Race on to beat the water
AT 4am yesterday, Stephanie Knight and her family were racing to beat a rising river.
Ms Knight, youngest granddaughter of Ipswich businessman Ian Boettcher, joined her family in moving scores of cars from the showroom floor on Brisbane Road, Bundamba up to higher ground – namely the Bundamba railway station car park.
“We were moving the Protons,” she said.
“We moved 700 cars the day before – it was a nightmare.”
The Boettcher showroom is right in the path of the flooding Bundamba Creek, so the family had no choice but to move each and every vehicle.
“In 1974, the water came right up here, so we knew they had to go,” she said.
“We started moving the front ones at midnight on Tuesday then yesterday we started at 8am and finished about 1pm.”
Yesterday she and some of her family returned to join the crowd which had flocked to the barricaded Brisbane Road to see how far the water had progressed.
Armed with digital cameras and camera phones, residents snapped the sight of water stretching out of view towards the city.
They dipped their toes in the water and let their leashed dogs lick at the small lapping waves, but many just stood back and stared in dismay.
For little Heather Dickinson, aged seven, it was all a bit scary.
Heather, a junior Salvation Army soldier, admitted she was surprised to see her church surrounded by water.
“It's big,” she said.
Long-time Ipswich resident Jim Fischer, 69, stood in the same place on a closed Brisbane Road during the 1974 flood.
“Back then it got up to the floor of the Titans' office,” Mr Fischer said.
“We aren't there yet – but who knows. There was also an oil depot on this street.
“And we stood here and watched the oil drums float away – lounges too from a house that used to be there where the Proton showroom is now.”
Mr Fischer said the swollen creek gathered a crowd back then too, and while the technology might have changed – some things hadn't. “It was like first day assembly,” he joked
“And we all had cameras then too.”