News

Lockyer Valley communities cut off from civilisation

MORE than 250 people living in the tiny hamlets of My Sylvia and Junction View in the Lockyer Valley have been completely cut off from civilisation for nearly a week.

The level of destruction caused by floodwater which tore though the region earlier this week is unprecedented.

The damage bill is expected to exceed $100 million.

Kilometres of roads, bridges, electricity and communication infrastructure, prime farming land and landmarks no longer exist.

A stretch of about 20 kilometres of Mt Sylvia Road from the intersection of Junction View and Lefthand Branch Roads has been completely washed away.

The road is the main link to Gatton.

Tenthill Creek which runs through the region has cut a chasm measuring about 500 metres wide and about 20 metres deep.

Junction View residents Chloe Kennedy (left) and Peter Coleman standing beside what is left of a 20 kilometre section of Mount Sylvia Road.
Junction View residents Chloe Kennedy (left) and Peter Coleman standing beside what is left of a 20 kilometre section of Mount Sylvia Road. Bev Lacey

The area is only accessible by helicopter.

The Chronicle was the first media outlet to visit the region after chartering a helicopter through Heliwest Toowoomba.

We talked exclusively with affected residents.

Mt Sylvia disaster co-ordinator Julia Crust said the level of destruction caused by the floodwater was simply staggering.

"The level of devastation is totally unbelievable," Mrs Crust said.

"It has to be seen to be actually believed. The area is simply unrecognisable.

"The level of destruction caused by this flood is 10 times worse than which occurred in 2011," she said.

Mrs Crust said residents had been communicating with each other via hand-held walkie-talkies.

"The area has not had electricity or telephones lines for about a week," she said.

"They, along with all the power poles, have been washed away.

"We have been told we will be without any electricity or communication lines for at least six weeks."

Mrs Crust said the Lockyer Valley Regional Council was in the process of airlifting generators into the area.

"We have asked people to go from property to property to drain petrol from anything they can to power them," she said.

"That is how dire the situation is.

"There have also been regular daily airdrops of medication, food and supplies from Gatton.

Mrs Crust said authorities do not know where to begin on the path to recovery given the total devastation of the area.

"Everyone is very anxious to say the least," she said.

"The old timers living in the area have said they have never seen anything like this before.

"We do not know where to begin as we are in unchartered territory."

Residents told The Chronicle that more than 1400 mm was recorded during the rain event.

Topics:  floods 2013, isolated, lockyer valley, mt sylvia, toowoomba




Join the Community.

Get your local news, your way.

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Hanson says the "Islamisation of Australia" must stop

One Nation's pitch to woo Ipswich voters at the federal election.

One Nation is gearing up for this year's federal election

What's on in Ipswich today

JOIN US: Capricorn Coast Mallet Sports Club members Lyn Christiansen, Fay and Vince Hagen, and Lyn Hanlon.

A guide to the best events across the region today

Premier's initiative ended the cheap talk

My Comment column with QT journalist Adam Davies

Latest deals and offers

Man allegedly reaches 182kmh

A REDBANK Plains man has been charged for dangerous driving and a number of other serious offences after allegedly reaching speeds of 182kmh on the Ipswich Motorway.

A REDBANK Plains man has been charged for dangerous driving and a number of other...

Man allegedly reaches 182kmh in Goodna

A REDBANK Plains man has been charged for dangerous driving and a number of other serious offences after allegedly reaching speeds of 182kmh on the Ipswich Motorway.

A REDBANK Plains man has been charged for dangerous driving and a number of other...

James Legan on thrilling Force win

James Legan.

Ipswich Force captain James Legan shares his excitement with David Lems after a...

Demand for acreage lots pushes up property prices

Property values in Cooroy have increased 25%

Property values jump in Cooroy and Peachester.

How a sacked real estate agent made $725k in four months

Agent is now under investigation by the industry watchdog

RBA warns of future apartment oversupply

Toowoomba: Crest Apartments and Burke & Wills, Ruthven Street ( view from Neil Street) Photo Bev Lacey / The Chronicle

RBA says oversupply of apartments poses risk to household finances