The central Queensland town of Biloela is in the grip of the worst flood in many years, with an unknown number of homes and businesses flooded.
Banana Shire Mayor Ron Carige says he doesn’t yet know how many properties have been swamped by waters from the swollen Callide and Kroombit creeks, but the situation appears to be serious.
“We’re hearing reports of water through homes and businesses, that there’s more inundation in Biloela than’s ever been seen before,” he told AAP on Sunday.
He said access to the town was difficult.
“We’re trying to do road inspections at the moment, trying to get supplies into the supermarket.”
Mr Carige said the small rural community of Jambin, south of Rockhampton, had also been cut off, with its 45 or so residents forced to leave their homes and shelter in the local school.
He said it wasn’t yet clear if houses had also gone under there.
The floods could also prove dire for farmers in the shire, with particular fears from mung bean farmers, whose crops were ready for harvest.
“I’m just hoping a fair proportion of the mung beans had been taken off,” he said.
The efforts of emergency authorities have been hampered by communication problems, with mobile, landline and internet services working only intermittently, including at the shire’s Disaster Co-ordination Centre.
“Sometimes you’ll get a call, sometimes you won’t. We’ve had a couple of people actually walk in here, and tell us about the situation because they couldn’t get through to us,” Mr Carige said.
“In this day and age, you wonder what the hell’s going on.”