Extensive search for victims
DOZENS of police divers, firefighters and emergency services personnel trudged through debris, mud and water yesterday in search of bodies at Grantham.
Police went from house to house with cadaver dogs trying to locate more than 50 people reported missing, nine of which they have grave concerns for, after an eight-metre wall of water forced its way through the town on Monday afternoon.
Twelve people have been confirmed dead with the death toll still rising after another two bodies were located about 30km downstream in the Lockyer Creek at Brightview and Tarampa. Grantham is barely recognisable to even the residents who grew up there with entire houses forced downstream into Lockyer Creek, others removed from stumps and many brick homes demolished.
Cars, many with people still inside, were lifted from the ground and thrown into a torrent of water.
Grantham resident Garry Campbell struggled to comprehend the disaster zone.
“You wouldn't even believe this is Grantham anymore. There's nothing left,” Mr Campbell said.
“It's just a disaster. It's like a bomb has gone off.”
Mr Campbell had just finished work in Grantham when he was told to move to higher ground.
“There really wasn't enough warning of what was coming for us,” he said.
“Before we knew it there was this huge wall of water that came – it picked up cars with people inside and took them with it.”
Mr Campbell fought back tears as he told of how he felt helpless watching vehicles and houses washed away with people screaming inside.
“There was absolutely nothing we could do to help them,” he said.
“I know I've lost a few good mates in this. It's hard to imagine that I will never see them again.”
Lockyer Valley Mayor Steve Jones admitted he was struggling to comprehend the devastation.
“It's just shattering. It's devastating to see what has happened to the community out there but we will work through this, we have to.”