Woolworths photos show Aussie town's major struggle: 'Cannot survive'

Supermarket shelves in Queensland's Far North are bare as floodwaters close roads and prevent supplies getting to town.

Devastating photos have revealed the stark situation facing residents in Queensland’s Far North where entire towns have been cut off by floodwaters.

In a series of images posted to Facebook, one resident has captured barren shelves inside Woolworths at Mount Isa. In the produce section, fruit and vegetable stocks have been cleared while meat racks in the fridges also appear empty.

With roads flooded across the region, trucks are struggling to get in to replenish supermarket supplies. The town’s Coles supermarket is also facing the same issue with residents wiping out the selection of fruit and vegetables as well as milk and meat.

Empty fruit and vegetable shelves (left) and meat fridges (middle and right) at Woolworths in Mount Isa.
Photos reveal empty shelves and fridges at Woolworths in Mount Isa. Source: Facebook/Kayla-May Nielsen

“[It] goes to show [that] without trucks, towns cannot survive more than a week,” one person wrote.

“Got the last of the apples, last of the long life milk and some sultanas 'cause the girls needed them for school and breakfast tomorrow,” another said.

“Unfortunately that’s what floods do..” added someone else. “

While others online slammed “greedy” shoppers for panic buying.

“[I] hope everyone that over bought the stuff [that it] goes rotten before you use it, ya greedy b******s.” one person wrote.

“So much panic buying everyone has done, which is a joke,” someone else said.

Another also noted that there was extra pressure to feed the town with many of Burketown’s 150 flood evacuees being airlifted in.

Empty meat fridge (left) and milk friend (right) in Coles in Mount Isa.
Coles also said it had two semi-trailers full of groceries on standby and "ready to deliver as soon as access is made available". Source: ABC

Plans to replenish supermarket shelves

While residents wait for new stock, the supermarket giants are working to get operations moving.

“Due to road closures in and around Mount Isa, some of the regular delivery schedules and volumes for our local store have been impacted,” a spokesperson for Woolworths told Yahoo News Australia on Tuesday morning.

“There has been discussion today about the reopening of McKinlay Pass, and our teams have stock from Torrent Creek ready to deliver to Mount Isa, with further supplies from Townsville and Brisbane also being prepared.”

The spokesperson added that Woolworths will continue to work to get as much stock to the store as possible.

While Coles is also on standby.

“Last night the road near McKinlay opened briefly which allowed one semi-trailer worth of groceries to be delivered to Coles Mount Isa,” a spokesperson for Coles told the ABC on Monday. “The road has since closed, however there are two semi-trailers full of groceries stationed at Longreach ready to deliver as soon as access is made available.”

Record flooding in Queensland expected to ease

While seven flood warnings remain in place across Queensland, the Bureau of Meteorology says record major flooding is expected to ease at Burketown on the Albert River.

“Further showers and isolated thunderstorms are forecast for the next few days but widespread significant rainfall is not expected,” it said online.

“Based on anecdotal information from Burketown, the river level is expected to have peaked above the 2011 record flood level of 6.78 metres on Sunday.”

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