Floods caused by heavy rains have cut off several townships in Australia’s northeastern Queensland state and caused hundreds of millions of dollars in damage, the state’s premier said Sunday.
Premier Anna Bligh toured an affected community- St. George, a town of 2,800 people – where some residents evacuated to higher ground on Saturday, fearing a river would burst its levee.
“There’s been major cuts to highways, we have seen railway lines washed away,” Bligh said. “Without a doubt, this will be a damage bill in the hundreds of millions of dollars.”
Some 25 homes were flooded in St. George, but the town was spared further damage when the Balonne River peaked lower than expected overnight. But the river breached levees downstream, cutting off the townships of Thallon, Bollon and Dirranbandi in southwestern Queensland – the center of a major cotton-growing region.
Bligh said affected communities would be eligible for disaster funding.
Towns in the center of the state also flooded last week, as continuous rains overpowered drainage systems and caused rivers to overflow their banks.
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