MASS evacuations will be carried out in Emerald with floods expected to hit 80 per cent of the inland Queensland town tomorrow.
This morning, flood levels in Emerald’s Nogoa River exceeded all previous records, rising beyond the 2008 level of 15.36 metres when almost 3000 people were forced from their homes.
The river had reached 15.4 metres by 6am this morning.
It’s expected to peak beyond all earlier expectations at 16.2 metres on Friday, and Central Highlands Mayor Peter Maguire said a dire scenario awaited the town.
About 200 people spent the night in evacuation centres in Emerald, with hundreds, possibly thousands, more expected to head to the safe havens on today, ahead of the flood peak.
“The best advice we have now is that 80 per cent of the town will have water around it, in it,” Mr Maguire told the ABC.
Residents have been warned to prepare their homes for evacuation and to know where to go when the waters start to rise. “It will rise quickly in the northern and western area in the next few hours,” Mr Maguire said in an alert to residents on the council website. “The local Disaster Management Group will be co-ordinating evacuations for those people identified as being at risk.”
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