Southern Downs flood warning

SOUTHERN Downs residents living in flood zones have been warned to begin preparing for the worst as the Condamine River continues to rapidly rise this weekend with The Head receiving 50mm of rain in 48 hours.

Southern Downs Regional Council Acting CEO and Engineering Services director Peter See urged people focused on Christmas and holidays to take caution.

“Due to the forecast weather conditions over the next week and given the already high level of the Condamine River, there’s a reasonable chance we could potentially see a moderate flood over the Christmas period in Warwick,” Mr See said.

“I stress that at this stage we don’t have any prediction as to what level a flood, if it occurs, may reach.”

The Bureau of Meteorology issued an urgent warning of heavy rain over widespread areas of the state until Monday due to a trough forming over south east Queensland which will bring lingering heavy rain to the south east corner.

“As a precaution, anyone living within the 100-year flood zone in Warwick, or a flood-prone area generally in the region should be undertaking initial preparations and monitoring flood reports on the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) website on an hourly basis,” Mr See said.

“Given the present conditions, a flood can occur very quickly due to heavy rains upstream, even if it is not raining where you are living.”

Council has already started moving equipment from the Yangan Street depot to its Rosenthal depot on Willi Street as a precaution, so they can access equipment on both sides of the river should river crossings be cut off.

Council also turned off all electric lights along the Condamine River walkways yesterday to protect them from water damage and will remain off until after New Year.

Warwick SES controller John Newley has prepared all vehicles and the SES are on standby to assist with communication should a flood occur.

Mr Newley also urged people to check their guttering on their houses are cleared before heavy rainfall occurs.

Southern Downs Regional Council is preparing to enact its disaster management plan if BOM predicts a moderate or above flood level on the Condamine River through the region.

Residents in possible affected areas are urged to make the following initial preparations:

Make alternative arrangements for pets

Pack important documents and photos in waterproof packaging and keep them within easy access to vehicles

Move vehicles to high ground

Move items under houses which may be affected by water

Monitor BOM flood level reports on an hourly basis at http://www.bom.gov.au/qld/

Water rescue

The effects of floodwaters were evident yesterday after a man had to be rescued when his vehicle was swept away at Black Gully Crossing on King’s Creek, about 2km south of Clifton.

Clifton Police Sergeant Guy Smidt said the male was assessed at the scene by Queensland Ambulance and was not injured.

“He was a bit shaken up, cold and wet but apart from that he was fine,” Sgt Smidt said.

The vehicle was still stranded yesterday afternoon, with police waiting for it to reach the side of the creek before they could retrieve it.


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