Snakes Hamper Clean-up Efforts In Cyclone Ravaged Areas

It seems Cyclone Debbie is still delivering the Whitsunday region some surprises – this time of a more slithery kind.

RACQ CQ Rescue is urging residents to be cautious as they clean up their homes and yards following the severe weather event after airlifting two people with snake bites on Saturday.


A 12-year-old girl and a 60-year-old woman were airlifted to Mackay Base Hospital from Proserpine within hours of each other after both were bitten by unidentified snakes in their homes.

RACQ CQ Rescue pilot Greg Webb said the young girl was believed to be reaching into a cupboard for a towel at her home in Proserpine late yesterday when she was bitten on the hand by an unknown species of snake.

She was taken to Proserpine hospital by her mother and RACQ CQ Rescue landed just after 10 pm to transfer them both to Mackay Base Hospital for monitoring and treatment.

The Mackay-based rescue helicopter had visited the hospital only hours earlier to collect another patient from Silver Creek who had also been bitten by a snake.  RACQ CQ Rescue delivered the 60-year-old woman to Mackay Base Hospital about 6 pm so she could undergo treatment.

As the clean-up continued across the Whitsundays following the devastation caused by Cyclone Debbie, Mr Webb urged residents to be wary of vermin that may have taken up residence in damaged sheds and houses.

“The increased risk of snakes, rats and spiders is very common after flooding so residents should be extra vigilant when cleaning up their homes and removing debris and green waste from their yards,” Mr Webb said.

“Snakes are definitely among the wildlife being found in all sort of places after they’ve been washed out into the open after the cyclone, so be on the lookout as they can turn up in some very unlikely places and give you a very nasty surprise,” Mr Webb said.

RACQ CQ Rescue completed three tasks yesterday across the region also transferring a woman with a severe medical condition from Collinsville to the hospital in Mackay early yesterday.