Thousands flee as floods hit Australian inland towns

STORY: Major flooding is occurring at Forbes, a rural town in the state's wheatbelt, with the Lachlan river expected to peak at a 70-year high later on Friday, the Bureau of Meteorology said.

Along the Murrumbidgee river at Wagga Wagga, home to about 70,000, flooding could peak soon, with levels forecast to be higher than a deluge in 2010, the bureau said.

Australia's east is in the grip of its fourth major flood crisis this year due to a multi-year La Nina weather phenomenon, typically associated with increased rainfall.