Lockyer Valley put on flood alert
HUNDREDS of Lockyer Valley residents have been put on high alert as flooding hits the region for the second time in less than two weeks.
Residents in Grantham, 10km west of Gatton, were last night being prepared for an emergency evacuation as floodwaters quickly swelled after heavy downpours.
Earlier in the day, Lockyer Valley Regional Council activated its disaster management group, bringing together council staff, the SES and emergency services to co-ordinate the response.
By 2pm many residents had moved goods to higher ground and stocked up with emergency supplies as the water levels rose.
Just half-an-hour later they were surrounded by floodwater, with no way in or out of the community except by boat.
Resident Julie Bellette said the town was prepared for the worst.
“We were warned by the SES that it could be worse than the Boxing Day floods,” Ms Bellette said.
“The SES have been out here all day helping everyone prepare. They have been really good.”
As floodwaters quickly inundated the small rural town, many passing motorists were caught off guard, some even becoming stranded in the water.
SES crews had to help a Blue Care bus transporting about six elderly people from a flooded road at Grantham when the vehicle became waterlogged.
Ms Bellette did a quick dash into Gatton yesterday morning to get supplies in preparation for a few days of isolation.
“After Boxing Day, we are definitely preparing for the worst,” she said.
“We could be stranded out here for a few days depending on how much rain we get or it could be cleared by tomorrow morning. The thing is we just don't know.
“At the moment it's waist-deep outside and it's still rising.”
Lockyer Valley Mayor Steve Jones said he was keeping a careful eye on rising water levels in Grantham and across the Lockyer Valley to ensure the safety of residents and to avoid a repeat of the Boxing Day disaster.
This area has been declared a “disaster zone” with Lockyer Valley Regional Council seeking emergency flood funding.