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Australian authorities urge residents of Queensland town to flee floods.

(CNN) -- Australian authorities on Monday pleaded with hundreds of people who had chosen to remain in a town in the path of rising flood waters to vacate their homes.

The level of the Balonne River in the town of St. George, in the eastern state of Queensland, swelled to 13.63 meters at lunchtime on Monday, breaking its previous record, and was expected to crest overnight above 14 meters.

"We can't and won't physically drag people out of their homes," Bob Atkinson, the Queensland police commissioner, said. "But we repeat the request for people to leave their homes."

Queensland has been deluged with heavy rains over the past week even as some parts of the region are still struggling to recover from devastating floods that took place about a year ago.

Thirty houses in St. George have already been inundated, according to Neil Roberts, the Queensland police and emergency services minister. "We do expect this to rise as the waters head towards their peak," he said.

http://www.cnn.com/2012/02/06/world/asia...hpt=hp_bn2
Thousands of Australians have been forced to abandon their homes as a record flood swept through areas.

Thousands of Australians have been forced to abandon their homes today as a record deluge swept through areas still reeling from last year's devastating floods, claiming its first life.

Police ordered the 3,800 residents of the town of St George, in northern Queensland state, to evacuate as rising floodwaters threatened to cut the one remaining exit road.

whose car was swept from a roadway became the disaster's first official victim, with searchers finding her body two days after she went missing

"Residents of St George are required to evacuate by road before the Moonie Highway is cut by floodwaters, which is expected to occur sometime in the early part of Sunday evening," police said in a mandatory evacuation order.

"Air evacuation to Brisbane is being organised to ensure evacuations can proceed after the Moonie Highway closes."

http://www.rte.ie/news/2012/0205/australia.html
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