More floods forecast for region

THE heavy rain Ipswich was dreading is now expected to arrive, although not in the same volume experienced last summer.

The Bureau of Meteorology yesterday predicted the Ipswich region would receive rainfall between 75 and 80 per cent above the average of 300mm between November and January.

With above-average rainfall now expected, Natural Resources Minister and Ipswich MP Rachel Nolan said she would consider making a decision on draining the region's dams in two weeks' time.

Ms Nolan said the decision to drain the dams will be reassessed each time the Bureau of Meteorology updates its forecast as the wet season approaches.

Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Jeff Sabbury said this time last year Queensland was already being hit by a La Nina weather pattern.

He said another La Nina was now predicted, but it would arrive later and be weaker, with rainfall not as extreme or widespread.

If the floodwaters do re-emerge throughout Ipswich, SES Ipswich Area controller Arie van den Ende said he believed the service would be in a good position to handle the flooding this time around.

"If we are to get the same or worse I think people would be more alert and responsive. People will be better prepared."

Mr van den Ende said the SES has a lot of data from the floods which has put them in good stead.

He urged homeowners to also be wary of storms this summer.

Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale said while the community's energy levels were down, the city's residents were very resilient.

"We are tired. We have not stopped for eight months getting people back in their homes. The last thing this city wants is another flood," he said.

"The last thing they need is another deluge of water through their houses."

Cr Pisasale said after a natural disaster it generally takes four years for a region to recover.

Premier Anna Bligh assured Queenslanders yesterday that all measures will be taken to drain the dams if the threat of flooding arises.

"The Queensland Floods Commission of Inquiry Interim Report recommended that we should temporarily reduce the level at Wivenhoe Dam if the Bureau of meteorology makes a similar wet season forecast to that made for 2010-11.

"The Minister won't hesitate to act if the advice says the dam levels should be lowered."

Currently Wivenhoe Dam is at 81 per cent of its drinking water capacity. The flood report stated Wivenhoe Dam should be reduced to 75 per cent capacity if the bureau predicts a similar forecast to last year.

 

DAM STATISTICS

  • Wivenhoe Dam is at 81.4% of its drinking water capacity.
  • During the first two weeks of October SEQ Water released 400 megalitres a day from Wivenhoe Dam.
  • Forecasters predict the Ipswich region will receive 80% above the average rainfall between November and January.


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