Esk’s main street, Ipswich Street, is inundated.
Esk’s main street, Ipswich Street, is inundated.

Floods hit Esk

RELENTLESS flooding has isolated residents in the Brisbane Valley and closed roads and bridges across the region.

Propped up by a raging Lockyer Creek and ongoing releases from Wivenhoe Dam, the Brisbane River rose to heights that some locals said they hadn't encountered.

In what Somerset Region Mayor Graeme Lehmann described as a definite first, Redbank Creek at Esk burst its banks and flooded the centre of town.

The water rose quickly from about 1.45pm, catching many locals off guard as it inundated business, the local council chambers and the caravan park.

Esk post office owner Greg McLachlan said about a dozen people from nearby businesses had taken shelter in his shop, which was only a few centimetres clear of the floodwater.

“The water rose damn quick and people didn't know what to do,” Mr McLachlan said.

“Parts of town are 50cm to one metre under water and it's moving fast.”

Cr Lehmann, who was stranded in Fernvale due to the closure of the Brisbane Valley Highway, said he was equally surprised about the flooding in Esk.

“We thought Esk was high and dry – that it would never flood there,” he said.

“At the moment we're just playing it by ear and hoping for the best – hopefully the water goes back down quickly.”

Further west, Woolshed Creek and Plain Creek were back in flood, isolating some residents in the Brightview and Lockyer Waters areas.

Brightview resident John Fitzpatrick said between 800 and 1000 people in his neighbourhood couldn't get to shops.

“We're marooned – and the long-range weather forecast isn't looking good,” he said.

Brightview Road was impassable at Plain Creek, while the Lockyer Creek was blocking Forest Hill-Fernvale Road just outside Lowood.

Resident Themi Graham, who was unable to get home to Lockyer Waters, watched as a big semi-trailer barged its way across a flooded Forest Hill-Fernvale Road. But with water at least one metre high, there was no way of getting across in a normal vehicle.



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