Firies ready for floods as Wivenhoe releases begin

HIGH ALERT: Ipswich firefighters are preparing for the likelihood of heavy rain and flooding this weekend.
HIGH ALERT: Ipswich firefighters are preparing for the likelihood of heavy rain and flooding this weekend. Rob Williams

IPSWICH'S top emergency rescue specialists have been put on high alert as fears of flooding swept the Ipswich region.

A forecast for up to 250mm of rain over the weekend led Premier Campbell Newman to order releases from dams including Wivenhoe.

Water started being released from the dam yesterday at 300 cubic metres per second and Seqwater expects that to continue for several days.

Twin Bridges and Savages Crossing at Fernvale were expected to be closed overnight and Colleges Crossing should close by 9am today.

At Ipswich fire station, Queensland Fire and Rescue Service crews were packing up trucks, preparing for a deluge.

Technical rescue co-ordinator Scott Beasley said: "Everyone's on alert for this weekend".

"Our swiftwater support vehicles will be geared up and all the swiftwater rescue guys are on alert," Mr Beasley said.

Our swiftwater support vehicles will be geared up and all the rescue guys are on alert.

"The way the weather pattern is now, we're going to get some rain, no doubt about it.

"How the ground deals with that will dictate how we go; if we get 200-300mm of rain, then causeways and roads are going to be flooded.

"How the public reacts to that makes a big difference. It's a long weekend so they want to get away but the message is still there: If it's flooded, forget it."

The SES is also preparing to mobilise with Ipswich area co-ordinator Arie van den Ende overseeing the filling of hundreds of sandbags.

One of the first bad signs of the rain was when a four-wheel drive brought down a power pole on Limestone St, Ipswich.

Energex crews worked into the night to restore power to part of the Ipswich CBD after the 4WD collided with the pole on the right hand side of Limestone St, just past the Milford St intersection, about 1.30pm yesterday.

The top of the pole fell on to Limestone St, with power lines draped across the road.

A Queensland Ambulance Service spokeswoman said the woman driver was one of two passengers were taken to Ipswich Hospital with minor injuries.

Seqwater said urban flooding was not expected from dam releases but residents should contact their council for information on flood impacts.

Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale said between 150mm and 250mm was likely in the Ipswich local government area this weekend.

"There is the potential for intense rainfall to cause localised flash flooding in the Bundamba and Woogaroo creek catchments," he said. "The latest computer modelling indicates the potential for flooding to close some roads in the upper and mid Bremer River catchment over the weekend.

There is the potential for intense rainfall to cause localised flash flooding in the Bundamba and Woogaroo creek catchments.

"There should only be minimal stream rises on the Bremer River between One Mile and where the Bremer joins the Brisbane River.

"It is important to note that the dryness of the catchment means we are not expecting any major flooding."

 

Race meeting decision

Ipswich Turf Club general manager Brett Kitching said a decision would be made tomorrow morning on whether its race meeting goes ahead.

The free family fun day at Ipswich racetrack aims to be an ideal Australia Day celebration.

Topics:  campbell newman, colleges crossing, flood, savages crossing, seqwater, twin bridges, water releases, wivenhoe dam



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