Hundreds of anxious residents from St George in southern inland Queensland are being housed in Dalby on the state’s Western Downs until the worst of the floods are over.
About 350 St George residents, many of them children, are at the Dalby showgrounds, while another 40 displaced are being put up down the road at a Police Citizens Youth and Club.
The showground’s clubhouse is packed to capacity with mattresses lining the floors.
Lifeline councillors are on hand to help comfort those who have been forced to flee their homes while health officers are administering first aid and helping those who left behind prescription medicines.
More evacuees are continuing to register at the showgrounds and authorities expect the centre to be open for days.
Dalby Mayor Ray Brown expects more evacuees to come.
“Certainly we believe that there’s numbers of people that have stayed in the areas around Moonie and Westmar when they realised that it’s going to be several days before they’re let back in,” he said.
“Particularly when the flood peak has not gone through St George at this stage, then they’ll realise that the support mechanisms are in the evacuation centres.”
Councillor Brown says the hastily organised evacuation centre is running well.
“The community of Dalby obviously very appreciative of support that they were given just over a year ago and our community’s well aware of the need to assist people,” he said.
“They certainly rallied well last night and all our service clubs and community organisations rallied and are rallying here this morning.
“Some of these people have been here since 4:30am [(AEST] to get things organised.”
Meanwhile, an aged care executive says a number of nursing home residents are standing up well to the ordeal of being transferred from flood-stricken St George to the Gold Coast.
More than 30 residents are staying in Gold Coast nursing facilities while the flood crisis continues.
David Swain from Churches of Christ Care says it is a difficult time.
“If anyone’s flown in a Hercules, they’re not the most comfortable of planes so it was quite loud and quite hot and then some waiting at the Coolangatta airport as they were dispatched to the various homes,” he said.
“I think they’ve stood up to that remarkably well and there’s also the personal tragedies of knowing that the floodwater is rising and that’s affecting their family and their home indeed in St George.”