6 Feb 2009

More flooding expected in Queensland

9:22 am on 6 February 2009

The army has been enlisted to help with flood relief in north Queensland.

Some 62% of the state is currently a disaster area - 35 shires are eligible for disaster relief. About one million square km are under water.

Rivers are still rising and the main roads around Townsville are cut.

The town of Ingham is the worst affected - it's been cut off for four days.

The ABC reports hundreds of houses are surrounded by water and residents are described as living in a swimming pool.

Helicopters are flying drums of fuel from Townsville. Troops there are on standby to help if needed.

State Premier Anna Bligh and Emergency Services Minister Neil Roberts will visit north Queensland on Friday.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd on Thursday pledged whatever federal assistance was needed. He told parliament the damage bill was $A100 million and rising.

More heavy rain is expected.

Ex-cyclone Ellie brought nearly 400mm of rain in 24 hours on 1-2 February. The region was already under water from Cyclone Charlotte in January.