3 Mar 2010

Queensland towns flooded, disaster zones declared

6:04 am on 3 March 2010

Water levels have dropped in the flood-hit Queensland towns of Charleville and Roma in south-west Queensland, but authorities warn the crisis is far from over.

A monsoonal low dumped more than 130mm of rain over parts of south-west Queensland on Monday night, the ABC reports.

About 220 people who left their homes overnight on Monday stayed at an evacuation centre at the Charleville showgrounds, while 700 others stayed with friends and family in Roma.

Both towns were declared disaster zones.

State Emergency Service volunteers ran out of sandbags in Roma, but the immediate danger posed by an expected second flood peak has passed.

Charleville's hospital was earlier evacuated, with about 30 patients taken to Brisbane hospitals and aged care facilities. The hospital was not flooded but was closed as a precaution.

Flood boats were out on the streets of Charleville, ferrying people from their flooded homes to the evacuation centres. Police were involved in a least two rescues.