This house on Gatton-Helidon Road was completely under water on Monday night.
This house on Gatton-Helidon Road was completely under water on Monday night. Melanie Maeseele

Fatal flood claims nine lives

RAPID rising floodwater in the Lockyer Valley has claimed nine lives, including children, and the death toll is rising.

More than 70 people are still unaccounted for and many more are feared missing.

Thousands of residents were urged to self-evacuate while hundreds more were flown by Black Hawk helicopters to evacuation zones in Gatton.

A wall of water flushed downstream from Toowoomba and into Lockyer Creek on Monday taking out rural communities along the way.

Residents in Grantham and Helidon were rescued from their rooftops until the helicopter was grounded on Monday night because of fog.

Rescues resumed at first light with evacuees taken to emergency evacuation centres at the Gatton Shire Hall and The University of Queensland’s Gatton campus.

More than 300 people, Forest Hill’s entire population, were rescued by Black Hawk helicopters and taken to evacuation centres at the Gatton Sports Centre and Gatton Shire Hall.

Police and Search and Rescue teams are working from the ground to locate missing people in Grantham, Withcott and Murphys Creek but rescues are being hampered with heavy rain inundating the region.

In Grantham the bodies of a female child, a male child, a woman aged in her 30s and an elderly woman have been found.

Onlookers at Daveys Bridge in Gatton were stunned to see a woman’s body was pulled from the rising floodwater.

About 8.30am emergency services were notified of a woman who had washed up against the banks at Gatton South.

A Helidon man, evacuated to Gatton, went to investigate a smell only to discover the woman’s body.

Lockyer Valley Mayor Steve Jones said the region looked like it had been hit by “Cyclone Tracy”.

Record flood levels were recorded at Daveys Bridge in Gatton from the Lockyer Creek catchment reaching 18.92 metres, exceeding 1974 flood levels.

The Lockyer Creek at Glenore Grove peaked at 14.60 metres at 11.30pm, which is 0.3 metres below the 1974 flood.



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