Floods nearing peak in Qld border towns

Date: 2021-12-04 01:13:17

Queensland authorities say floodwaters at Goondiwindi in the state’s southwest have nearly peaked, as communities in nearby Inglewood and Texas assess the damage already done.

The Macintyre River at Goondiwindi is at major flood levels and has reached 10.4 metres in the biggest flood in a decade, with waters threatening to overtop levees.

The river is expected to peak late Saturday morning, below the 2011 flood peak of 10.64 metres and also below the town’s 11m flood levee.

Police and Emergency Services Minister Mark Ryan has praised the efforts of residents and authorities in flood-hit regions.

“It’s tough out there when you have floodwaters coming through the community, but the community has done the right thing, they have stepped up and they have done an outstanding job,” he told reporters on Saturday.

The State Emergency Service has so far responded to 57 calls for help, more than half of them in Goondiwindi.

Three aged care residents have been voluntarily evacuated to Toowoomba, and another three hospital patients have been flown to Warwick, while emergency supplies have been delivered to Inglewood and Tara.

Meanwhile in Inglewood and Texas, crews have so far conducted 352 building assessments, with two properties found to be severely damaged, 15 moderately damaged, and 105 suffering minor issues.

QFES Commissioner Greg Leach said the flood response now extends across Goondiwindi, Yelarbon, Dalby, Warwick, Chinchilla, Taroom, and Cecil Plains.

There are 90 QFES personnel ready to be deployed as the floodwaters slowly progress downstream, along with three helicopters that can be used for evacuations or supply-drops to people cut off by the floods.

Goondiwindi Mayor Lawrence Springborg said his staff are working around the clock.

“We have quite a good level of confidence that levee will again protect our town, and we’ve got council staff that ride that levee on a regular basis,” he told AAP on Friday.

No significant rainfall has been recorded since 9am, but localised heavy falls forecast for the weekend could see the river rise further.

Mr Springborg said if falls are not widespread the town should be safe.

“From our perspective, delayed rainfall is fine. It gives us time for our rivers to start to drop and build some more capacity,” he said.

Residents have left their gates open for council to ride through on quad bikes and assess the levels of rising water along the river, with all of the town’s catchments at capacity.

Mr Ryan warned that with the ground and catchments still sodden, the risk of flash flooding is heightened.

At Boggabilla just over the NSW border, the Macintyre River has reached 12.39 metres with major flooding. The river appears to have peaked although it is expected to remain above 12 metres throughout Saturday.

River levels are easing along the Dumaresq River and tributaries, and major flood levels at Bengalla in NSW are slowly receding.

At Texas, the Dumaresq has reached 5.53 metres, below the minor flood level, and is falling.

The Weir River is peaking at major flood levels between Ballymena and Giddi Giddi South, while downstream the river is rising with moderate to major flooding between Surrey and Mascot.

Major flood warnings are in place for the Macintyre and Weir rivers, a minor flood warning has been issued for the Dumaresq River and a warning is also in place for the Macintyre Brook.

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