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Motorist rescued as river peaks in Maryborough

Thursday February 28, 2013 - 21:02 EDT
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An SES volunteer unloads a boat into floodwaters in Maryborough. - ABC

A stranded motorist has been rescued from floodwaters in the south-east Queensland city of Maryborough this morning as the Mary River reached its peak.

A swift-water rescue team pulled the man from the roof of a car in the main street about 7:00am, and paramedics treated him at the scene for hypothermia.

The Bureau of Meteorology says the Mary River reached eight metres this morning just before 9:00am, half a metre less than had been predicted.

The flood has engulfed more than 30 homes and businesses.

It is expected to stay at eight metres until tonight and then start dropping.

Nearby Gympie is in clean-up mode after being swamped yesterday in the fourth major flood of the past year.

Overnight police escorted two convoys of trucks around the flood-affected city to get vital supplies north and south.

More than 100 semi-trailers had been stranded on either side of Gympie for several days after the Bruce Highway was cut by floodwaters.

Mayor Ron Dyne says the highway remains closed at Kybong, south of Gympie, but a detour is now in place via the Mary Valley Highway after the Normanby Bridge reopened overnight.

"We had trucks banked up either side of Gympie and earlier this morning, we organised a convoy and went south, and then obviously then they picked them up and went north," he said.

"So trucks are rolling again, so people will be able to get bread and milk and those sort of things and shop shelves will start to be restocked again."

Disaster assistance

Meanwhile, a large area of the Sunshine Coast has been granted category C disaster assistance more than a month after being hit by ex-tropical cyclone Oswald.

Federal Emergency Management Minister Mark Dreyfus says an area west of the Bruce Highway and north of Eumundi-Noosa Road has been declared.

Mr Dreyfus says category C funding includes low-interest loans for primary producers who have been affected beyond the current season.

He says the grants of up to $25,000 are for particularly severely affected areas to help residents get back on their feet.

"It's to cover the cost of the cleanup and recovery, but it's not intended to replace insurance," he said.

"It's over and above the assistance that's already available under categories A and B."


© ABC 2013

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