Residents wait for water to subside in Queensland floods
Wednesday 30 Jan 2013 5:33 a.m.
Thousands of residents in Bundaberg, Queensland have been forced from their homes after suffering the worst of the flooding.
And while Sydney was spared major damage, further north Grafton, in New South Wales hit record flood levels.
The city of Bundaberg resembles a lake, and its residents can only wait helplessly for the water to slowly recede.
Queensland Premier Campbell Newman is making its recovery his number one priority.
“It’s staggering what we've just seen here. Brisbane and Ipswich in 2011 was pretty dramatic, but when you look at the size of Bundaberg - this is just so much bigger in terms of its relative impact,” says Mr Newman.
New Zealand Prime Minister John Key says if asked New Zealand is available to help out.
"We're happy to provide any support we can for both Queensland and New South Wales. At this point they haven't asked us for any support. They're well-resourced themselves, but there may come a time New Zealand can help."
And despite the abundance of water, there's now an urgent plea for Brisbane's residents to use it sparingly.
The city's two water treatment plants have been damaged and could take days to fix.
There's a sense of déjà vu in the Lockyer Valley, west of Brisbane. Floods devastated the town in 2011, and now it's happened again.
“It's pretty devastating here as a local, to see this and know what everyone's going through,” says one resident.
In New South Wales all of Sydney's beaches have been closed, but the extreme warnings weren't enough to stop a handful from heading to the water anyway – though those that went in found it tough to get back out.
Further north, Grafton's river Clarence reached record levels, but didn't cause as much damage as was initially feared.
More than 2000 people have been evacuated from Grafton, and more than 12,000 are on standby to leave if things get even worse.