Mayor of flooded Qld town wants more rain

Nicholas McElroyAAP
St George Peter Goodwin knew his place would be flooded but is happy about the rain.
Camera IconSt George Peter Goodwin knew his place would be flooded but is happy about the rain.

The mayor of a Queensland region wants more rain despite homes there being evacuated due to flooding.

The Balonne River reached a peak of about 12.3m on Thursday at the drought-ravaged town of St George, about 500km west of Brisbane.

Now eyes are on areas downstream where flood waters are expected to peak at Dirranbandi, about 100km south, in the coming days.

The swollen river has cut off roads, isolating people in outlying towns.

Diesel generators have been working at all hours pumping water into private dams for farmland across the region.

But there are still some areas that resemble a dust bowl which need more rain, says Balonne Shire Mayor Richard Marsh.

"What we're looking at now is can we pick up some more rain for some of our more outlying properties that maybe haven't had enough," Cr Marsh said.

"But that'll come hopefully.

"We'll take one of these every 12 months if they'll throw it as us. I don't want anything much larger but this size is great."

He said the flooded river would eventually attract people back to the area.

"I can hear diesel pumps going when I go to bed at night and they're pumping into reservoirs and dams so they can then irrigate crop," Cr Marsh said.

"It puts some activity back into the community, it puts jobs back into the community, it puts productivity back into the community which is really important."

St George pensioner Peter Goodwin lives on the banks of the Balonne River and was never in doubt his house would flood.

"I do not have a worry at all, it won't get anywhere near me," Mr Goodwin told AAP.

"All rain is a good help, it's nothing to be nervous about, no one has been impacted a great deal that I know of."

Cr Marsh says floodwaters at Dirrinbandi tend to travel slower and spread out over a flood plain.

The river at the town is currently at about 5m, or about 0.2m below the bridge, says the weather bureau.

River levels are likely to peak at about 5.2m on Saturday night at the level of the Balonne Minor Bridge.

The Bureau of Meteorology says the water is expected to take several days, possibly weeks, to recede.

The excess water is expected to cross the border into northwest NSW by early March.

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