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Army convoy ready to tackle flood recovery

Premier Campbell Newman back in town speaking at a press conference this morning.
Premier Campbell Newman back in town speaking at a press conference this morning. Mike Knott

UPDATE, 8.30PM WEDNESDAY: AN army convoy of more than 200 personnel has arrived in Bundaberg ready to tackle the city's enormous flood recovery effort.

The soldiers are part of a military Emergency Support Force (ESF) that will help Queensland Emergency Management and local authorities get Bundaberg back on its feet.

Major Patrick O'Neill, who has been in Bundaberg for two days preparing for the operation, said the troops would be be working with Bundaberg Regional Council and Urban Search and Rescue to help out the best way they could.

"We will also have a tradies group of two carpenters, a plumber and an electrician," Major O'Neill said.

UPDATE 3.30PM, WEDNESDAY: More than 200 Australian Defence Force troops are on their way to Bundaberg as fellow soldiers on the ground carry out further rescues.

Extra police will also be deployed to Bundaberg and surrounding towns to patrol the streets for potential looters, following the arrest of three people in Gympie today.

Media were told at a briefing this afternoon the ADF had deployed 210 officers to Bundaberg based on the needs outlined by the local council and disaster committee.

The river may be on its way down but black hawk helicopters are still conducting rescues, with 11 people plucked from danger this afternoon.

Police Commissioner Ian Stewart said more police would be sent to the Bundaberg region.

He said three people, including two juveniles, were arrested in Gympie for looting, an act which the Commissioner labelled "absolutely disgusting".

Premier Campbell Newman said the destruction to Queensland had been absolutely massive.

In Bundaberg 300 business have been affected by the record-flood and 1000 homes are uninhabitable.
"There are houses that have been washed off their stumps and are in the middle of the road," he said.

Mr Newman said the gas line between Gladstone and Bundaberg had ruptured and authorities were working hard to open ports in Central Queensland.

In Maryborough residents are also grappling with floodwaters with more than 700 homes affected and 200 houses uninhabitable.

Police are also searching for a man whose car was found near Gatton, close to where another man's body was found today.

A flood peak for Rockhampton has been revised and the city is expected to see a 8.5 metre peak on Friday night.

Mr Newman said people should prepare themselves for the Bruce Hwy to be cut at the Yeppen floodplain.

The Premier also announced a committee to oversee the distribution of the flood appeal funds.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Detective Senior Sergeant Joe Hildred and Acting Superintendent Mark Henderson at a press conference in Bundaberg today.
Detective Senior Sergeant Joe Hildred and Acting Superintendent Mark Henderson at a press conference in Bundaberg today.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

UPDATE 11.30AM, WEDNESDAY: Bundaberg police have quashed reports that the city has been overcome by looting during the floods.

Speaking at a press conference, Acting Superintendent Mark Henderson said even though there had been reports of a small handful of break-ins, crime across the region is actually down.

UPDATE 7AM, WEDNESDAY:  Authorities hope record flooding in Bundaberg will  soon begin to recede after the Burnett River peaked at a record 9.53 metres about 7pm on Tuesday night.

In its latest advice issued at 6.40am on Wednesday, the bureau said the river has eased slightly overnight after reaching 9.5 metres during Monday evening.

Burnett River Gayndah to Walla:

Major flooding continues to slowly ease along the Burnett River between Mt Lawless and Walla. River levels are expected to fall below the major flood level and continue to ease during Wednesday and Thursday.

Bundaberg:

River levels in the Burnett River at Bundaberg have fallen to 9.22 metres at 3.30am Wednesday morning.

While there is an easing trend, the main flood peak is about the Woongarra area. This is likely to cause further small renewed rises, with the river to remain about 9.5 metres at Bundaberg for the next 24 hours, at least.

The December 2010 flood level at Bundaberg was 7.92 metres. The 1942 flood reached 8.59 metres.

Predicted River Heights/Flows:

Walla: Major flooding to continue falling during most of Wednesday.

Bundaberg: Remain steady above 9 metres, with small renewed rises possible during Wednesday and early Thursday.

The next warning will be issued by 11am Wednesday, or earlier if required.

Latest River Heights:

Location Height of River Date/Time of Observation

Three Moon Ck at Monto *  3.55m falling  05:50 AM WED 30/01/13

Burnett R at Eidsvold Br  7.2m steady  05:00 PM TUE 29/01/13

Burnett R at Marriages *  4.04m falling  05:45 AM WED 30/01/13

Boyne R at Boondooma Dam *  1.67m steady  04:00 AM WED 30/01/13

Burnett R at Mundubbera  11.4m falling  06:30 PM TUE 29/01/13

Burnett R at Gayndah Flume *  7.56m falling  05:30 AM WED 30/01/13

Barker Ck at Bjelke-Petersen Dam *  1.62m falling  04:25 AM WED 30/01/13

Barambah Ck at Ficks Crossing *  7.93m falling  04:30 AM WED 30/01/13

Barambah Ck at Ban Ban *  5.85m falling  05:00 AM WED 30/01/13

Burnett R at Mt Lawless *  8.07m falling  05:20 AM WED 30/01/13

Burnett R at Walla TM *  17.24m falling  05:40 AM WED 30/01/13

Burnett R at Bundaberg  9.22m falling slowly  03:30 AM WED 30/01/13

Warnings and River Height Bulletins are available at www.bom.gov.au/qld/flood .

7000 isolated by floodwaters with 2000 in evacuation centres

An estimated 7000 people remain isolated in the region with about 2000 in evacuation centres.

Evacuations have been continuing into the night with a fleet of Army and civilian helicopters.

More than 1000 people have now been airlifted to higher ground.

About 100 people have been ferried  from the Bundaberg Hospital to hospitals in Brisbane after spending time waiting in a corrugated iron hangar under the steamy conditions.

EARLIER: More than 7000 people remain isolated in the Bundaberg region with helicopters evacuations expected to continue into the night.

Authorities expect more properties to be be flooded even though the level of the Burnett River has stayed at 9.5 metres since 11am.

More than 40 Bundaberg patients have been evacuated from the local hospital and treated at hospitals in Brisbane, the Sunshine Coast and Hervey Bay.

A Hercules plane, Blackhawk helicopters, rescue helicopters and civilian aircraft have been involved in a massive operation to rescue more than 1000 people.

About 160 Australian Defence Force personnel have been swung into action.

Meanwhile, police have moved to dispel false reports that Paradise Dam and the bridges are structural unsound.

They are all structurally sound.

There has also been false reports about looting - there has only been one break and enter and that was in a non-flooded area.

In its latest advice, issued at 4pm, the Bureau of Meteorology said the severe major flooding was continuing.

"Record major flooding continues at Bundaberg with the river remaining steady at about 9.5 metres for the last 5 hours,'' the report said.

Burnett River to Gayndah:

Flood levels are easing in the Burnett River to Gayndah. Moderate flood levels continue to fall at Mundubbera and Gayndah.

Boyne and Auburn Rivers and Barambah and Barkers Creek:

Areas of moderate to major flooding continue to ease across the Boyne and Auburn Rivers, and in Barkers and Barambah Creeks.

Burnett River Gayndah to Walla:

Major flooding continues to slowly ease along the Burnett River between Mt Lawless and Walla. River levels at Walla will remain above the major flood level overnight and during most of Wednesday.

Bundaberg:
River levels in the Burnett River at Bundaberg have remained steady at about 9.5 metres since 10am Tuesday.

Further small rises are possible up to 9.6 metres during the remainder of Tuesday. River levels should commence to fall away during Wednesday morning.

The December 2010 flood level at Bundaberg was 7.92 metres.

The 1942 flood reached 8.59 metres.

Predicted River Heights/Flows:

Walla: Major flooding to continue falling overnight Tuesday and during most of Wednesday.

Bundaberg: Very slow rises up to a peak of 9.6 metres during Tuesday afternoon and evening.

For the latest weather information see: www.bom.gov.au/qld/forecasts

The next warning will be issued by 7pm Tuesday, or earlier if required.

Latest River Heights:

Location Height of River Date/Time of Observation

Three Moon Ck at Monto *  4.53m falling  03:30 PM TUE 29/01/13

Burnett R at Eidsvold Br  NA  NA

Burnett R at Marriages *  6.05m rising  03:40 PM TUE 29/01/13

Boyne R at Boondooma Dam *  2.6m falling  02:00 PM TUE 29/01/13

Burnett R at Mundubbera  12.05m falling  03:15 PM TUE 29/01/13

Burnett R at Gayndah Flume *  9.86m falling  03:40 PM TUE 29/01/13

Burnett R at Gayndah  NA  NA

Barker Ck at Bjelke-Petersen Dam *  2.07m steady  02:20 PM TUE 29/01/13

Barambah Ck at Joe Sippel Weir HW *  NA  NA

Barambah Ck at Ficks Crossing *  8.68m falling  02:30 PM TUE 29/01/13

Barambah Ck at Stonelands *  NA  NA

Barambah Ck at Ban Ban *  6.6m steady  03:00 PM TUE 29/01/13

Burnett R at Mt Lawless *  10.31m falling  03:40 PM TUE 29/01/13

Burnett R at Paradise Dam HW *  NA  NA

Burnett R at Walla TM *  21.77m rising  03:40 PM TUE 29/01/13

Burnett R at Bundaberg  9.525m steady  04:00 PM TUE 29/01/13

* denotes automatic station.

Warnings and River Height Bulletins are available at www.bom.gov.au/qld/flood .

GPs team up to provide volunteer medical checks

The Local GP Association has teamed up to provide volunteer medical checks to people at evacuation centres.

Six-hundred people are isolated in Branyan at Arcadia Dr.

However after negotiations with landowners, they have made a temporary road so they can get into town and get supplies.

Also, police warn about a number of false reports on Facebook sites.

Bundaberg Police Superindendent Rowan Bond asked that the point of truth be the QPS, council and government sites/pages.

UPDATE, 10.45AM TUESDAY: Premier Campbell Newman has continued his tour of flooded Bundaberg areas, focusing on Water and Targo Sts this morning.

Mr Newman got in a boat to be taken around affacted areas and spoke to residents along the way, including Water St resident Jill Hall, whose home is inundated up to her roof.

Mrs Hall has found herself in the unusual situation of having to stay with her ex-husband because she has nowhere else to go, but has laughed about the predicament.

She's not the only one in high spirits despite the disaster.

Residents in the area were joking with Mayor Mal Forman that they were surprised they hadn't had their bins collected this morning as scheduled.

Cr Forman promised them he'd get onto it.

UPDATE, 9.45AM TUESDAY: Premier Campbell Newman has pledged to give all and every means of support possible to help the flood crisis in the city.

Speaking at a press conference in the city this morning Mr Newman said the Burnett River was currently at 9.4 metres with an expected peak of 9.5 metres at 2pm today, after which it is believed the waters will start to recede.

Mr Newman said 7500 people have been displaced, and up to 3000 homes have been evacuated.

He said 94 people had been rescued overnight from one pocket of land in North Bundaberg, with about 1000 people rescued by choppers in the past 24 hours.

Forty-two patients have been taken by Hercules military aircraft to Brisbane, with another 42 to go today.

There are about 130 military staff in the city at the moment helping residents and disaster managers to manage the situation.

Mr Newman said Bundaberg was now the state's main priority and he pledged $1 million to kick off the Premier's Flood Appeal, while Westpac has donated $100,000.

Mr Newman also said fears over army fuel shortages had been addressed, with the army accessing fuel from Gladstone.

The Premier said that at present, Gin Gin residents had no water or sewerage system and that 80 people were rescued from North Bundaberg overnight.

Bundaberg Police said residents have been on good behaviour with no reports of looting which is something that has happened in previous flood events.

Bundaberg Police are keeping up regular patrols as a precautionary measure against looting in the city.

It has also been reported that Avoca Rd is cut before and after the plant nursery and that water in that area is rising.

Both Prime Minister Julia Gillard and New Zealand Prime Minister John Key have pledged support for Bundaberg, as well as premiers from several other states in Australia.

Mr Newman will be touring some of the disaster zones in the region today.

UPDATE, 9.30AM TUESDAY: Premier Campbell Newman has touched back down in Bundaberg along with Member for Bundaberg Jack Dempsey to survey the area and speak to those affected by flooding in the region.

The Premier has this morning been meeting with flood victims at the Bundaberg Civic Centre evacuation centre and has announced that one Hercules C130 has arrived in Bundaberg with another on the way in a matter of hours to help move patients from Bundaberg Hospital to a range of locations including Calounda, Hervey Bay, Prince Charles, Royal Children's, Mater Children's and Princess Alexandra hosptials.

A number of critically ill patients including newborn babies were airlifted from the hospital last night.

Bundaberg Hospital will keep the emergency department open for as long as possible.

Campbell Newman will hold a press conference at 10am.

UPDATE, 7AM TUESDAY: Patients at Bundaberg Hospital continue to be airlifted to other facilities as severe major flooding is being experienced in the Burnett Catchment.

Record major flooding continues at Bundaberg with further rises expected today.

Major flooding is also occurring at Mundubbera and Gayndah.

Burnett River to Gayndah:

Major flood levels have peaked in the Burnett River between Abercorn and Gayndah.

The peak of 23.0 metres recorded in the Burnett River at Mundubbera during Monday morning was below the 1942 flood level of 23.6 metres.

Boyne and Auburn Rivers and Barambah and Barkers Creek:

Moderate to major flooding is easing across the Boyne and Auburn Rivers, and in Barkers and Barambah Creeks.

Burnett River Gayndah to Walla:

The flood peak is now downstream of Paradise Dam.

The Burnett River at Walla is currently around 23.0 metres and rising as upstream floodwaters arrive, this is above the December 2010 flood (20.10 metres).

Further river rises up to 24.0 metres are possible at Walla on Tuesday.

Bundaberg:

River rises and major flooding are occurring in the Burnett River at Bundaberg.

At 4am today, the river level at Bundaberg was at 9.4 metres and steady.

Further small rises are likely today in the Burnett River at Bundaberg.

A peak up to 9.5 metres is expected late today or early tomorrow.

UPDATE, 8PM MONDAY: QUEENSLAND Health has confirmed Bundaberg Hospital will be evacuated.

Plans are being finalised for the transfer of the hospital's 130 patients to alternative facilities, including airlifting some to Brisbane metropolitan hospitals and taking others to other local health providers.

Current planning includes discussions with the Australian Defence Force, Royal Flying Doctors Service and Careflight.

It is anticipated that patients will be transported tonight, with the majority moving tomorrow morning.

A dedicated disaster transport medical team was due to arrive in Bundaberg tonight to finalise triage arrangements with local medical staff.
 

UPDATE, 6PM MONDAY: Severe major flooding is being experienced in the Burnett Catchment.

Record major flooding continues at Bundaberg with further rises at Bundaberg expected to continue into Tuesday.

Major flooding is also occurring at Mundubbera and Gayndah.

Burnett River to Gayndah:

Major flooding is continuing in the Burnett River between Ceratodus and Gayndah. Major flooding has peaked at 23.0 metres at Mundubberra early Monday morning, which is slightly below the 1942 peak level of 23.6 metres. Flooding has also peaked at Gayndah during Monday morning.

Boyne and Auburn Rivers and Barambah and Barkers Creek:

Moderate to major flooding is continuing across the Boyne and Auburn Rivers, and Barambah and Barkers Creeks. Flooding is easing in the upper reaches of these Rivers and Creeks.

Burnett River Gayndah to Walla:

The Burnett River at Walla is currently around 22.9 metres and beginning to rise as water from the upper Burnett arrives. The current level is above the December 2010 flood (20.10 metres).

Further river rises and levels above 23 metres are likely at Walla during Monday and Tuesday.

Bundaberg:

River rises and major flooding are occurring in the Burnett River at Bundaberg.

At 3 pm Monday, the river level at Bundaberg was at 9.20 metres and rising slowly.

The Burnett River at Bundaberg is expected to continue rising during Monday and Tuesday as peak flows arrive from upstream.

A peak above 9.20 metres is expected during late Tuesday or early Wednesday.

The December 2010 flood level at Bundaberg was 7.92 metres. The 1942 flood reached 8.59 metres.

Predicted River Heights/Flows:

Eidsvold: Continuing to fall.

Mundubbera: Continue falling with major flooding during Monday.

Gayndah: Continue falling with major flooding during Monday.

Walla: Rises above 23 metres during Monday.

Bundaberg: Continue rising above nine metres during Monday and Tuesday, with a peak expected late Tuesday or early Wednesday above 9.20 metres.

UPDATE, 5.15PM MONDAY: Federal Treasurer Wayne Swan has announced the Australian Defence Force will be assisting in the transport of Bundaberg Hospital patients to Brisbane amid fears of flooding. 

UPDATE, 5PM MONDAY: Bundaberg Regional Council are currently holding a press conference. The NewsMail will share details with readers as soon as we have them on hand. 

UPDATE, 3PM MONDAY: The AGL rescue chopper has today performed the following rescues as part of its operations in the region. 

  • Airlifted two people stranded by flood waters in North Bundaberg to higher ground.
  • Medical task to Moore Park. 70 yr old female very ill. Airlifted to Bundaberg Hospital due to QAS unable to get to her around flood waters.
  • Winched an elderly couple in their 60s from the roof of their Fairymead home (near Point Bundaberg). They were taken to the evacuation centre at Barber Park.
  • Rescue 512 flying around Fairymead area with PA system asking residents to self-evacuate as per police request.

UPDATE, 2.30PM MONDAY: Premier Campbell Newman has warned homes in North Bundaberg could be swept away because of the height and ferocity of the Burnett River.

The Premier told a press conference moments ago the Burnett was flowing at a speed of about 40 knots, which was making rescues virtually impossible in some situations and raised the likelihood of homes being swept down the river.

"This is a very real possibility ... this afternoon or tonight," Mr Newman said.

"We now have a significant number of people who are in danger of being trapped in areas of North Bundaberg.

They are about to be isolated.

"The message is that if you can get out safely, please leave now."

Mr Newman said four extra helicopters were being mustered to aid with rescues as more needed to be carried out, and extra police officers were being deployed to Bundaberg to help "protect the community".

The Premier said there were also concerns for Bundaberg Hospital, because of the rising height of the river, and that 60 patients had been moved from the ground to the upper level of the facility.

UPDATE, 12.30PM MONDAY: The banks of the Burnett River have burst and a mandatory evacuation of North Bundaberg has been ordered.

People are advised to go to Oakwood School. People must move quickly. 

There is an estimated 7000 people still in North Bundaberg that need to evacuate now.

The message will be delivered via loud hailers in order to attempt to inform people in a timely manner.

Bundaberg Mayor Mal Forman said "please leave, it's very urgent, it's mandatory".

Bundaberg Police Superintendant Rowan Bond said we were in unprecedented history with the river at 9.1m and it was expected to rise to 9.5m.

"This is unknown area as far as modelling goes," he said.

Residents only have a few hours to evacuate as Mt Perry Rd is expected to also go under.

The water that is there now is local, but there is more water coming from outer catchments and it will be flowing at up to 40 knots.

"It's more than a caution, there an imminent danger where people could be killed and drowned," Supt Bond said.

The high flood level is expected to continue for several days and emergency services are preparing for a 10m peak.

UPDATE, 12PM MONDAY: The army has landed at Bundaberg Airport with new helicopters to assist with rescues and evacuations as unconfirmed predictions of an expected flood peak of 11m have been reported. 

Emergency services have been run off their feet saving stranded people from rooftops, especially in North Bundaberg where several adults and children had to be rescued from roofs on Gavin St. 

This morning there were about 30 people stranded on rooftops in Bundaberg. 

UPDATE, 11.20AM MONDAY: Severe major flooding is being experienced in the Burnett Catchment.

Major flooding continues at Bundaberg during Monday morning.

Extremely large major flooding is also occurring at Mundubbera and Gayndah.

Burnett River to Gayndah:

Extreme river rises have been recorded in the upper Burnett River, with major flooding extending between Cania Dam and Gayndah.

Major flooding has peaked at 23.0 metres at Mundubberra early Monday morning, which is slightly below the 1942 peak level of 23.6 metres.

Flooding is expected to peak slightly above current levels at Gayndah during Monday morning.

Boyne and Auburn Rivers and Barambah and Barkers Creek:

Moderate to major flooding is continuing across the Boyne and Auburn Rivers, and Barambah and Barkers Creeks.

Burnett River Gayndah to Walla:

The Burnett River at Walla is currently around 22.6 metres and rising slowly.

The current level is above the December 2010 flood (20.10 metres).

Further river rises and levels above 23 metres are likely at Walla during Monday and Tuesday as upstream floodwaters arrive.

Bundaberg:

River rises and major flooding are occurring in the Burnett River at Bundaberg.

At 10am Monday, the river level at Bundaberg was at 9.05 metres and rising.

The Burnett River at Bundaberg is expected to continue rising during Monday and on Tuesday as peak flows arrive from upstream.

A peak above nine metres is expected during late Tuesday or early Wednesday.

The December 2010 flood level at Bundaberg was 7.92 metres. The 1942 flood reached 8.59 metres.

Predicted River Heights/Flows:

Eidsvold: Believed to have peaked and currently falling.

Mundubbera: Continue falling with major flooding during Monday.

Gayndah: Peak slightly above current levels with major flooding during Monday.

Walla: Rises above 23 metres during Monday.

Bundaberg: Continue rising above nine metres later on Monday and on Tuesday, with a peak expected late Tuesday or early Wednesday above nine metres.

UPDATE, 10.15AM MONDAY: Both the Bundaberg and Sunshine Coast based AGL rescue helicopters are back in the flood zone around the Bundaberg region today, where dozens of families are needing rescue.

The flood peak is not expected until tomorrow, but people are stuck on the roofs of their homes and isolated by flood waters on their properties.

Yesterday, the AGL Action Rescue Helicopter winched a father and his two teenage sons from their property at Baffle Creek.

A rescue basket was winched down to the family who climbed into neck-deep water and one by one were winched to the safety of the AGL Action Rescue Helicopter. 

UPDATE, 8.15AM MONDAY: Rescuers in Bundaberg are battling to reach 30 people trapped on rooftops.

SBS reported that Premier Campbell Newman said it had been too dangerous to save those people, but efforts were continuing.

He said the flood in was expected to break all records, with water levels reaching 8.7 metres on Monday morning.

Mr Newman said the city was expecting a flood "well and truly beyond the formal record flood of 1942" and possibly bigger than a flood that wasn't properly recorded in the 1890s.

"There is quite a critical situation there at the moment with 30 people stranded on roofs," he told ABC News 24.

UPDATE, 7AM MONDAY: Rapid rises and severe major flooding is being experienced in the Burnett Catchment.

Major flooding continues at Bundaberg during Monday morning.

Extremely large major flooding is also occurring at Mundubbera and Gayndah.

Burnett River to Gayndah:

Extreme river rises have been recorded in the upper Burnett River, with major flooding extending between Cania Dam and Gayndah.

River levels have peaked or remain near a peak at Cania Dam, Monto and Abercorn.

River levels continue to rise with major flooding downstream at Eidsvold, which has exceeded the December 2010 flood level.

Major flooding continues to rise at Mundubbera and at Gayndah.

Boyne and Auburn Rivers and Barambah and Barkers Creek:

Moderate to major flooding is occurring across the Boyne and Auburn Rivers, and Barambah and Barkers Creeks.

Burnett River Gayndah to Walla:

The Burnett River at Walla is currently around 22.6 metres and nearing an initial peak during Monday morning, which is above the December 2010 flood (20.10 metres).

Further river rises and higher levels are likely during Monday and Tuesday as upstream floodwaters arrive.

Bundaberg:

Rapid river rises and major flooding are occurring in the Burnett River at Bundaberg.

At 4am Monday, the river level at Bundaberg was at 8.73 metres and rising.

The Burnett River at Bundaberg is expected to reach 9 metres during Monday morning.

Further rises are likely later on Monday and on Tuesday as peak flows arrive from upstream.

The December 2010 flood level at Bundaberg was 7.92 metres. The 1942 flood reached 8.59 metres.

Predicted River Heights/Flows:

Eidsvold: Continue rising with a major peak expected overnight Sunday.

Mundubbera: Continue rising with major flooding into Monday.

Gayndah: Continue rising with major flooding into Monday.

Walla: Major flood peak just below 23 metres overnight Sunday, with further rises during Monday and Tuesday.

Bundaberg: Reach nine metres during Monday morning with further rises likely later on Monday and on Tuesday. A peak prediction will be given when peaks are observed upstream in the Burnett River.

Latest river rises

Three Moon Ck at Cania Dam HW *  0.85m steady  02:15 AM MON 28/01/13

Three Moon Ck at Monto *  6.01m rising  05:40 PM SUN 27/01/13

Three Moon Ck at Abercorn *  11.15m steady  08:11 AM SUN 27/01/13

Nogo R at Wuruma Dam HW *  3.73m steady  09:00 AM SUN 27/01/13

Burnett R at Marriages *  15.59m falling  04:40 AM MON 28/01/13

Auburn R at Dykehead *  8.94m falling  05:50 PM SUN 27/01/13

Boyne R at Boondooma Dam *  5.88m rising  02:15 AM MON 28/01/13

Burnett R at Mundubbera  22.3m rising slowly  09:00 PM SUN 27/01/13

Burnett R at Gayndah Flume *  17.28m rising  04:20 AM MON 28/01/13

Barker Ck at Bjelke-Petersen Dam *  1.67m rising  02:30 AM MON 28/01/13

Barambah Ck at Ficks Crossing *  10.39m rising  02:30 AM MON 28/01/13

Barambah Ck at Stonelands *  8.36m rising  06:20 AM SUN 27/01/13

Barambah Ck at Ban Ban *  9.63m steady  04:33 AM MON 28/01/13

Burnett R at Mt Lawless *  17.58m falling  04:40 AM MON 28/01/13

Burnett R at Walla TM *  22.57m falling  04:40 AM MON 28/01/13

Burnett R at Bundaberg  8.8m rising slowly  05:00 AM MON 28/01/13

* Automatic station 

Bundaberg Regional Council messages:

  • Council has received advice that there is an approximately 1.5 metre hole on the northern approach to the Kolan River Bridge. Do not cross this bridge until further notice.
  • If you are seeking Information on family, friends or loved ones in any of the Wide Bay area Evacuation centres please direct your enquiries to Red Cross Evacuee Information on 1800 100 188.
  • Don't walk, wade or drive through flooded creeks and other bodies of water, and keep children well away from floodwater.
  • Look out for physical hazards such as fallen power poles.
  • Wash your hands regularly and keep any existing wounds covered.
  • For people who have lost power, dispose of any food that has an unusual odour, colour or texture; refrigerated food that has not remained cold; or frozen food that has thawed and cannot be eaten now.
  • If using a generator, make sure it is in a well ventilated area, preferably outside.

 

UPDATE, 6PM SUNDAY: Bundaberg Mayor Mal Forman says the Burnett River is expected to reach an initial peak of 8.5m tonight between 8pm and midnight with 600 homes and 150 businesses expected to be swamped.

The river is expected to then reach a further peak of 9m late Tuesday with 1000 homes and 200 businesses are expected to be inundated with water.

Mr Forman said the river was currently at 7.7m and was steadily rising by about six inches each hour.

The deluge on Tuesday will be a result of the catchment from areas upstream making its way down the river.

Mr Forman said the Burnett River had not reached such heights since the late 1800s.

"We're really in unchartered waters because the last time the river was this high was in 1893 or 1894," he said.

Both Paradise and Monduran dams are spilling with Paradise 6.9m over and Monduran at 6.47m.

Mr Forman said the emergency evacuations had been complete although some people had refused to leave their homes.

"We are asking people to keep off the roads and don't get in the way," he said.

"Please be patient.

"We're doing all that we can."

UPDATE, 5PM SUNDAY: A pontoon has started to give way on the north side of the Burnett Traffic Bridge. 

The NewsMail is currently in discussions with Bundaberg Regional Council and will provide more information on weather conditions as they come to hand. 

UPDATE, 12.30PM SUNDAY: RESIDENTS of North and East Bundaberg have been urged to evacuate within the hour, with the Burnett River already at 7m and rising.

"Things have escalated very quickly and we're looking at an 8.5m flood," Mayor Mal Forman told a press conference a short time ago.

Cr Forman said the local disaster management committee had ordered the self-evacuation of North Bundaberg, which was happening right now

"It is very serious," he said.

"The Tallon Bridge is not closed yet, but it will be. People are going around doorknocking now, trying to get them to shift."

Bundaberg Police Superintendent Rowan Bond said the escalation in seriousness of the flood was "only very recent".

"It's more than a precaution," Supt Bond said.

"The gravity of the situation is very serious and we require everyone in North Bundaberg in low-lying areas right now to evacuate."

Disaster managers have also urged people in East Bundaberg who were either affected or almost affected in the 2010 Christmas flood to evacuate within the hour.

Streets in North Bundaberg believed to be at risk are:

• Mariners Way
• Wells St
• Waterview Road
• Gavin St
• Stuart St
• Gladwell St
• Perry St
• Agness St
• Wolca St
• Queen St
• Gavegan St
• Fagg St
• Kolan St
• Hinkler Avenue
• Station St
• Donald St
• Thornhill Lane
• Thornhill St
• Tallon St
• Parkview Tce
• Young St

Evacuation centres are located at the Civic Centre in Bourbong St, and the hall at Bundaberg North State High 

All roads to and from Bundaberg have been cut.

More to come

UPDATE, 10.43AM SUNDAY: Flood levels are at 6.75 metres and rising, according to reports. 

UPDATE 9AM SUNDAY: River levels in Bundaberg and the North Burnett coul exceed those reached in the 2010 Christmas floods, according to the latest Bureau of Meteorology flood warning.

The BOM warning said strong river rises and major flooding were occurring throughout the Burnett River catchment, and that significant river rises have been recorded in the upper Burnett River, with major flooding extending between Cania Dam and Eidsvold and levels expected to continue rising to record levels throughout today.

River levels at Eidsvold have exceeded the December 2010 flood level and are continuing to rise. Major flooding is expected to develop at Gayndah and Mundubbera during the day today, with river levels likely to exceed the December 2010 flood by late today.

Just after 6am, the Burnett River at Walla was at 18.8m and continuing to rise rapidly, and this section is also likely to reach levels in excess of the December 2010 flood (20.10m) during the day.

In Bundaberg, strong river rises are expected in the Burnett River at Bundaberg during the day today, with major flood levels likely to be exceeded this afternoon.

Rises will continue tomorrow and Tuesday, and levels higher than the December 2010 flood (7.95m) are likely.

Predicted River Heights/Flows:

Walla: Exceed 20 metres during Sunday.

Bundaberg: Reach major flood level (7 metres) by Sunday evening.

Eidsvold: Continue rising during Sunday.

Mundubbera: Exceeding 19 metres during Sunday.

Gayndah: Exceeding major flood level (15 metres) during Sunday, and continue rising into Monday.
 

11.30PM SATURDAY: A FLOOD warning has been issued for Bundaberg for Sunday evening, with Burnett River levels expected to reach 7m - just less than a metre below the peak of the 2010/11 summer floods.

The Bureau of Meteorology has just issued the urgent warning, saying major flood levels had been exceeded at Walla, with major flooding to extend through to Bundaberg by Sunday evening.

Heavy rain between Gayndah and Bundaberg and strong local inflows into the Burnett River is responsible for the current flooding in the lower Burnett River.

Significant rainfall over the Burnett catchment in the past six to nine hours is also causing rapid river rises. Major flood levels have also been exceeded at Three Moon Creek, Abercorn, Ceratodus and Coringa.

Further heavy rainfall is forecast across the Burnett River catchment during the next 24 hours, which may lead to higher flood levels and more widespread flooding.

Council staff are set to doorknock expected areas to be affected from early Sunday morning to alert residents of the coming flood.

Updates to come

Topics:  bundaberg, burnett river, flood warning



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