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Dalby flood 'surprised' authorities

By Fidelis Rego and Francis Tapim, Monday March 4, 2013 - 18:53 EDT

Authorities say they were surprised at the speed and height of the flood that hit parts of Dalby on Queensland's Western Downs on the weekend.

The council says 37 homes had water through them and another 197 were inundated when Myall Creek peaked on Saturday night.

The creek broke its banks to the north of the town, prompting authorities to issue an emergency alert yesterday.

It is the town's second flood in five weeks.

Rural firefighters and State Emergency Service volunteers are helping residents with the clean-up.

Local publican Andrew Maguire says he has spent a stressful couple of nights trying to protect his business.

"Come up to the top step up to about a metre to the drive-through and it was lapping at the doors," he said.

"Through the beer garden we have cleaned up some of it.

"We've had a lot of silt and mud throughout - it's just a little bit slippery."

Western Downs .Mayor Ray Brown says everyone is pitching in to help clean up.

"Our rural fire brigade, about four crews at least, are in here assisting landowners that have been affected," he said.

"We've had a good day weather-wise to get in and assist with the clean-up.

"It's certainly not the most pleasant of jobs and our community's been through it before and everyone's rallying very well to assist."

AgForce grains president and local farmer Wayne Newtown says the flood has put a dent in plans for the local summer grain harvest.

"We're going to need at least 10 days of fine weather, possibly even a fortnight, before we can start the harvest," he said.

Councillor Brown says engineers surveyed the flood from the air yesterday to see how future events can be prevented.

"Trying to look at diversion channels, possibly look at either two channels," he said.

"Looking to see what pathways we can actually look at now substantial development.

"These are major costs - obviously the state and federal governments would have to be involved to do this, but we need to look at the long scale plan here to mitigate these issues."


© ABC 2013

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