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Clean up begins in Giru as record flood recedes, homes spared from inundation

Friday March 2, 2018 - 17:00 EDT
ABC image
Giru resident Rodney Jackson cleaning up as floodwaters recede in the north Queensland town. - ABC

The clean-up is under way as record flooding from the Haughton River clears from roads and properties in Giru, south-east of Townsville.

Roads to the town were cut as the Haughton reached a record peak of 3.1 metres late on Thursday.

Local State Emergency Service (SES) controllers said no homes were flooded, although floodwaters did reach up to a metre in some parts of the town, with many backyards and car ports flooded.

The local SES and fire station had half a metre of floodwater through their offices.

Early on Friday afternoon, the Bureau of Meteorology issued its final flood warning for the Haughton, saying the river level continued to ease and no further significant rain was expected in coming days.

The Burdekin Shire Council is urging residents to conserve water as they clean up, after debris from floodwaters entered the Giru water treatment plant, causing issues with supply.

Giru resident Rodney Jackson managed to save his Corvette from flooding by moving it to higher ground.

Like many people in the town, he began cleaning up as water receded around his house.

Mick Parison, who runs the Giru Store, said the flooding was receding quickly.

"No real dramas — we've had bigger floods," he said.

He said it had been at least five years since the town had seen similar levels of flooding.

Many of the town's residents were enjoying the situation, with some holding parties in the street.

Mr Parison said most residents were well prepared.

"Most of them were pretty sensible — they had a bit of gear before the river came up," he said.

"The old timers are pretty switched on — a couple of people got caught unaware, but they were newcomers to the town."

Burdekin Mayor Lyn McLaughlin said locals were well prepared.

"I can never praise Giruvians enough they are the most resilient community I know ... they were really organised up there," she said.

Meanwhile the low-pressure system that drenched the Townsville region is bringing heavy falls to western Queensland.

Mopping up in Townsville

Townsville residents are mopping up today after the .

On Wednesday and Thursday, more than 350 millimetres of rain fell in the Townsville region.

BOM said the system dumped more than 500mm in some areas over the past few days and the Ross River Dam hit 80 per cent capacity up from 14.5 per cent on Monday.

The Townsville suburb of Bluewater received 700mm rainfall totals in the past seven days.

BOM senior hydrologist Paul Birch said it was "fortunate" the rain had fallen in just the right spot.

"Things were looking pretty dire as we know, so it's pretty fortunate to get that rain centred right over Townsville," he said.

"The levels from the dam are still rising and still filling up, so it's looking really good for water for Townsville."

Fire and Emergency Services Minister Craig Crawford said the deluge was not seen as a "disaster".

"What has happened in Townsville in the last 24 hours has been great rainfall for the region," he said.

Deeragun resident Robyn Brown is cleaning her Townsville home.

"It was a sleepless night waiting to see if the water was going to come inside — thankfully we were lucky this time," she said.


© ABC 2018

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