The SES clean up an entry road to the Lockyer Valley township of Grantham.
The SES clean up an entry road to the Lockyer Valley township of Grantham. Claudia Baxter

Grantham to reopen after search

GRANTHAM residents are appealing to the public to give them privacy ahead of the town reopening tomorrow.

Residents fear an influx of sightseers will flock to the devastated rural community just to see the carnage first hand.

“We are still grieving and we are still sorting through the debris and what is left of our homes,” one resident said.

“The last thing we want is people here snooping through our stuff.”

Grantham was placed in police lockdown after a devastating inland tsunami ripped through the town on January 10, killing more than a dozen residents.

For more than a week following the disaster, residents weren't allowed to return to their homes as hundreds of army personnel and police continued to sift through ruins in search of bodies.

From January 18, only Grantham residents and their volunteers have been allowed to enter the town to help with the clean up.

Gatton Police officer in charge Tom Missingham has asked motorists who will resume using Gatton-Helidon road to travel from Gatton to Toowoomba to be considerate.

“Many of these families have lost family members and friends and many have lost their homes.

“We urge the community to be respectful,” Snr Sgt Missingham said.

“At this stage the roadblocks directly leading to Grantham will be lifted on Friday but there may well be some streets still cordoned off by local government.”

Snr Sgt Missingham said the main road along Gatton-Helidon Road through Grantham will be open by about 4pm tomorrow but a strong police presence will remain in the area.

A couple of Grantham residents said they know the town has to reopen but asked the public to “respect their privacy”.

“We still aren't able to lock our houses and have so much still that needs to be cleaned up,” one resident said. “We ask for some respect and compassion and are sick of people who are after nothing more than a sticky beak.”



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