Water swamps city
WHILE families in low-lying areas of East Ipswich were given early warning, nothing could have prepared them for what they saw yesterday morning.
The evacuation of houses began early Tuesday and lasted throughout the day, with the majority of people getting out before the devastation reared its head.
The Daly family of Trumper Street returned to their neighbourhood yesterday morning to find their home almost up to its roof in the Bremer River.
Mother-of-five Paula Daly had a glazed look in her eyes as she stared at the destruction, but was thankful to have her family safe by her side.
“We got all our valuables out – all our pets and everything,” Mrs Daly said.
“It's devastating because we've been in that house almost 11 years.”
By 11pm Tuesday, the water had reached half way up the Daly's back steps.
From there the Bremer River kept swelling and swelling until it got to a height of about two metres around the family's low-set timber home.
It was still rising yesterday morning and locals pointed out that the 1974 level was up around the tip of the roof.
It was expected to peak mid-afternoon yesterday.
Mr Daly said the decision to flee was made before midnight Tuesday.
“It was lapping at the gate at the side of the house so we knew it was time,” he said.
“I rang a couple of the bosses and managers from work and they came out and gave us a hand pulling everything out – they brought all utes and trailers and stuff like that.”
There was no shortage of stories of people offering a helping hand when it was needed most.
Barry Adams was part of a trio of men who spent all day and most of the night on Tuesday helping people take their valuables to higher ground.
“We just started 5.30am moving my mother and father-in-law's house out, then went over the Nathan Street and did my wife's uncle's house,” Mr Adams said.
“Then we went over to my house at Woodend and cleared everything out because the floodwaters were apparently 1m into the bottom of my house this morning.
“The Army barracks over near Limestone Park let us use their hall to store some property.
“It's just gutting to look at.”