Residents count the cost after a record flood
TWO homes are confirmed to have been submerged by floodwater that flowed through Jandowae yesterday and there are fears another three were severely affected.
Western Downs Mayor Paul McVeigh said authorities would not know the full damage bill until the water subsided.
"We just cannot access parts of the town," he said.
The small town, west of Toowoomba, was put on high alert early today after more the 260mm of rain fell upstream.
By 11am the Jandowae Creek swelled to 2.5m, breaking its banks and flooding most of the town.
Contract pilot Glen Little took to the sky in his helicopter to survey the scene.
He guessed this flood was deeper than the one in 2011.
"I was talking to a mate and he has the 2011 level marked on his home," Mr Little said.
"This flood was higher."
He captured dramatic photos of the water.
"We just took the family up and had a look," he said.
"I thought 'holy dooley', it was a lot of water."
By midafternoon the water moved down steam.
Authorities fear the small hamlet of Warra - where the Jandowae and Cooranga creeks converge - will flood tonight.
Cr McVeigh warned floodwater could cut the Warrego Highway at Warra.
SES volunteers, police and fireys were deployed to check on Jandowae residents.
Cr McVeigh was concerned some residents had engaged in risky behaviour.
"We had children playing and jumping into floodwater," he said.
"We are trying to stop that.
"You just do not know what is in the water in terms of disease and debris."
He repeated warnings about driving on flooded roads and bridges.
"As we always say, if it is flooded, forget it."
Despite the immediate heartache and stress Cr McVeigh said the region would reap long-term benefits from the deluge.
"It is bitter sweet," he said.
"If you look at it from a regional point of view, the economic benefits will be in the billions of dollars."
Cr McVeigh said farms that had sat dormant for the past two years would start planting and that would have a significant flow-on effect to business.
"Everyone will be spending money again because they will need production capacity," Cr McVeigh said.