Luke Dunn lost everything during the floods. His East St home was inundated before he had a chance to remove any of his belongings.
Luke Dunn lost everything during the floods. His East St home was inundated before he had a chance to remove any of his belongings. Georja Ryan

Flood took family by surprise

FOR Luke Dunn and his family, the floods not only tore through their home, it tore through their hearts.

He, his partner Angeleigh McGrady and their two children, aged two and six months, escaped their house with no more than the clothes on their back and Mr Dunn said it was because they were given no warning the flood was rolling in.

"Warwick SES didn't inform people in East St about the floods and a few people lost everything," Mr Dunn said.

"We only noticed when it was up to the back stairs and so I just got the kids out and we only got out in the nick of time."

Mr Dunn said he could not believe the SES had not knocked on his door and told him what was happening.

The house, on the corner of Fitzroy and East Sts, was built on the flood plain, but Mr Dunn said he was told the house had been raised after the 2011 floods to prevent it flooding again.

Director of planning and environment Ken Harris said the council had no power to refuse houses on flood prone land until they adopted the planning scheme last year.

"This was due to the fact that we had only limited flood mapping until the Southern Downs Regional Council flood study was undertaken," Mr Harris said.

"In Warwick the only controls that existed were under building controls that set minimum floor heights and these had only been in place for about six years.

"The houses in Fitzroy St predate the current or former controls."

Director of engineering services and deputy co-ordinator for local disaster management group Peter See said flood levels forbade a few houses from receiving the message from State Emergency Service.

"Unfortunately the flood levels became higher as the night progressed due to the unprecedented rainfall so some residents may have been missed."

Mr Dunn said he was heartbroken to lose all of his belongings, and what made it worse was knowing he would receive no insurance payout.



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