10 Jan 2011

Queensland's south-east braces for flooding

6:06 am on 10 January 2011

In flooded south-east Queensland, Gympie residents are preparing for a major flood with the Mary River expected to peak early on Monday morning.

The Weather Bureau says the river could rise to more than 17 metres if the rain continues to fall.

Communities from Bundaberg to the Sunshine Coast have been warned about the possibility of flash flooding.

Gympie Shire Council acting mayor Tony Perret says local businesses were sandbagging on Sunday.

In Maryborough, the Mary River was expected to peak at around 8.5 metres on Sunday evening.

Flood barriers were erected to protect the city's central business district and State Emergency Service crews were doorknocking to warn residents about what to expect.

Queensland Premier's plane hit by lightning

A government plane carrying Queensland Premier Anna Bligh and the man leading the state's flood recovery Major General Mick Slater was hit by lightning on Sunday.

A spokeswoman said the pair had visited the flood-devastated town of Theodore in central Queensland and then flown on to Thangool.

The plane was struck by lightning after take-off from Thangool, around 2.30pm (AEST), but all on board were safe. The Premier's office is playing down the incident, the ABC reports.