Water, fuel returning to Townsville
Thousands of weary north Queenslanders remain without power after the region was battered by Cyclone Yasi but fuel and water is becoming more available.
Much of Townsville was blacked out this morning and motorists were stranded without petrol for many hours.
We need power. We need electricity. We need it now.
However, service stations have reportedly been opening throughout the day and drivers can refuel vehicles.
Yasi in pictures
More Cyclone Yasi destruction. Photo: @BiancaMae_xx
A spokesman for Caltex said several petrol stations had reopened in Townsville and more in the region would after safety checks had been completed.
"Caltex is re-opening sites only once it is safe to do so," he said.
"This work is also dependent on the restoration of electricity supply to affected areas.
"Priority is always given to supplying fuel to emergency service vehicles. Some sites have been reserved for this purpose."
Telstra says 70,000 customers remain without landline telephone services in the region struck by Cyclone Yasi.
A spokesperson for Ergon Energy said power had been restored to critical infrastructure in Townsville, such as water treatment plants and hospitals.
“We have a lot of substations connected but we have to go through and make sure everything is safe before connecting up homes," he said.
Townsville’s airport reopened this morning for military and defence aircraft helping with the recovery.
That will be expanded to passenger services tomorrow, but airport authorities said flights may still be limited.
Several families who fled their homes ahead of Yasi's arrival were stranded on the Bruce Highway with dwindling fuel supplies.
The towns of Ayr and Home Hill ran out of fuel on Wednesday, as residents from Cairns to Townsville fled south.
Mr Jelfs and his family made it past a section of the Bruce Highway blocked by fallen powerlines at Julago, south of Townsville, after motorists banded together to build a rock bridge over a muddied ditch.
with Dan Nancarrow