November 18, 2019
The devastating bushfire in the Pechey area over the past few days has affected Toowoomba’s water supply.
On Monday, Mayor Paul Antonio urged residents on the Toowoomba Bulk Water Supply network to conserve water for domestic use only due to a loss of dam pumping capacity caused by the fire.
The network supplies drinking water for Toowoomba, Oakey, Jondaryan, Highfields, Crows Nest, Kingsthorpe, Gowrie Junction, Meringandan, Wyreema, Westbrook, Goombungee and Hodgson Vale.
Mayor Antonio said the weekend’s fires around Pechey had burnt the powerlines connected to some of Council’s water infrastructure assets, including the Cressbrook Dam pump station, which has stopped water being pumped from Cressbrook Dam.
UPDATE November 22: Water operations at Cressbrook Dam are back online following days of emergency works from Ergon Energy and Toowoomba Regional Council staff.
The Pechy / Ravensbourne fire prompted a “Prepare To Leave: Watch and Act” warning from the QFES on Sunday for residents in Esk.
This prompted Esk Hospital to make the decision to evacuate patients.
On Monday morning, the alert for Esk was reduced to “Stay Informed: Advice”, however Redbank Creek, Crows Nest, Cressbrook Creek and Ravensbourne (all parts of the Pechy fire) were still at “Prepare To Leave” alert status.
At 11:00am, a decision was made to evacuate a nursing home in Crows Nest; 35 residents were assisted by QAS to relocate to St Vincent’s Hospital in Toowoomba; 23 on stretcher and 12 off stretcher.
Crows Nest State School closed early on Monday as a precautionary measure due to the fire and will stay closed on Tuesday.