A McDonald’s restaurant has reportedly become one of the latest victims of Australia’s disastrous weather, with major flooding seeing supermarket shelves bare and fries disappearing from the menu.
The Northern Territory’s food shortage crisis has crippled businesses over the last week, with residents posting footage of empty supermarket shelves on social media, pleading for help.
The Territory has been soaked, with flooding forcing road closures and the destruction of parts of the Trans-Australian railway, dubbed the nation’s “umbilical cord”, stretching supplies.
The Bureau of Meteorology is warning the wet weather could continue throughout into Tuesday.
Meanwhile a part of the Stuart Highway remains under 470mm of water, stopping critical transport of supplies between Adelaide and the Northern Territory.
South Australia was also affected by massive floods last week which saw some locations receive over half their average rainfall in one day.
“The rainfall received in the area was a 1 in 100 / 200-year event,” Anthony Meere, the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) General Manager said at the time.
Aircraft crew prepare to load supplies onto a supply plane in Adelaide. Picture: Sarah Reed/Getty Images
C-27J Spartan planes sit on the tarmac as they wait for supplies in Adelaide. Picture: Sarah Reed
It has become so devastating in South Australia the Defence Force has been called in to fly supplies to Coober Pedy, which has been cut off since last week.
Simple essential items including milk and meat were included in 20 tonnes of essentials that were flown out by the RAF on Monday — the first of four.
“The Royal Australian Air Force C-27J Spartans from No. 35 Squadron will transport food from Adelaide to the effected region which have been cut off after weeks of significant rainfall disrupted supply chains across the state,” Brigadier Graham Goodwin, Commander 9th Brigade said in a statement.
“The first flight left on Monday January 31, to deliver critical food items and the ADF is ready to support the effected community.”
“It seems to be a significant issue that if one railway or road is flooded, the whole Territory is basically isolated. How can we continue to grow if this keeps happening?” Mr Abbott said.
Speaking to the NT Country Hour, the Northern Territory Road Transport Association’s Executive Officer Louise Bilato told reporter Matt Garrick that some trailers had already been “dropped off” in the NT, while some have left Adelaide en route, which should arrive by the end of the week.
While some road trains from Adelaide have been diverted through NSW, some are also travelling directly from Brisbane.
But the diverted route means two more days of travelling time and more difficulty for drivers.
“The tricky thing is because it’s an extra two days of travelling time, you’re travelling through the back of NSW, the maximum speed is 90km/hr, it’s rough roads, there’s a lot of small townships that they have to slow at, it’s a very different ball game at the moment,” Ms Bilato said.
There are fears more rain events could block the roads that are left open, with one convoy on Saturday afternoon delayed for five hours. Thursday night saw some trucks stopped for 12 hours.
Six trucks had to move through 800mm of water simply to not be stuck at Fitzroy Crossing, a small town in the Kimberley region of Western Australia.
“It is looking very precarious,” Ms Bilato said.
However, she said as early as tomorrow afternoon residents could begin to see more food on the shelves.
“There’s probably an extra dozen, triple road trains coming from Brisbane with foodstuffs this week as well, I do know that a number of them arrived yesterday too, so that will start to trickle through.”
Learn to grow food with your community. Local seed shares and much more at Plow.tv