Homes evacuated as Qld flood water rises

Michael DoyleAAP
Residents of St George in south-western Queensland are expecting the Balonne River to peak over 12m.
Camera IconResidents of St George in south-western Queensland are expecting the Balonne River to peak over 12m.

Floodwaters in a rural Queensland town have shut a main highway and are expected to continue rising throughout the week.

About 35 homes are threatened by floodwaters in the town of St George, about 500km west of Brisbane.

Residents of four of the homes have already evacuated with the others intending to stay until the power is cut.

The Balonne River, which runs through the town, is expected to peak at about 12.5m on Thursday.

Waters have risen to about 11m and are running over the Andrew Nixon bridge, which connects communities in regions west of St George.

The flood peak is expected to stay until Friday before slowly falling, says council Mayor Richard Marsh.

"As water recedes over the weekend, the highway and any flooded roads will remain closed until they are inspected and deemed safe to reopen," he said.

But as the southwest Queensland town of St George prepares for floods, drought stricken farmers just down the road have barely received a drop of rain.

Farmer Sandy Southern has been cut off but she's still hoping for more rain in a region that has been in drought since 2013.

Her 33,000 acre property has received less than 70mm in the past two months while neighbouring farms have got up to 200mm.

"If you go five kilometres east of our driveway it is beautiful green grass. You come back to our place and it is desert," Mrs Southern told AAP.

"We haven't had the yearly-average rainfall since 2011."

The river flooding is expected to hit the town of Dirranbandi - about 100km south of St George - on Friday.

Brendan Sweeting, who is manager of The Dirran Pub, said there is a positive attitude around the town which has been crippled by drought in recent years.

"They are all pretty upbeat here because it has been so dry for so long," Mr Sweeting told AAP.

He said farmers are now talking about what they are going to plant, rather than wondering when rain will come.

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails