Queensland residents hit by floods in the southeast are facing months of recovery as the state government donates more than $2 million to charities supporting those affected.
Previous estimates have put the total damage bill at more than $1 billion including insurance claims and major infrastructure repair, and work is underway to establish the full financial impact.
“For an event that lasted just three days, it’s going to have a big impact on our economy and on our budget,” Treasurer Cameron Dick said on Sunday
There are still 140 people in flood evacuation centres and about 3000 homes without power, most of which are expected to be restored by Sunday night.
Communities around Ipswich and Gympie are still isolated with roads expected to open on Monday.
‘This has really packed a punch, these floods have had a big impact on people and it’s going to take not just weeks but months for people to recover,” Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said on Sunday.
The state’s $2.1 million donation includes $500,000 each to the Australian Red Cross, Lifeline, The Salvation Army and Vinnies, and another $100,000 to GIVIT.
Ms Palaszczuk said the organisations had a track record of getting money to where it’s needed, and encouraged residents to give what they could.
“The last thing we want is money kept in a big bank account that doesn’t get to the people,” she said.
Corporate giants chip in
Mining giant BHP has donated $2 million to the relief effort in Queensland and NSW, Suncorp is kicking in another $1 million across both states, and Star Entertainment gave $200,000 to the Sunshine State.
Meanwhile, Queensland police are urging residents to take care with more storms predicted across the southeast on Sunday.
“It is still quite saturated and we will expect flash flooding, so please be patient,” Commissioner Katarina Carroll said on Sunday.
There is potential for severe storms in Bundaberg, Gympie, the Lockyer Valley, Brisbane and the Gold Coast with large hail, heavy rain and flash flooding possible, The Bureau of Meteorology says.
Each of the state’s 11 flood related deaths were as a result of people going into flood waters, Ms Carroll said.
“Some definitely unintentional but certainly some people making really, really poor decisions,” she said.