'Stay out of flooded roads'
SEASONED weather watchers are predicting further river and creek rises in the Warwick region today despite official weather bureau predictions of an easing of rainfall overnight.
At the time of the Daily News going to print late last night the main street of Killarney was inundated and the Condamine River in Warwick was still rising.
Official projections last night were that the river would peak in Warwick at 6m about 3am today, meaning only parkland should be affected.
But dubious Killarney locals said a lot of water was still to flow through the system overnight and heavy falls in the creek catchments east of Warwick are also expected to contribute to rises in the Condamine, which flowed over the Queens Park weir late yesterday.
Motorists are being warned by police they risk charges if they insist on taking on flooded roads in the region after the weekend's downpours.
The New England Hwy to Toowoomba and the Cunningham Hwy to Brisbane, north and east of the Eight Mile, remained cut by creek flooding last night, but the highway south to Stanthorpe and the border was still open.
Warwick SES controller John Newley last night said the Condamine would peak in Warwick between 3am and 4am.
He said a flood of roughly 6m was expected based on river heights at Killarney last night and expected overnight rain.
"A 6m flood will enter some properties but not homes, it will mainly inundate parklands," Mr Newley said late last night.
But serious questions emerged yesterday about the accuracy of BOM rainfall data issued through the afternoon.
Warwick police acting senior sergeant Shane Reid warned residents not to drive into or swim in flooded areas, roads or bridges.
"If they do, they risk death and endanger the lives of emergency workers who have to rescue them," he said.
"If drivers or the public enter flooded areas and sufficient evidence is identified, they will be prosecuted."
Extra police were brought into the Warwick station late yesterday due to the number of calls to police and problems with flooded roads.
Hundreds of travellers delayed by the highway closures were last night directed to Warwick motels and plans were under way to set up emergency accommodation at WIRAC.
Mudslides to the west and east of Cunningham's Gap which caused traffic havoc yesterday follow a $60million project finished late last year to prevent landslips during heavy rain.
Killarney-based Councillor Jamie Mackenzie said "we have to be very proud of Killarney's residents who once again teamed together without hesitation in the past 24 hours to hastily help businesses to prepare for possible inundation in a well-practised manner," he said.
The Southern Downs Local Disaster Management Group (LDMG) met late yesterday at the Warwick council chambers, with Mayor Peter Blundell saying while there had been "significant rain" across the region, the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) had advised that the situation had eased from earlier predictions and the expected rainfall would be "much less" than initially forecast.
"The rain experienced to this time has caused some of our watercourses and their tributaries to break their banks, impacting a number of local roads, however at this point in time, based on advice received from BoM as to the easing weather situation, council does not expect these water courses to impact homes," Cr Blundell said.
"Council will continue to monitor the weather situation through the Southern Downs LDMG and residents will be notified accordingly of any adverse changes."
Warwick State Emergency Service (SES) responded to a number of callouts for help yesterday.
Major concerns were held at the weekend about the wellbeing of a seven-year-old boy with a renal condition on a secluded property at Maryvale, with the Queensland Ambulance Service unable to reach the property.
It is understood the boy's family attempted to get him to an accessible road by quad bike yesterday but abandoned the attempt and will try again today.