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Homes flooded in Dalby as downpour batters Qld

By Francis Tapim, staff, Monday March 4, 2013 - 07:47 EDT
Audience submitted image
The Myall Creek peaked at 3.21 metres and broke its banks overnight. - Audience submitted

An emergency flood alert for northern Dalby on Queensland's Darling Downs has been cancelled as heavy rain continues to affect the state's south.

Dozens of homes have been flooded in Dalby with the Myall Creek peaking at 3.21 metres overnight and breaking its banks.

The district disaster coordinator says areas north of Nicholson Street will experience flood levels similar to January 2011.

Western Downs Mayor Ray Brown says the exact number of homes inundated by floodwater is still unclear.

"The northern part of Dalby we cannot get to the airport, where our air support can come in on the helicopters," he said.

"It looks like it is stagnant at the moment, the water levels, so it was only about 50 to 70 millimetres below the January 2011 levels, so there is a fair indication of an enormous amount of water there."

Cr Brown says accommodation was set up at the local showgrounds last night, but there were no forced evacuations.

"Unfortunately we have had a few of these over the last four or five years," he said.

"[I'm concerned] about making sure our people [are] safe. That is the key issue here.

"Ergon have actually gone through and cut power off but that is a safety issue," he said.

"Our staff are monitoring it at the moment. It certainly is a concern with the enormous amount of water going through the town."

Lockyer spared

The Lockyer Valley, west of Brisbane, appears to have survived its latest flood without any significant damage.

An emergency alert was issued last night warning residents to evacuate if they needed to.

But local disaster manager David Mazzaferri says the threat has now passed and the alert has been cancelled.

"We've actually had three flood events now since January 26, so there are a lot of residents out there that are concerned," he said.

"The good thing about it is we are monitoring the situation very closely in the coordination centre and at this stage all of the rivers have peaked and are now subsiding so we've had no reports of any property inundation.

"Everyone appears to be safe and sound."

Floodwaters also cut roads and isolated properties near Biloela in central Queensland.

Banana Shire Mayor Ron Carige says one family is stuck on a roof and does not want to be rescued.

"We do have one family that are stranded on their roof, they're fine and they will sit it out," he said.

Flooding in North Burnett forced farmers to tip 12,500 litres of milk down the drain.

Mayor Don Waugh says tankers cannot get through flooded roads to pick up milk from dairy farms in the Monto area.

He says the producers had to throw out 7,500 litres on Thursday and they lost another 5,000 litres today.

"This is a cost the dairy farmers really can't afford," he said.

"And it's imposting greatly on their operation and viability. So we really feel badly about this and it's just unfortunate that we can't get those tankers in."

Rooftop rescue

Emergency services say there were up to a dozen swift water rescues in the states south-east.

Six people were rescued from on top of a flooded car near Lowood west of Brisbane.

A swift water rescue crew used a boat to retrieve the group, which included a baby and two children, from Brightview at midnight.

Another couple was rescued from a park in Lawnton, in Brisbane's north, about the same time.

And it took about three hours for paramedics to reach a woman needing to be taken to hospital in Brisbane's west.

They had to cross about a dozen flooded causeways to reach the woman in Upper Brookfield.

Conditions were unsuitable for a helicopter evacuation.

The Bureau of Meteorology says wet weather will persist in the state this week.

Up to 150 millimetres of rain has fallen on the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast hinterland and northern parts of Brisbane over the past 24 hours.

Senior forecaster Peter Otto says most of the showers are now over the bayside and to the north.

"Mostly around the Brisbane eastern suburbs and towards the Sunshine Coast," he said.

"We will see that rain break up into showers during the afternoon, so we will get that bit of sun try to peak through, and then in to tomorrow I think we'll have some sunny periods.

"There will still be showers around and they should last throughout the week, but nothing as widespread as what we've seen over the weekend."


© ABC 2013

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