Somerset locals still isolated
COMMUNITIES in the Somerset region are still isolated and without power as residents come to terms with what will be an enormous recovery effort.
In the Lowood district alone, 50 people were forced to take refuge in the evacuation centres at the high school and the bowls club after the Brisbane River, Lockyer Creek and several connecting creeks and gullies overflowed.
Patrick Estate was one of the worst-hit areas, along with Clarendon, where police co-ordinated several roof rescues.
After losing tens of thousands of dollars worth of property in the flood, Patrick Estate resident Judy Nixon was told her insurance may not cover her.
Mrs Nixon and husband Dayle also lost their dog as they fled their home last Tuesday.
They returned on Thursday to protect what property they had left from looters, “camping out” in a house with no power or phone.
“You look around and you see people a lot worse off and you realise that you’re one of the lucky ones,” Mrs Nixon said.
Parts of Brightview were also badly hit, however the devastation spread from Fernvale right up to Jimna.
Four hundred and seventy-two homes across the region were inundated.
Somerset Mayor Graeme Lehmann said communities in Mt Stanley, Linville and Moore still had no access and required food drops.
Exhausted local SES volunteers were given a break at the weekend after seven days of working virtually without rest.
Large numbers of workers and volunteers from interstate and overseas have descended on the Somerset Region to help residents and businesses recover.
Crews from Energex, Queensland Fire and Rescue, the Gold Coast City Council, SES and Ipswich have arrived to repair Somerset’s key infrastructure.
The Australian Defence Force has also been in the region dropping fuel and water supplies to isolated communities.
Lowood and District Meals on Wheels treasurer Jeff Hewitt said the 2011 floods exceeded the levels of 1974 by just under a metre.
“Between January 10 and January 12, Lowood had 486mm of rain, and that isn’t taking into account all the water coming down the Lockyer Creek and all the water from the dam releases,” he said.
Residents in all parts of the Somerset region are being advised, as a precaution, to boil their water for at least three minutes before drinking.
For more information on flooding and community news in the Lowood district, visit www.lowood.qld.au.