Date: 2021-12-03 20:30:09
The Macintyre River in Goondiwindi is expected to peak above major flood levels this morning, as the SES sets up an air base to transport crews and sandbags to the southern Queensland town.
- The Macintyre River is not expected to surpass the 11-metre levee bank height
- The SES is setting up an air base in Goondiwindi in case the situation worsens
- Other regional towns remain cut off
Emergency services say the river will rise to 10.7 metres and remain at that level, but it is not expected to surpass the 11-metre levee bank height.
The local council issued an emergency alert on Friday, advising residents to review their emergency plans and monitor the latest flood information.
Superintendent Wayne Waltisbuhl from the Rural Fire Service oversees Queensland’s south-west region and said eight swiftwater technicians were standing by in Goondiwindi.
“We are moving a lot of sandbagging material into the town through our aircraft,” Superintendent Waltisbuhl said.
There are around 10,000 sandbags available to local residents, as well as 10 SES crew members on stand-by to help dispatch them, although it is likely they won’t be needed.
“It’s not predicted that there’ll be any houses inundated in Goondiwindi,” Superintendent Waltisbuhl added.
“A huge volume of water is required for it to breach the levee, and the weather bureau has said that’s not going to happen.”
The SES is setting up an air base in Goondiwindi in case the situation worsens, to allow for the quick transfer of equipment and staff.
“Some of these staff were relocated from Inglewood and into Goondiwindi during the week,” Superintendent Waltisbuhl said.
“As the water moves down the Macintyre, we’re moving people to where the risk is as well.”
The threat of flooding is expected to continue to move downstream over the course of next week and storms are expected to return on Sunday evening.
“Next week certainly has the potential to put another 25 to 50 millimetres of rain in the catchments wherever those storms decide to dump the rain,” Superintendent Waltisbuhl said.
“We’ve had some information from hydrologists about what that means in the already very saturated catchment areas, and it will create vast river rises again.”
Towns still cut off
While residents of the southern Queensland border town of Inglewood finish the clean-up after their recent flood event, other regional towns remain cut off.
“We know that Taroom is certainly isolated from the Dawson River flooding, we know that Surat is something we need to keep a close eye on because the water is moving downstream there, and Augathella also has a major flood watch there, too,” Superintendent Waltisbuhl said.
Cecil Plains is also still isolated after recent flooding, and emergency services have been airlifting food and supplies into the town.
“All those isolated towns are very resilient. The people in those towns can manage the things that happen there, but if need be, we can relocate our staff, through use of helicopters, into those areas.”
A moderate flood warning was issued for Charley’s Creek in Chinchilla, triggering an emergency alert to watch and act, but the creek did not end up cutting off any roads.
“At this stage there’s no activity happening out there that’s a concern at all,” Superintendent Waltisbuhl said.