Disaster declared in Valley
HUNDREDS of Lockyer Valley residents remain cut off by floodwater more than a week after severe storms lashed the region.
Floods worse than those which wreaked havoc in 1974 hit the region four days before Christmas and have left hundreds of residents south-west of Gatton stranded. It could be several weeks before they can get out, with the damage bill expected to exceed the $50 million mark.
Lockyer Valley Regional Council Mayor Steve Jones toured the area by helicopter on Friday afternoon to see the extensive damage to infrastructure and provide food drops to affected residents.
“It’s an absolute disaster out there. We need to get the infrastructure fixed as soon as we can because residents, some very ill, are completely cut off from town,” Cr Jones said.
Several roads and bridges around the Mt Sylvia, Woodbine, Junction View, West Haldon and Black Duck areas had been washed away, with residents unable to get in or out.
The area has now been declared a disaster zone and Cr Jones is asking the government for emergency flood funding to help assist stranded residents.
“It could be several weeks, at the earliest, before we can get some of the roads out there fixed,” he said.
One of the region’s worst-affected roads, Mt Sylvia Road at Mt Sylvia – a Main Roads road – had been washed away by floodwater, cutting off access to Gatton for several residents.
Cr Jones said no Main Roads representatives had been in contact with him.
Mt Sylvia resident Julia Crust is desperate to restore some order back into the rural communities and was relieved when Cr Jones offered assistance.
“I am very relieved someone is helping,” Mrs Crust said.
“It’s a heartbreaking, isolated situation when you don’t have contact with the outside world; when we have no road access.”