/North NSW facing worst floods in 35 years! Thousands of residents in northern NSW are bunkered down in evacuation centres, as the worst floods in over 35 years hit the region.Across NSW, more than 12,000 people were isolated by rising floodwaters on Thursday as heavy rainfall lashed the state, sparking 13 flood warnings.Evacuation operations continued in and around Moree late on Thursday afternoon, with about 2300 residents rushing to sandbag their homes and leave before darkness fell. /
/ Qld towns face floods as rivers rise. One southwest Queensland town is flooding and another eight are on flood alert, with more heavy rain predicted. /
/ Evacuations ordered in NSW north as waters rise. Authorities have ordered the evacuation of more than 2,000 people in north-western New South Wales, as floodwaters continue to rise /
/More floods ahead for western Qld towns, Southern inland Queensland is facing more serious flooding, potentially worse than 2010's record inundation! /
/ Queensland town braces for worst flood.A REGIONAL Queensland town is enduring its worst ever flood and eight more are bracing as the deluge in the state's sodden southeast shows no sign of letting up1!!/
North NSW facing worst floods in 35 years
Thousands of residents in northern NSW are bunkered down in evacuation centres, as the worst floods in over 35 years hit the region.
Across NSW, more than 12,000 people were isolated by rising floodwaters on Thursday as heavy rainfall lashed the state, sparking 13 flood warnings.
Evacuation operations continued in and around Moree late on Thursday afternoon, with about 2300 residents rushing to sandbag their homes and leave before darkness fell.
Helicopters descended on nearby Pallamallawa to airlift some of its 600 flood-stricken residents to safety, with the Gwydir river expected to peak there at 6pm (AEDT).
NSW SES deputy commissioner of operations Steven Pearce said the Pallamallawa operation was challenging.
"But we are very confident we will get everyone to safety," he told AAP.
At Moree, both the Mehi and Gwydir rivers were predicted to peak on Friday morning, matching or exceeding the 10.6m levels reached in the February 1976 flood.
"We're looking at water up to the knees (in some areas)," Moree Mayor Katrina Humphries said in a statement urging affected residents to leave their homes.
About 1600 Moree residents and 80 people from Biniguy were expected to evacuate to south Moree evacuation centres before dark, when the main bridge at Moree would be closed and the town split in two.
"Everyone is really pulling together to help sandbag properties and there's a really strong community spirit," SES spokeswoman on the ground, Heidi Groom, told AAP.
NSW Police and Emergency Services minister Mike Gallacher extended natural disaster declarations on Thursday to the Moree, Narrabri, Gwydir, Tenterfield and Greater Taree local government areas.
"The emergency service personnel deployed to these areas have done an outstanding job helping communities who are in the thick of this weather system," Mr Gallacher said in a statement.
Premier Barry O'Farrell, Deputy Premier Andrew Stoner and Mr Gallacher will tour the flood-affected regions on Friday.
The SES estimates about 12,150 people will be isolated across the state by Thursday night.
These include the 2300 at Moree, 2300 on the mid-north coast, 2500 around Bellingen and 4650 around Harrington at the Manning River, the SES said.
Essential supplies, including blood from Mungindi Hospital just across the border in Queensland, were brought into Moree, while food and supply drops were expected to take place in isolated regions.
Thirteen flood warnings remained in place for river systems across NSW, with rain expected to spread to the Hunter region, the Illawarra and metropolitan Sydney later on Thursday.
"This is a campaign of flood events that are likely to stay around for some time," deputy SES commissioner Pearce said.
Authorities have ordered the evacuation of more than 2,000 people in north-western New South Wales, as floodwaters continue to rise
The State Emergency Service had earlier issued evacuation warning for more than 550 properties in Moree, Barraba, plus on the mid-north coast at Taree and on the Wingham Peninsula.
But the SES decided at 11:30am (AEDT) to upgrade the warning to an order for North Moree and nearby communities such as Pallamallawa.
SES spokesman James McTavish says residents should act without delay.
"People should prepare for inundation in and around North Moree, in particular all of the residences on the northern side of the river are to be evacuated by last light tonight," he said.
"It is likely that access to North Moree by road will be cut from late this afternoon, so they should act promptly to secure their property and belongings.
"They should act now, and they should not delay their evacuation at all."
There are also severe weather warnings for other parts of the Mid North Coast, along with the Illawarra, the Central West and Central Tablelands.
Earlier the SES's Andrew Galvin said there had been heavy falls south of Moree.
"We have had flash flooding in Narrabri where there's been heavy falls of over 100 millimetres," he said.
"There were approximately 14 residences that suffered low-level flooding from overland water flows and overflow from Doctor's Creek in Narrabri itself."
Heavy rain and flooding have closed the Newell, Carnarvon, Gwydir and Oxley highways. Cars drive on road closed by flooding Photo: The SES is concerned that motorists continue to ignore road closures and drive through floodwaters, despite the death of a man at Grafton on Tuesday night. (Courtesy SES)
Kaylene Jones from North West SES says crews will be kept busy today.
"The rainfall is expected to continue at similar levels to what occurred yesterday for the remainder of today so we're anticipating some increase in requirements for resupply needs for areas that are now becoming isolated as a result of the heavy rainfall and the increased river levels," she said.
Mr Galvin says there have been a number of rescues.
"We've had a number of flood rescues, we've also had requests for evacuation," he said.
State Emergency Services Minister Michael Gallacher says he expects further disaster declarations today.
Mr Gallacher says the weather system that brought the torrential falls is widespread and testing the state's volunteers.
"Their primary focus is on that Wee Waa area given the rainfall and the saturation in that area," he said.
"But as I've been briefed, a lot of that is heading toward the Pilliga.
"The biggest drain I suspect is that we have two separate fronts. One is in that Moree down to Tamworth whilst at the same time we also have from Kempsey/Nambucca all the way up to Tweed."
Some 4,000 extra services personnel are on standby.
More floods ahead for western Qld towns Southern inland Queensland is facing more serious flooding, potentially worse than 2010's record inundation.
The weather bureau has issued a severe weather warning for much of the state's soaked interior.
Heavy rain overnight has flood-weary communities across the Southern Inland bracing themselves for flooding again.
The town of Mitchell, east of Charleville, is expecting a flood peak to rival the 1990 record flood.
Further south, St George is facing the prospect of two river systems combining to swamp the town in the next few days.
Balonne Shire Mayor Donna Stewart says water from the Maranoa River is her biggest concern.
"I believe they're expecting almost record floods," she said.
The Mitchell School is closed for the day and residents in low-lying areas are being alerted to the situation.
The Maranoa River is at 7.9 metres, just short of the 8.2 metre record in 1990.
Maranoa Regional Council spokesman Barry O'Mundson says doornocking has begun and the council's disaster management committee is meeting.
"We anticipate here at the local disaster management group that the level at this stage will get to 8.1 at Mitchell," he said.
"We currently have some flooding in the Mitchell township and areas specifically around Louise and Edingburgh Street."
The weather bureau says downpours in many parts of the already-drenched interior today and early tomorrow could cause flash flooding.
Areas that could be affected include Charleville, Mitchell, Roma, St George, Blackall and the Carnarvon Ranges.
More than 100 millimetres has fallen near Winton and 63 millimetres has fallen in St George in the past 24 hours.
Bureau senior forecaster Brett Harrison says there are likely to be rainfalls of more than 100 millimetres in some parts.
"There's a good chance that the heaviest falls will be more around the Charleville and Mitchell-type area today," he said.
"That's where we've got the most potential for heaviest falls and we do expect it to continue moving very slowly eastwards through the latter part of today and into tomorrow morning." Floods flow-on
Further south, St George is bracing for the floodwaters from Mitchell.
Balonne Shire Mayor Donna Stewart says they are monitoring the Moonie and Balonne Rivers and Wollum Creek, but the Maranoa is of most concern.
"We're quite a few days away from Mitchell - the water that's coming down the Maranoa," she said.
"We do get time down here to put plans into place but we're pretty old hands at this.
"This will be the third time in three years, so people generally know what to do."
Bulloo Mayor John Ferguson says the town of Thargomindah, west of St George, is not isolated yet but they are worried about getting enough aviation fuel into the town.
Councillor Ferguson says there is still one access road available to Thargomindah, but they are having trouble getting plane fuel in and it could pose problems in the event of a medical emergency.
"We can't get a truck to come out and it is becoming a problem," he said.
"There is going to be an emergency soon and we haven't got any fuel to get to them."
He says there is also water over the road already to Quilpie and that is expected to rise.
"Apparently ... the Mains Roads [Department] is closing the road and it is making it pretty difficult for us out here at the moment because there is a lot of "panic" going on in people further east than us," he said.
"We just can't get stuff out here at the moment, but you can get around through Eromanga.
"We did have one fuel truck the other day and bought diesel and unleaded but it is aviation fuel that we need." Charleville
Meanwhile, residents in low-lying parts of Charleville have spent another night on flood alert.
The Murweh Shire Council issued an alert late yesterday, with an expected two-metre peak overnight in Bradley's Gully, which run through the town.
The gully flooded on Tuesday, inundating some homes and businesses.
Murweh Mayor Mark O'Brien says it appears there has been no inundation of homes or businesses overnight, but everyone is still cautious about the coming days.
"The community is always on tenterhooks when there is a lot of rain around and those severe thunderstorms but we are really prepared," he said.
"This is one the benefits in having the experience that we've got - we really are on top of it.
"We have got plenty of time to warn people so we feel that we are as prepared and as confident as it is possible to be." Central-west
Blackall-Tambo Mayor Jan Ross says authorities in the shire in the state's central-west are also preparing for a flood in the Barcoo River in the coming days.
The weather bureau says major levels are possible tomorrow night at Blackall, south-east of Longreach, and rain is still falling in the town this morning.
Councillor Ross says heavy rain this week has led to most roads in the shire being cut and many landholders are isolated.
"Every road is cut - well, they are impassable," she said.
"I do hope that everyone has adequate supplies and that they are able to sit it out."
She says people needing assistance or supplies should contact the council but most graziers are happy with the wet weather and swollen rivers.
"We are fairly well prepared with our planning to cope with anything that might happen in the next couple of days," she said.
"We should have moderate flooding.
"It will take up a lot of land and the bridges go out, but the ability of everyone to overcome that is amazing."
At central-west grazing properties near Winton, north-west of Longreach, rainfalls of more than 100 millimetres overnight have been reported.
Winton Mayor Ed Warren says floodwaters have cut several roads, including the Landsborough Highway, east of Winton.
"The road was closed just after midnight [AEST] last night," he said.
"Now they are just going to identify what the stream levels are and what level of water is over the road at the moment.
"It's very heavy rain and it will probably more than likely cause some damage in some instances." Gulf country
In north-west Queensland, authorities are planning a food resupply into the isolated gulf communities of Burketown and Doomadgee in the state's Gulf Country tomorrow.
Burketown has been cut off for about two weeks and could be isolated for several more.
Emergency Management Queensland spokesman Elliot Dunn says it is not a cause for concern.
"The community's fine - there's no issues up there whatsoever," he said.
"The local shire and their disaster management group are handling everything really well.
"For Burketown and Doomadgee it is a regular event - very low-lying area - any kind of water can cut that road for quite some time.
"It's not unusual for Burketown to be out for a month or two months during the wet season."
Mr Dunn says a food resupply is planned for tomorrow.
"For Doomadgee and Burketown, normally it's driven by road up to Gregory - sort of the nearest town - and then flown in by light aircraft out of Gregory into both Burketown and into Doomadgee," he said.
"Pretty regular occurrence up there - the local group is very, very good at doing this, so it goes off normally without a hitch."
Meanwhile, the weather bureau says a low pressure system approaching the west coast of Cape York Peninsula is not a significant cyclone threat.
Forecaster Leo Farrell says it is expected to move east across the peninsula and reach the Coral Sea sometime tomorrow.
He says it could then develop into a cyclone, but it should move further out to sea.
"Once it gets out over the water on the eastern side, it's going to continue to move eastwards," he said.
"It will deepen as it moves away from the coastal areas but we don't expect it to have any really significant impact on the Queensland coast.