowly down the eastern coast, dumping many inches of rain.
No deaths have been recorded so far, but areas of southeast Queensland have been hit with extensive flooding.
Australian emergency services have repeatedly warned people to stay out of the flood waters, after photos and videos emerged of locals playing in flooded streets, and even doing some surfing.
The discovery of a huge dead bull shark in floodwaters near Ayr, just south of Townsville, is likely to give some residents pause.
The photo was taken by emergency service crews checking on flooded roads in the area. Queensland Fire & Emergency were among those to tweet out the discovery, saying, “Think it’s safe to go back in the water? Think again!”
Cyclone Debbie slammed into the Far North Queensland coast as a Category 3 cyclone, the most powerful to hit the region since Cyclone Yasi in 2011.
The International Space Station captured the swirling clouds in the hours before Debbie hit.
All schools in southeast Queensland were closed on Thursday and Friday as the storm continued its journey south.
Social media showed local children taking full advantage of the day off, swimming and playing in the heavy rain.
Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology said heavy rainfall is expected to continue for about the next 24 hours and some residents were preparing sandbags to avoid any further flood damage to their properties.
Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk called for residents affected by flooding and storms to stay indoors and reassured those already affected that help was on the way.