'Oh My God She's Alive': Family's Beloved Cow 'Sparkle' Swept Out To Sea
Wet season rains put an entire North Queensland town underwater on Wednesday -- and sent some precious belongings out to sea.
Among the items lost or damaged in Bluewater, Townsville, were shipping containers, tractors and a quad bike after more than 200mm of rain fell in just three hours, flooding homes and properties across the area.
But one there was one thing which caught the attention of social media users: Sparkle.
"We have just rescued a young cow from the ocean near the mouth of Bluewater Creek," a resident posted on a local Facebook group with a photo of a black and white cow which had been dragged out to sea.
Sparkle is just one of nine cows belonging to Lizzie Emslie's family -- all of which were caught out in the flash flood.
"On the way home I saw the Facebook post but I thought they'd all been swept away because it just came and went so quickly," she told 10 daily.
"I just said to my husband 'oh my god she's alive'... it's absolutely phenomenal the distance that she travelled, it blew me away."
The cow is almost a family pet and a big hit with the family's three children, Emslie explained.
Thanks to the kindness of neighbours, she was luckily rescued right at the point when she was exhausted and "had nothing left".
Along with Sparkle, five others found their way home after the incident -- Blacky, Whitey, Fearless, Bluewater and Shelley.
But missing still are Emslie's husband's favourites: Mrs McNasty, Flower and Orphan.
"They could turn up," Emslie said.
"They may have floated out to sea, we just don't know."
The six cows which have been located are all safe and happy to be back together, but Emslie said they likely won't be completely settled until the rain stops.
With three or four more days of torrential rain expected in the state's north, however, this isn't going to happen soon.
Residents south of Townsville have been told to move to higher ground as the monsoon trough continues to dump cast amounts of rain.
Townsville's Ross River Dam is at 129 per cent capacity, forcing operator SunWater to partially open its spill gates and an evacuation centre had reopened in Bluewater to help residents whose homes were flooded on Wednesday.
Six schools remain closed in areas affected by the deluge.