IPSWICH CBD looking north to the Riverlink shopping centre.
IPSWICH CBD looking north to the Riverlink shopping centre. Rob Williams

City in spotlight as water rises

TO SAY the eyes of the world have been on the Ipswich district in the past few days is no exaggeration.

After the wall of water that slammed into Toowoomba on Monday and moved downstream, fears the Bremer River flood level would pass the devastating 1974 mark in Ipswich made headlines from Auckland to New York.

In the QT newsroom yesterday, our skeleton staff fielded calls from media outlets all over the country – The 7.30 Report, SBS World Service, The Australian, The Australian Financial Review and Woman's Day among them.

Other news providers made their way through floodwater to the city itself, many like Today, Sunrise and ABC broadcasting live from the water's edge from the early morning.

Ipswich City Council Mayor Paul Pisasale said the response to Ipswich's plight had been overwhelming.

“I've already done interviews with BBC Scotland and BBC Ireland and friends in Israel say it is all over Israeli television,” Cr Pisasale said.

“China, the US – you name it, people all around the world are showing their concern and support for the city of Ipswich.”

And no wonder.

Our CBD was a disaster zone yesterday

A sheet of water stretching from East Street to Mortimer Lane and beyond was broken only by rooftops, floating debris and the top of street signs.

It was an awesome and terrible sight – underscored by the knowledge that retailers and restaurateurs have lost their livelihood and face an uncertain future.

The sense of emergency and devastation was magnified by the sound of sirens and choppers flying overhead.

“I'm hurting,” Cr Pisasale admitted.

“The city is hurting...we know how dangerous Mother Nature has been but we also know that when the flood water goes down, we will rebuild it into the great city it was.”

People wanting to help with the flood recovery can call the Ipswich City Council on 3810 6666.



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