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Ex-Cyclone Gives Farmers A Lift

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Heavy rain over a short period of time caused flash flooding in many locations ... this is the corner of Industrial Avenue and Kingaroy-Cooyar Road, Kingaroy, at 1:30pm on Thursday

March 30, 2017

The remnants of Cyclone Debbie have come and gone through the South Burnett, causing confusion for parents but leaving some much-needed dam water behind for farmers.

Fortunately, there were no reports of injuries although there were two incidents where trees fell on vehicles, one at Coolabunia and one at Goodger. Neither driver was injured.

A blackout of about 1000 residents in the Kingaroy area was caused by a tree branch falling on power lines near Coolabunia.

Parents and carers received some mixed messages early on Thursday from both official and non-official sources about whether local schools would be open or closed.

In the end, some stay closed, some opened, and some opened and closed early as bus drivers were worried about creeks rising.

Rainfall totals reported (Wednesday night to Thursday afternoon)  included: 126mm (Bunya Mountains), 112mm (Cloyna), 143mm (Tablelands) and 96mm (Yarraman).

Kingaroy received between 110mm and 120mm, however the town also recorded a wind gust of 87km/h at 1:27pm at Kingaroy Airport.

The South Burnett Local Disaster Management Group sat through most of the day monitoring the situation.

The group consists of representatives from the police and ambulance, Ergon Energy and Council. It was chaired by Deputy Mayor Kathy Duff.

The committee officially stood down at 3:50pm when it became obvious the danger had passed.

Deputy Mayor Cr Kathy Duff and General Manager Infrastructure Russell Hood ... Cr Duff was chairing the Local Disaster Management Group

The group’s last update included:

  • There has been little inflow to Boondooma and Bjelke-Petersen Dams at this time. Over the coming days there will be slight inflows, however not significant enough to lower the current Level 3 water restrictions in place across the region.
  • Gordonbrook Dam is 0.17m below the spillway and rising. Capacity is at 93 per cent and is being closely monitored into the evening.
  • The weather moved rapidly through the region delivering the needed rain, thankfully with only minor infrastructure damage throughout the region.
  • Council will continue to monitor a number of roads and bridges in the region, providing updates through to the Queensland Traffic website.
  • There had been 48 requests for assistance during the past 12 hours from emergency services and Council.
  • There were a number of trees down over roads as a result of high wind gusts.
  • No injuries were reported as a result of the weather event.
  • Swift water technicians will continue to monitor known local flooding areas in the region

Cr Duff asked that the community continue to travel with care and avoid flooded waterways.

Creeks were up and flowing swiftly but River Road - at least the Kingaroy end - did not live up to its name this time around

* * *

Earlier on Thursday

UPDATE 7:30pm:

The South Burnett Regional Council advised that the Chinchilla-Wondai Road at Boyne River near Durong has now been closed due to water over the road. This closure will be reviewed at dawn.

The SBRC also reminded residents that creek and river levels are rising as runoff makes its way into them, and while Council crews are out assessing and erecting signage, the full extent may not be captured overnight.

Because of this, drivers should exercise extreme caution when approaching bridges and floodways. If water is over the road or the extent of any damage cannot be fully assessed, they should not cross.

Council will review road conditions and issue a further advisory tomorrow morning (Friday, March 31).

Nanango State High School also advised that it has now decided to close – along with most of the region’s other schools – on Friday.

* * *

UPDATE 4:20pm:

The SBRC has advised the Silverleaf Road side track at Marshlands Bridge will be closed to all traffic this afternoon because it is likely to be inundated by rises in Barambah Creek overnight.

Detours will be in place via nearby local roads as signed, and the situation will be reviewed on Friday.

At 4:20pm on Thursday, roads closed were:

  • Pound Street, Kingaroy
  • Brown Street, Nanango
  • Byee Road, Wheatlands
  • Kangaroo Yard Road, Wheatlands
  • Burnett Highway, Goomeri (Chippendale Creek)
  • Kilkivan-Tansey Road at Wide Bay Creek Bridge
  • Memerambi-Gordonbrook Road, Wilkesdale
  • Greenview Road, Greenview
  • Wondai-Proston Road, Leafdale
  • Wondai-Proston Road, Chelmsford
  • Campbells Road, Mondure
  • Mondure-Wheatlands Road, Mondure
  • Fryar Street, Murgon
  • Steinhardts Road, Redgate (and Goschnicks Road intersection)
  • Tipperary Road, Redgate

Proceed with caution (if it’s flooded, forget it):

  • Bunya Highway, Crawford
  • Bunya Highway, Wondai
  • Chinchilla-Wondai Road, Cushnie
  • Chinchilla-Wondai Road, Durong
  • Kilcoy-Murgon Road, Redgate
  • Burnett Street, Kingaroy
  • First Avenue, Kingaroy (near Kewpie)
  • Mondure-Wheatlands Road, Wheatlands
  • Gold Street, Nanango
  • Deep Creek Road, Gordonbrook
  • North Street, Kingaroy
  • River Road, Kingaroy
  • Kilcoy-Murgon Road, Redgate
  • Sippels Road, Redgate
  • New England Highway, Cooyar

* * *

UPDATE 3:00pm:

The SBRC said it had been advised that all South Burnett schools will be closed tomorrow (Friday, March 31), but suggests parents confirm this information by checking their school’s Facebook page or website.

Nanango SHS has confirmed that it will be open tomorrow unless overnight flooding occurs, and in this instance texts will be sent by 7:00am if this changes. The school’s Facebook Page will contain any new information.

The situation with schools in Toowoomba, Cherbourg or Gympie Regional Council areas is unknown.

* * *

Ergon Energy has advised that more than 1000 customers are without power in parts of Nanango, Booie, Coolabunia and Kingaroy due to a tree branch over the lines at Edenvale North Road, Kingaroy (near where it meets the D’Aguilar Highway).

The power has been out since 1:25pm and there is no restoration time as yet.

Updates will be available from Ergon’s Outage Finder

* * *

UPDATE 1:00pm:

The SBRC has issued the following local road advices:

Kingaroy

  • Pound Street between Knight and Avoca streets – closed
  • First Avenue between River Road and Logan Street – closed
  • Mary Street at the corner of the D’Aguilar Highway and Petersen Drive has water over the road, but is still open
  • Burnett Street has water over the road but is still open

Wondai

  • Byee Road between Wondai-Proston and Flats Road – closed
  • Chinchilla-Wondai Road has water over the road but is still open

Wondai District

  • Campbells Road between Mondure-Wheatlands and Gueena Roads – closed
  • Kangaroo Yard Road between the Bunya Highway and Byee Road – closed
  • Mondure-Wheatlands Road between Campbells Road and Beers Road – closed
  • Mondure-Wheatlands Road intersection with Byee Road has water over the road but is still open

The Council also confirmed at 1:00pm that the technical glitch which had prevented road closure updates appearing on the State Government’s Qldtraffic.qld.gov.au website earlier on Thursday has now been fixed, and South Burnett residents should look there for the latest road closure information.

* * *

UPDATE 12:40pm:

Residents downstream of Gordonbrook Dam will be able to use a recorded message service to access up to date information regarding the dam level at Gordonbrook by calling (07) 4189-9533.

The service is a recorded message updated with current conditions – level, capacity, inflow information, and whether the dam is spilling or not.

Downstream landholders are also advised to continue to observe warnings and information issued by the Bureau Of Meteorology. BOM also publishes information about flooding and river heights.

Byee Road (Wondai Proston end) and First Avenue in Kingaroy (River Road end) are now both confirmed as being cut by run-off.

* * *

UPDATE 11:40am:

The SBRC advised that it will be providing road closure updates on its website and Facebook page because its data is not feeding through to the State Government’s road closure website at the present time.

In addition to current road closures at Byee Road, Wheatlands, the Burnett Highway at Goomeri and Kilkivan-Tansey Road at the Wide Bay Bridge, Council advised that Dingo Creek appears likely to cut the Bunya Highway at Wondai later today.

An unverified report also suggests First Avenue in Kingaroy is cut.

* * *

UPDATE 9:00am:

The South Burnett’s Local Disaster Management Group (LDMG) advised at 9:00am that:

  • Currently, requests for assistance are being managed within regional capabilities  - all requests to come through to (07) 4189-9100 unless life threatening, on which case call Triple 0
  • The SES has received six requests (two each from Nanango, Blackbutt and Kingaroy) for sandbags, which are part of standard preparations. The requests for assistance are increasing this morning with the majority of requests still being for sandbags
  • There has been no significant inflows to Boondooma and Bjelke-Petersen Dams at this time, with Boondooma at 36 per cent and Bjelke-Petersen at 20 per cent capacity
  • Gordonbrook Dam is currently at 84 per cent capacity and rising; it is being monitored closely, and further updates will be provided throughout the day
  • Creeks and rivers in the region are starting to flow and dependent on the rainfall in the next 6-12 hours may rise. cutting road access. Regular updates will be provided throughout the day
  • Some local roads have been cut due to the current level of rainfall and Council is updating the Main Roads Road Closure website direct, so the community can be confident that the information on that website is the most up to date for our region
  • Queensland Health are on alert and have made arrangements for critical services
  • Queensland Ambulance have maximum staffing in place with staff available for recall to duty if necessary
  • Queensland Fire & Rescue Services have established an Incident Control Centre and are closely monitoring the weather to assist the LDMG. There are swift water crews in Kingaroy and Murgon with two Swift Water Technicians in Kingaroy available for deployment should the need arise
  • Cr Duff (Acting Chair of the LDMG) advises that the relevant local agencies will be in attendance at the Disaster Management Control Centre throughout the day as the Group will continue to monitor and manage the impact from this weather event

* * *

If you’re travelling today, you can also get more information about local conditions on these websites:

South Burnett residents living on (or near) the Barker-Barambah Creek or Boonara-Nangur Creek systems can exchange information on these Facebook pages:

Flash flooding caused short-term problems in all the usual places on Thursday ... this is First Avenue in Kingaroy near Kewpie

The new drain in Memorial Park, Kingaroy, seemed to be carrying away a larger flow than previously but was close to overflowing about two hours after this photo was taken


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6 Responses to Ex-Cyclone Gives Farmers A Lift

  1. Eskypig

    Many thanks to the local Council & associated emergency services for keeping us safe. While all this is happening, where was our local member of Parliament today – at the Toowoomba Show.

    • News Desk

      Politicians get a hard time from the public, but seriously, what could any politician do today? In these sort of situations, we’re sure the experts prefer to be left alone to do their jobs rather than have to make room for politicians who may just want a photo op. MPs have to swing into action after the event … lobbying for funds for infrastructure repairs, working in committees to see if there is anything that can be done to improve the emergency response system etc etc. It’s a different job to what the emergency services are doing, but still very important.

  2. Eskypig

    Instead of LNP campaigning for an election that hadn’t been called yet at the Toowoomba Show – our local member could be assisting behind the scenes (helping cut up sandwiches or making a cup of tea for tired hard working volunteer SES workers).
    At least our local member could follow the governments warnings of severe weather and staying off the roads/staying home.

    • Disgruntled

      Break it up mate, that’s a silly comment and you know it. You are sounding like that stupid group of dopey garden gnomes that include Di Natali, Shorten and that excitable little Iranian Dastyari. Get real!

  3. Bill Weir

    Would you suggest she “cut sandwiches and make a cup of tea” if she was a male? I doubt it. Can you name any road between here and Toowoomba that was closed yesterday? There weren’t any, so I doubt that, too. And if the Toowoomba Show Society asked her to attend their Show, should she turn them down because it was a wet day? I doubt that too. But if she had, I have no doubt you’d criticise that as well.

  4. Intelligent JRT

    @Eskypig … your name seems very interesting! The End.

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