City escapes serious damage this time

Southern Downs Council staff and the SES worked to remove a shipping container wedged under the McCahon Bridge yesterday.
Southern Downs Council staff and the SES worked to remove a shipping container wedged under the McCahon Bridge yesterday. Erin Smith

THE Australia Day weekend flood event inundated between 20-30 homes and 17 businesses in Warwick.

But Warwick is slowly getting back to its rosy self with the clean-up of homes, streets and bridges well and truly under way.

Deputy coordinator of the Local Disaster Management Group Peter See said there had not been reports of any inundated homes in Killarney or Allora.

Water had crept into many more yards in Warwick, Killarney and Allora but not into the habitable living space.

Mr See said he did not have exact figures of the number of homes affected during the previous flood event but said it was considerably higher than the current crisis.

"This weekend in Warwick was 7.45 metres; January 2011 was 8.35 metres," Mr See said.

Recently the council had started to complete and start NDRA-approved roadworks on assets damaged during the 2010 and 2011 floods.

"Some of the areas have been hit again but we are uncertain as to what effect that has on the previous claims and no advice has yet been received from the Government in terms of this new event," Mr See said.

He said past experiences of the Local Disaster Management Group had helped them respond to the current crisis more effectively.

"I think we were well prepared, however the variability of conditions made it very difficult to respond as it constantly changed," he said.

"I think the experienced Council and SES staff did a great job in difficult circumstances.

"We have much better systems in place and now have a Disaster Management Coordinator which, with her knowledge of State systems, greatly assisted us."

Southern Downs Regional Council staff and SES have been working hard to clear, inspect and reopen the major roads and bridges in and around Warwick.

Currently the McCahon Bridge is open after the SES and Southern Downs Regional Council worked to remove a shipping container that had become lodged under the bridge on Tuesday night.

This was the second shipping container to have an encounter with this bridge.

The Warwick-Killarney Rd was reopened yesterday morning and Maryvale can be accessed with caution via Freestone Rd.

There is access to Allora and Toowoomba; it is one lane between the 8 Mile and Allora and controlled conditions are in force. The road is still rough and motorists are being urged to take care.

Lyndhurst Lane, and travel to Brisbane via the road over the Head to Boonah are both still closed.

The road to Goondiwindi is expected to stay closed until at least this afternoon.

For queries on local road openings phone the Disaster Management Call Centre on 4661 0300.



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