Thousands evacuated as water rises
THOUSANDS of Ipswich families are homeless today after being evacuated from the city’s flood-ravaged suburbs last night.
As the Bremer River overflowed, Bundamba, Goodna, Basin Pocket, Redbank Plains, Karalee and several other suburbs went under.
Torrents of water submerged homes and washed away possessions.
As many as 3000 homes had to be evacuated.
More than 450 roads were flood-affected, including the Ipswich Motorway, Cunningham Highway and Warrego Highway.
Riverlink Shopping Centre was evacuated at 11am as the Bremer River rose steadily.
The closure caused the Ipswich CBD to come to a standstill for two hours during lunch time.
For the first time in its history, the upper One Mile Bridge was overflowing.
But some people were more concerned about having fun than staying safe.
There were numerous incidents reported of people using boogie boards to surf through floodwater.
One group of four males, all carrying boogie boards, used their car to visit multiple flooding hot-spots looking for the perfect surfing area.
Two aged care facilities in Moores Pocket were evacuated late in the afternoon.
Earlier in the day, Moores Pocket residents banded together to escape the rising water.
As the sun rose, they helped each other pack belongings and then held a street meeting to decide an action plan.
“We are sticking together. We will all go to the same place once we flee here,” Rachael Wait said.
“My place is going under. The next door’s house will go too, but we are helping each other get through it.”
North Booval resident Malcolm Fraser evacuated to a friend’s place before noon yesterday, with the Bremer River just metres from his back porch.
He bought his riverside house 10 years ago despite being told it would likely flood.
“They said it would flood but I liked the place and thought surely it wouldn’t for happen for a while,” Mr Fraser said.
“Looking at the river now, we will be under water in a few hours.
“But we have friends here who are helping us.”
The first Ipswich residents forced to flee their homes began arriving at the Ipswich Showground evacuation centre at noon yesterday.
At 6pm last night there were amore than 1000 people at the showground. One of them was Sian Barber, 39, who had recently fled a flood-devastated Bundaberg. Yesterday’s rain was so harsh an Emergency Management Queensland chopper was left stranded on the Warrego Highway at Haigslea for several hours.