Even though Charleville and Roma are officially in drought, hundreds of people have been forced to flee rising flood water in both towns.
The two towns have now had disaster situations declared meaning that evacuation orders can now be enforced and government aid payments can begin. Bradley’s Gully, which runs through the town of Charleville, continues to rise which could see as many as tow thirds of properties in the town flooded.
Emergency services anticipate that as many as 500 Charleville residents will need to be evacuated from their homes by Tuesday evening, while in Roma about a hundred families have already been evacuated with rising water levels also a concern.
Quilpie, an opal mining town to the west of Charleville, has already had close to its yearly average rainfall in just the last three days. Since 2002, Quilpie has been officially declared in drought, whilst Charleville and Roma have been the same since 2003 and 2005 respectively.
Heavy rain has also been experienced in the south east corner of Queensland, causing localised flooding in Brisbane and on the Gold and Sunshine Coasts. The Bureau of Meteorology is maintaining flood warnings for the south-west of the state and of flooding and damaging winds in along the coast from the Gold Coast north to Hervey Bay.
The cause of the downpours is a monsoonal low that has dumped as much as 165mm across the southwest. There is also another low sitting around Fraser Island that has compounded the situation.
Warnings not to cross flooded roads went unheeded on Tuesday causing several people to need rescuing. Fast flowing waters near the Warrego Highway caused a car to flip on to it’s side, with the occupants of the vehicle, a woman and a child, plucked to safety by emergency services.
Another woman was rescued from flood waters in Roma, and emergency crews managed to save a 54 year old man which was found clinging to a tree near Townsville when his car became inundated, fortunately no one in these cases has been seriously hurt.
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