Killarney left ‘high and dry’ amid widespread flooding
Killarney residents and business owners alike have breathed a sigh of relief this week after dodging the worst of the wild weather and flash flooding battering the Southern Downs.
The main streets of the charming tourist town are historically swamped with water in any significant rain event, as evidenced by the major floods in 2011, 2013, and 2017.
While the drenching rains on Monday and Tuesday brought up to 150mm to residences across the Southern Downs, official data from the Bureau of Meteorology indicates Killarney collected about 105mm in that period.
Resident John Towells said he received about 42mm between 9am and 2pm on Tuesday, and was relieved to see the town finally get decent rain without damaging floods.
“Normally we do flood, but this time it hasn’t so far. (It’s) a bit of a relief for us, but we’re all prepared and ready as normal,” Mr Towells said.
“We just wanted a shower and to refresh the river, and we don’t have to worry about evacuating and cleaning up.
“We can sit back and relax this afternoon without worrying about being washed away.”
There were no hasty preparations for Killarney Butchery owner Steve Carey, who on Tuesday said their higher position on Willow Street usually spared them from the Condamine River’s overflow.
“It’s been steady rain, but we’re all high and dry here at the butcher shop. I think a few blokes down the road have made a few moves if the flood gets any higher, though,” he said.
“We’ve probably just had a bit of a flushout without any damage, so it’s good to just see everything get nice and wet for a change.”
Killarney Pharmacy owner Nen Quach said their Willow St business had come close but never been affected by floodwaters, but he wasn’t taking any chances this time around.
“You work here and you feel like people are concerned after a few scars in previous floods, and watching the news sometimes, people can panic,” Mr Quach said.
“I have in the past and packed everything away. This time I wasn’t, but I was planning to sleep here - I brought food and clothes with me in case I couldn’t get out again.
“We definitely want it to rain, but we don’t want floods.”