Authorities were forced to open the gates at the Ross River dam on Sunday evening to lower water levels - releasing up to 1,900 cubic metres of water a second.
The Australian Defence Force delivered 70,000 sandbags, deployed amphibious cargo vehicles and helped rescue residents from rooftops after some areas received a year's worth of rainfall in a week.
"The record rainfall and flooding has led to communities being isolated, livestock washed away, power loss, landslips and damage to essential public assets", Minister Crawford said. "You think there can't possibly..." As per reports, the water is full of snakes in the affected regions.
Linda Reynolds, who has responsibility for Commonwealth disaster assistance, said the Commonwealth and Queensland governments continued to work together to support ongoing recovery efforts as the flooding continues.
Authorities are begging locals to listen to emergency services as they're faced with at least another 24 hours of heavy rain and potential for flash flooding.
Schools in Townsville remain closed and a decision will be made early on Monday about whether to reopen the city's airport after all flights were cancelled late on Sunday.
About 100 homes were evacuated near the bulging Ross River dam as water was released, but it was back up to 216 per cent capacity by Saturday evening. "What do you have to do to make people move?"
Hughie Morton, 21, and Troy Mathieson, 23, were last seen on Ross River Road in Townsville on Monday morning.
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The flooding has begun to spread inland to drought stricken western Queensland where grazier Cameron Kennedy said a week ago he was desperately praying for rain - now he wants is for it to stop.
Risky wildlife could also be a threat to residents with snakes and crocodiles spotted using floodwaters to enter suburban environments.
At Hughenden, properties are facing inundation and the forecast is for more major falls out there, as far as Mount Isa near the Northern Territory border. On Sunday, the figure was between 400 and 500.
The premier said the dam had been been managed well, and the council did what it had to do.
Up to 20,000 homes could be flooded if the downpours continue, officials warn.
"I've never seen anything like this", Townsville resident Chris Brookehouse told national broadcaster ABC, adding that his house was flooded with water more than 1m deep.
"That water needs to go somewhere. You can't say you weren't warned that something could happen", she said.