Thousands cut off from Bundaberg

UP TO 1000 people are cut off from the outside world at Branyan and Sandy Hook, after McCoys Creek flooded Branyan Drive.

Bevan Grohn said people were taken by surprise when the waterway flooded about 9.30am yesterday.

“We certainly didn’t expect it,” Mr Grohn said.

“I’ve lived here for 45 years, and it hasn’t flooded in 25 years – since they built the new causeway.”

He said hundreds of families were isolated with no warning from SES or officials.

“Luckily we have plenty of supplies, but I don’t think anyone expected it,” he said.

“If worse comes to worst, I’m sure we can get a boat to cross.”

Mr Grohn said he believed water levels from the creek were higher than they had been previously, even in the 1972 floods.

“I made marks in the 1970s floods to show where the water got to, and those are well and truly under water now,” he said.

“It’s reached the top of the windmill in my back yard.”

He said the raging floodwaters had also torn many private pontoons away from the bank.

“They’re just getting ripped out and going downstream,” he said.

“The water rose 600mm in about an hour.”

Despite road closed signs, people in four-wheel drives were trying to cross the flooded creek yesterday, after residents were caught by surprise.

Several drivers said they had gone out sight-seeing and came back only to discover they could no longer get into their homes.

Branyan woman Toni Hughes spoke with the NewsMail from Townsville, where she was stranded after a holiday.

“We heard Branyan was cut off, but we think our house will be okay because it’s on higher ground,” she said.

“All we want to do is to get home. We can leave Townsville, but we can’t get into Bundaberg.”

She said her sister was evacuated from George Street on Tuesday night.

In Gin Gin, resident Dave Hyatt said he had never seen the town so full of vehicles and people, as cars and trucks lined both sides of the highway, and supermarket shelves were virtually empty.

“The pubs are doing a roaring trade,” he said.

“We’re out of milk. We can’t get to Bundy, but it’s flooded anyway.”

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