Flooding in Ipswich.
Flooding in Ipswich. Rob Williams

Region marks flood anniversary

TOMORROW marks six months since January's devastating floods ravaged the Lockyer Valley before piling misery on to Ipswich and surrounding areas.

There had been plenty of rain and flash flooding in the region in the months before the floods, but no one could have anticipated what was to come on Monday, January 10.

When news spread about how serious the devastation was in the Lockyer Valley that day, Ipswich residents braced themselves for the worst. And it came.

Lockyer Valley Regional Council mayor Steve Jones said the sixth-month anniversary brought mixed emotions.

On one hand, families in hard-hit areas such as Grantham and Murphys Creek are still recovering from the loss of loved ones killed in the natural disaster.

But he said progress had been made around the Lockyer Valley with residents there keen to move forward.

“With something as big as this it will take a while to get everything done,” Cr Jones said.

“When I think of the night of January 10, and the destruction I saw that night, I didn't think we'd come back this far in six months.”

Cr Jones said people were looking to the future with the residents of Grantham rebuilding on higher ground an example of the region's determination to carry on.

He said insurance was still an issue for a lot of residents, though, with many homes still in disrepair.

Cr Jones said he was hopeful most residents would be back in their homes before the year-long anniversary of the disaster.

A ceremony or memorial service will be held to mark the occasion in the region.

In Ipswich, Mayor Paul Pisasale had a similar message.

He said despite the significant progress that had been made since the disaster, there was plenty of work to do.

Cr Pisasale said the council would continue to work hard to help the city get back on to its feet.

“We still have a lot more to do to get people back in their houses,” Cr Pisasale said.

“Every day we're doing everything we can to help them out.

“It's been a tough six months but we have to keep going.”

He said one positive thing the floods had brought out was a stronger community spirit.

“It has brought streets closer together, suburbs closer together and cities closer together,” he said.

He said details of how the event would be remembered one year on would be worked out closer to the date.

In Murphys Creek, tomorrow's anniversary will be marked with a memorial event aimed at helping valley residents heal.

Survivors will be invited to recount their stories, candles will be lit and residents will help create a “tree of life” where their hopes and dreams will be pinned.

The memorial event will be held at the Murphys Creek sports ground from 1.30pm.

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