Fairfax Media Network

Weather News

Timeline: Grantham and Toowoomba floods - five years on

Friday February 23, 2018 - 13:18 EDT

Five years ago, Toowoomba, Grantham and several towns in Queensland's Lockyer Valley were hit by deadly floods. Look back on a timeline of how the disaster unfolded.


Torrent of water hits Toowoomba, lives lost

January 10, 2011

Seven people are feared dead after a on Queensland's Darling Downs.

Four deaths are confirmed, with two women and a girl also feared dead at Grantham after a flash flood swept through the Lockyer Valley town.

Several other people are missing in the region.

Fears for more victims in small Lockyer Valley towns

January 11, 2011

The after another body is found, with fears the toll could double.

About 59 people remain missing after the torrent of water raged down the Great Dividing Range at Toowoomba, crashing through several smaller towns, including Grantham and Murphy's Creek, in the Lockyer Valley below.

Relief as railway bridge 'war scene' inspected

January 13, 2011

Police say no bodies have been found in the wreckage of up to at the height of the floods.

The deputy commissioner describes the find as "the one bit of good news" to come from the Lockyer Valley that day, describing the area as "a war scene".

Commission of inquiry launched as death toll rises

January 17, 2011

Queensland premier Anna Bligh , as she confirms the death toll in the disaster has risen to 20.

A Supreme Court judge, a former police commissioner and a dam expert are named to conduct the year-long inquiry.

Ten people remain missing.

Disaster area opens to locals

January 18, 2011

Grantham eight days after the deadly flood.

Devastated residents return home

January 19, 2011

Residents of Grantham plead for privacy as they start returning .

Most of the 20 deaths from the southern Queensland floods are in the Lockyer Valley.

Ms Bligh describes the "evidence of terror" left in the area.

Taskforce chief visits shattered community

January 24, 2011

The head of the flood recovery taskforce, Major-General Mick Slater, , one of the worst-affected communities in the Lockyer Valley.

Members of Sydney's Lakemba Mosque join in the clean-up, saying it is their duty to help.

Survivors of the Victorian Black Saturday bushfires also deliver food supplies and offer words of comfort to residents in Grantham.

Hunt continues for victims

January 25, 2011

Authorities continue to .

Across Queensland, 35 people had died in flood-related incidents since November 30.

Nine people are still missing.

Sightseers urged to stay away

February 8, 2011

The but residents ask sightseers to stay away.

Authorities continue a .

Parliament pauses to remember victims

February 15, 2011

State Parliament marks , beginning the sitting year with a minute's silence for flood victims.

"This summer will be remembered as a story of devastation and of horror, a story of fragility and vulnerability, but also a story of hope and inspiration," Ms Bligh says.

Royal distraction for Grantham residents

March 20, 2011

Grantham residents brave wet weather to .

The Prince spends time with the families hardest hit by the floods and with those who performed rescues throughout the ordeal.

Legislation boosts rebuilding process

March 24, 2011

Ms Bligh tells Parliament Grantham will be the first community to be declared a special area under the Queensland Reconstruction Authority legislation, .

The Mayor of the Lockyer Valley says most residents want to build on higher ground.

Property prospects improve for Lockyer Valley victims

June 7, 2011

Work starts on a .

The Mayor predicts up to 90 per cent of affected residents will move in.

First anniversary marked with memorial service

January 10, 2012

About 1,000 people , west of Brisbane, to remember those who died in the 2011 flash floods.

Then-prime minister Julia Gillard, governor-general Quentin Bryce and Ms Bligh speak at the service.

Residents in Toowoomba and Grantham also attend memorial services.

Long-awaited report released

March 16, 2012

The into the massive floods that swamped large parts of Brisbane and surrounding areas in January 2011.

The long-awaited report includes more than six million pages of evidence, 345 witnesses and 170 recommendations ranging from flood mapping to emergency responses and dam management.

Findings rejected, calls for new inquiry

March 17, 2012

Survivors of the Lockyer Valley flood , calling for a new investigation into the disaster.

Residents criticise the inquiry for not addressing key questions, such as why they were not warned before the floods.

Coroner's findings handed down

June 5, 2012

The coroner in south-east Queensland during the floods.

Grantham suffered the greatest number of deaths, losing 12 people during the disaster.

Thirteen others were killed in Brisbane, Toowoomba, Spring Bluff, Murphy's Creek, Postman's Ridge, Minden, Helidon, Karrabin and Brymaroo.

Flood warning system announced

July 24, 2012

It is announced a said to be a world-first, will be installed in the Lockyer Valley.

The Lockyer Valley council pays $40,000 to have the equipment installed near the Toowoomba Range and at Grantham.

The system is said to be able to measure river heights to within three millimetres.

Memorial as second anniversary arrives

January 10, 2013

Private ceremonies are held in Grantham, Murphy's Creek and Postman's Ridge to .

The Federal Emergency Services Minister tours the affected regions and says more needs to be done.

Fresh inquiry to be held

May 5, 2015

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk tells Parliament a into the deadly 2011 Grantham flood.

The Lockyer Valley Mayor says he hopes the new inquiry will finally give residents some answers.

New inquiry begins

May 11, 2015

into the deadly floods that ravaged Grantham in the Lockyer Valley.

The commissioner says investigators will look at the role natural and man-made landmarks had on the flow of water through the town.

Commission of Inquiry hands down final report

October 8, 2015

The Grantham Floods Commission of Inquiry delivers its final report, ruling that and its owners were unjustly blamed.

The commissioner says the flood was a natural disaster that no human agency could prevent.

The State Member for Lockyer labels the second inquiry a waste of taxpayers' money.



© ABC 2018

More breaking news

Sydney Morning Herald
ABC News
National Nine News
News Limited

Display Your Local Weather

Weather News

Wet start to Perth winter no guarantee of reaching city's rainfall average

18:52 EST

After the wettest start to winter in 13 years, a string of gloriously sunny days is threatening to derail Perth's chances of reaching its June rainfall average, and now it all hinges on one day.

Melbourne thunderstorm asthma inquest: Victims' survival chances greater if symptoms noticed

18:48 EST

It was a warm spring afternoon in Melbourne, and Apollo Papadopoulos was finishing work.

Australia's lowest temperatures

15:07 EST

Australia's highest weather station is having its coldest start to winter in 18 years based on maximum temperatures.