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Flood fools frustrate rescuers

A man was caught trying to wade through this creek to see if he could drive through by swift water rescue crews on their way to another job near Cooran.
A man was caught trying to wade through this creek to see if he could drive through by swift water rescue crews on their way to another job near Cooran. Mark Furler

AFTER a long night rescuing people from flooded cars and homes, the frustration and anger was palpable.

A swift water rescue crew, on its way to yet another rescue near Cooran, comes across a man wading through a fast flowing creek.

The man wants to cross the creek, which is still rising, in his ute which is parked nearby.

A senior officer from the swift water crew gets out of his car and yells at the man to get out of the water and to abandon the flood folly.

He writes down the man's number plate, warning that he will pass it on to police if he makes any attempt to cross the creek.

Overnight, the specially trained Queensland Fire and Rescue officers were involved in 35 water related dramas between Gympie and Caloundra.

They started at 4.30pm on Friday afternoon and were still going mid-morning.

Like State Emergency Service and auxiliary firefighter volunteers, they were run off their feet.

There were seven swift water rescues in Eumundi, Tewantin, Gympie, Doonan, Noosaville and Cooran.

The State Emergency Service responded to 178 requests for assistance across the Sunshine Coast including leaky roofs, roof damage and rising floodwater.

The rate at which the water rose caught even long-time residents by surprise.

"We went to one rescue where when we got there the water was up to the car's tyres," swift water rescuer Matthew Foster told the Daily.

"Ten minutes later when got them out, it was over the car's roof and the car disappeared."

Matthew Bruce, who is also based with the Maroochydore crew, said he feared there would be even more rescues as the waters started to recede and people thought it would be safe to cross flooded waterways.

"The number one message is do not enter flooded water full stop.

"There is nothing really worth your life to try to make it over to the other side."

Mr Bruce said it would only take a small amount of rain for water levels to go up again.

"With the amount of water that is soaked in the ground, it has got nowhere to go."

Topics:  floods, matthew foster, queensland fire and rescue, state emergency services


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