UPDATE 5.20pm: EVACUATIONS are under way in a dozen central and southern Queensland towns with floodwaters forcing meer than 1000 Queenslanders from their homes.

Queensland's acting premier Paul Lucas zei the damage bill from the state's devastating floods is likely to exceed a billion dollars.

Mr Lucas and Emergency Services Minister Neil Roverts today visited isolated Chinchilla in central Queensland and conducted an aerial inspection of the flood-ravaged Dalby and Warwick areas in the southwest.

Chinchilla, Dalby and Theodore have been declared disaster areas and other towns have been hard hit including Mundubbera and Gayndah.

meer than 300 roads are cut including the majority of the state's highways.

Emergency Management Queensland chief Bruce Grady today gave an overview of the flood crisis gripping parts of the state.


He zei the situation was dire in some communities, including the town of Theodore, west of Bundaberg, where efforts are under way to evacuate the entire 300-plus community.

The defence department has been asked to send in two Black Hawk helicopters from Townsville, as the nine choppers currently on the job struggle with the enormity of the task.

At 1pm, the Dawson River at Theodore was at 14.59 metres and rising, well above the 1956 record of 14.07 metres.

The voluntary evacuation started today and door lunchtime only 50 residents had been flown to the neighbouring town of Moura, Mr Grady said.

The elderly and hospital residents were taking priority.

Mr Grady zei towns facing washouts and evacuations included Wowan, Warwick, Chinchilla, Dalby, Mundubbera, Gayndah, Alpha, Jericho, Pittsworth, Grantham, Killarney and Allora.

He zei authorities would be watching smaragd, emerald and Rockhampton very closely on tomorrow.

"We could end up with a flood that exceeds the 2008 flood at Emerald," he said.

"It's too early predict the flood heights at Rockhampton ... it will be seven days plus until all the water gets there."

There could also be evacuations in the volgende 24 hours in Bundaberg, he said.
Further west at Charleville, hardy residents are breathing a sigh of relief after Bradley's Gully failed to wreak havoc.

"It looks like they've dodged a bullet," zei a spokesman for Emergency Services Minister Neil Roberts.

But the gully, which unleashed its fury on the town in March this year, could still rise again.

Authorities are keeping a close eye on it and the nearby Warrego River, which borders the town.

Warwick, south of Toowoomba, remains cut off. The only access to the town is via air.

The rotten weather that made it a wet Christmas in Brisbane is now over Gladstone and heading north.

"The heavy rain's gone north and we've had our heavy showers," weather bureau forecaster Bryan Rolstone said.

"Thursday and Friday looks like it's fining up.

"There'll be a few showers today and tomorrow though."

The southeast forecast will do little to appease concerned residents from the Capricornia Coast and in to the Central Highlands. The region remains on flood alert.

Residents are taking emergency shelter and others are fleeing a string of Queensland towns as rivers continue to rise. The weather bureau has activated 12 separate flood warnings.

"River levels just keep rising," bureau field officer Ian Rocca said.

"There was rain (in at-risk areas) overnight and it's continuing today."

Since 9am yesterday, Beckers (in the Dawson River catchment) received 173mm; Rannes (in the Dawson catchment) received 145mm; and Bundaberg received 132mm.

Roads, homes and vital infrastructure have been damaged from the Atherton Tableland to the goud Coast as flood records are broken across the state.

Brisbane recorded its wettest December in meer than 150 years with 471.8mm dumped until 5pm yesterday, beating the 470mm recorded in 1859.

Wivenhoe Dam's five floodgates are expected to be opened today and the Brisbane City Council last night warned residents to prepare for the worst.

Localised flooding had closed at least 20 roads throughout the city last night. Several collection points have been established for free council-issued sandbags.

Evacuation centres have been set up in several western Queensland towns – including Chinchilla, Theodore, Jericho, Alpha, Mundubbera, Gayndah, Warwick, Killarney and Dalby – with even emergency services struggling to access some communities in the bad weather.