Queensland floods unprecedented

By AAP with AG Staff 11 January 2011
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The widespread and devastating flooding in Queensland is being labelled as a “one in a hundred year event.”

THE WIDESPREAD FLOODING IN Queensland is unprecedented and the state is facing a multi-billion dollar infrastructure catastrophe, an opposition frontbencher has warned the Federal Government.

“We will need a huge effort from the government to assist local government and the state government to rebuild the roads and bridges,” Liberal MP Ian Macfarlane told ABC Radio today.

The minister has seen first-hand the devastation an “inland tsunami” caused to Toowoomba (see the video below), the largest centre in his Darling Downs electorate of Groom, on Monday.

“We’re looking at a multi-billion dollar repair bill, not just in my electorate but in Dalby, in western Queensland and, obviously, up in the flooded regions of Rockhampton, and Maryborough and Gympie,” he said. Damage to roads alone would run into the “hundreds of millions of dollars”.

“As a result of this flooding, we could be looking at a multi-billion dollar infrastructure catastrophe in Queensland,” he said. “And that, of course, hasn’t ended yet.”

Queensland floods a one-in-a-hundred-year event

The Bureau of Meteorology’s Jim Davidson said Monday’s super rain storm was a “one in 100 year event”.

Premier Anna Bligh said evacuations were continuing across the Lockyer Valley, with people being moved out of Toogoolawah and Esk, and Forest Hill about halfway between Toowoomba and Brisbane. Evacuations are also taking place at the inland town of Nanango, north of Toowoomba.

“Cherbourg is cut off and food supplies are being taken in,” the premier added. She said the major route between Ipswich and Toowoomba was cut and people must stay off the roads.

Ipswich was likely to see the water levels peaking in the next 24 hours, she added. In Brisbane, water levels would hit a high mark on Wednesday and Thursday. Authorities have made repeated warnings for people to stay out of floodwaters. “This water is deadly and it’s not to be played with,” the premier said.

QLD government says flood destruction was unpredictable

Queensland’s Emergency Services Minister says no one could have predicted the scale of destruction brought by the state’s floods, which have claimed at least eight lives, and possibly up to 20.

Neil Roberts has praised the efforts of rescue workers who plucked some 40 stranded residents from the roofs of their homes late yesterday and early today, but he says another 60 people in a similar situation still need help.

He said the hard work of the emergency services will continue today, with rescuers scrambling to find the dozens of people listed as missing. A release of water from the Wivenhoe Dam is expected today to accommodate floodwaters heading towards Brisbane, he said.

How the Toowoomba flash flood devleoped