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Third time unlucky as Gladstone region swamped

By William Rollo, Monday March 4, 2013 - 09:59 EDT

Rural communities in the Gladstone region of central Queensland are mopping up after weekend flash flooding, in the third flood event this year.

The entire average rainfall for March fell over Gladstone on the weekend, causing flash flooding across much of the city.

Homes in some low-lying areas were swamped as stormwater drains burst open.

Water is still spilling out of the Awoonga Dam, south-west of Gladstone, cutting roads in the upstream Boyne Valley.

At Mimdale, south of Gladstone, the Baffle Creek catchment peaked just above the major flood level late last night.

Judy Ferrari from the local fire brigade says roads have been destroyed.

"Pretty major washouts - what they patched up after the last time [is] probably all washed away now," she said.

"Everywhere is pretty chopped up around the Deepwater area."

Minor flood levels are receding along the Boyne River upstream of the Awoonga Dam, south-west of Gladstone.

Nagoorin dairy farmer Leoni Paish says it is another blow.

"It's devastating ... this is the third time the water has covered our farm in a few weeks," she said.

She says milk trucks cannot get in.

"We've got five milkings worth in the vat - if he doesn't get in today we will have to dump it," she said.

She says it could take years to get back to full production.

Resident Patricia Ash says properties around Upper Ulam, south of Rockhampton, are isolated.

"The middle section of the concrete causeway has washed away," she said.

"The approaches to our side, on the southern side in the January floods - it washed out.

"The one section - the council put a whole heap of gravel there, filled it in.

"But I don't know what they're going to do with this middle section until the water runs down."

Flood threat

Meanwhile, the Banana Shire Local Disaster Management Group is meeting this morning to discuss the flood threat in the Jambin area, west of Gladstone.

Residents south of Biloela have returned home after major flooding along the Grevillea Creek prompted an evacuation alert late on Saturday night.

The council is now monitoring flows upstream along the Callide Creek and has opened an evacuation centre at the Jambin State School.

Banana Shire Mayor Ron Carige says the third flood this year is taking its toll.

"Each one is causing its own lot of damage mainly because now the ground is so saturated - you only have to spit outside and it will run," he said.

"Any moisture makes the water flow.

"It's very difficult to actually even gauge what the effects will be because of the nature of the land that it's running over.

"That water that is coming in now is coming from the Kroombit and Grevillea peaking.

"We don't anticipate that getting a hell of a lot worse - I'm hoping not a hell of a lot worse anyway.

"The hotel has got sandbags - they've been sandbagging around the building."


© ABC 2013

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