Floods in Queensland worst on record
The Queensland city of Bundaberg was still swamped by the worst flood on record last night and more than 7,000 people were unable to return to their homes.
The Burnett river at Bundaberg peaked at 9.53m (31ft) at 7pm local time last night. The remaining patients in Bundaberg hospital were removed yesterday, with 97 of them airlifted by the Australian air force to the state capital, Brisbane, 300km away.
Yesterday’s peak in Brisbane was not as high as the authorities had feared, but drinking water in the city is running out because treatment plants have been affected by muddy floodwater. Queensland premier Campbell Newman has warned some areas may run out of drinking water unless residents immediately cut back.
Brisbane’s lord mayor, Graham Quirk, asked people to use water as sparingly as they did during the years of drought last decade. Across the border in New South Wales, there are flood warnings for 14 rivers and parts of the state have been declared disaster zones.