Goondiwindi to emerge unscathed

GOONDIWINDI is expected to emerge unscathed from the biggest flood threat in its history, with levee holding out the Macintyre River.

The river flowed steady at 10.64 metres on Friday morning, just below the 11-metre levee.

It is the highest mark in the town’s history, eclipsing the 10.6-metre record set during the 1996 flood.

Queensland Premier Anna Bligh said concerns for the town were abating.

“We’re very relieved, along with the town of Goondiwindi, that it is not going to join those 86 towns and cities that have experienced the devastation of these floodwaters,” Ms Bligh told reporters in Brisbane.

But the Bureau of Meteorology said it was too early to tell if the river had reached its peak.

“It’s been very steady, but there is the possibility of another rise, only small,” Chris Edhouse from the bureau said.

A peak of 10.85m had been predicted, sparking evacuations from low-lying areas of Goondiwindi and over the New South Wales border in Boggabilla and Toomelah.

Those residents have now returned home, but Goondiwindi nursing home residents will stay away until Monday as a precaution.

Goondiwindi Mayor Graeme Scheu said the levee bank had done a good job protecting the town and he was happy with its stability.

“It’s been there since 1958, it’s never let water in, and I can’t see why it would now,” he said.

An ultralight plane crashed into floodwaters about four kilometres east of Goondiwindi at lunchtime yesterday.

An emergency helicopter was called to the scene to rescue the occupants.

It is unknown how many people were on board the aircraft, but a Queensland Fire and Rescue Service (QFRS) spokeswoman said no injuries had been reported.

There were unconfirmed reports yesterday that residents evacuated from Boggabilla and Toomelah to Moree in northern NSW had sparked concerns in town over the supply of groceries, and some residents undertook panic-buying.


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