Supermarkets across Queensland and NSW are fast running out of supplies.
Flooded transport routes have made the situation "worse than COVID", according to a shopper outside the flood zone.
Woolworths has introduced purchase limits on a range of categories in regions of Queensland whose supply lines have been impacted by road and rail closures.
The move follows several days of heavy rainfall and flooding, which has caused extensive road closures in different parts of Queensland.
A freight train derailment at Traveston near Gympie has compounded the supply challenge.
This is affecting the volume of freight moving around the state.
Woolworths general manager (Queensland) Danny Baldwin said: "The loss of key transport links because of flooding will regrettably have an impact on product availability in different parts of Queensland".
"We've placed temporary purchase limits on selected categories in affected stores to help ensure more customers have access to food and essentials while we work through this period of disruption.
"We have transport contingency plans in place and will do everything we can to safely get stock into our stores via alternative road routes.
"We encourage customers to be mindful of others in the community and only buy what they need. We thank customers for their patience and understanding."
From Tuesday March 1, Woolworths has introduced the following purchase limits on the products listed below in-store and online.
Two pack limit - Paper Towels, Facial tissues, Flour, Rice, Long Life Milk, Fresh Milk, Mince, Sausages, Chicken breasts, Chicken thighs, Medicinal (Paracetamol/Ibuprofen/Aspirin).
One pack limit - toilet paper, bulk or multipack still water.
The limits apply in the following stores:
Atherton, Cairns, Cairns Central, Earlville (Cairns), Mossman, Mount Sheridan, Raintrees (Cairns), Redlynch Smithfield (Cairns), Weipa, Castletown (Townsville), Hermit Park, Ingham, Innisfail, Mission Beach, North Shore Townsville, Townsville City Arcade, Vincent, Ayr, Bowen, Charters Towers, Fairfield Central (Townsville), Kirwan, Mt Isa, Nathan Plaza, Riverway Plaza, The Avenues, Willows (Townsville), Airlie Beach Central, Andergrove, Caneland (Mackay), Cannonvale, Marian, Mount Pleasant (North Mackay), Ooralea, Proserpine, Rural View Mackay, Sarina, Walkerston, Allenstown (Rockhampton), Blackwater, Emerald, Emerald East (Central Highlands), Gracemere, North Rockhampton, Northside Plaza (Rockhampton North), Parkhurst, Yeppoon, Bargara, Biloela, Boyne Island, Bundaberg, Childers, Gladstone Valley, Kinkora (Gladstone), Kirkwood and Sugarland (Bundaberg).
The severe weather has forced a number of stores to close or reduce opening hours over the past 48 hours as well.
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