Grantham to remain closed
THE flood-ravaged community of Grantham in the Lockyer Valley will remain closed to the public for at least another weekend.
A Lockyer Valley Regional Council spokesman said the devastated town and its people were not ready for “gawkers” to filter through the town while there was still rubble around.
Council has made the decision to continue to block access to the town throughout the weekend while clean-up efforts continue.
“Roadblocks in to Grantham will remain in place 24-hours a day until at least Monday,” a council spokesman said.
“While police are no longer manning these road blocks, council traffic controllers will be in place stopping unauthorised traffic.”
Grantham residents raised concerns earlier in the week when they learnt their town could reopen to the public, citing concerns that gawkers would inundate the town, which is still in the thrusts of cleaning and removing tonnes of debris.
“Grantham is still a major clean-up zone, with heavy machinery and trucks continuing the recovery effort. It’s just not safe with the amount of earthmoving and heavy machinery travelling around the town,” the spokesman said.
Many of the townspeople are still grieving after more than a dozen residents were killed when an inland tsunami ripped through the close-knit community on January 10, leaving the town in ruins.
For more than a week after the disaster, residents were not allowed to return to homes as hundreds of army personnel and police continued to sift through ruins in search of bodies.
Since January 18, only residents and volunteers have been allowed to enter the town to help with the clean-up.
“Because of the situation in Grantham, council has decided that we will not allow general through traffic through or rubberneckers until at least Monday,” he said.
“Only residents, contractors, authorised volunteers and council employees will be allowed through to help with the clean-up efforts.