Rescue crews are “frustrated” at the number of drivers needing to be saved after being caught out in floodwaters, as heavy rain swamps southern Queensland.
- Four flood rescues were conducted near Dalby, on Queensland’s Western Downs, on Monday afternoon
- Additional QFES crews have been sent from Brisbane to assist with rescues, as authorities urge people to stop driving through floodwaters
- An emergency alert has been issued for Dalby, warning residents in low-lying areas to prepare to move to higher ground immediately
One man has died, along with several dogs, after his car became stuck in floodwaters at Kingsthorpe, near Toowoomba.
A search is also continuing for a missing man at North Branch, south of Pittsworth.
Queensland Fire and Emergency Service (QFES) zone commander Warren Buckley said swift water rescue crews had carried out four rescues in the Dalby area on Monday afternoon, including of a person stuck in floodwaters at Macalister.
Mr Buckley said crews were working extremely hard to respond to calls for help, but it was frustrating to see people driving through floodwaters despite repeated warnings.
“We’re getting additional crews up out of Brisbane who are going to be able to assist us over the next couple of days,” he said.
“It’s just constant at the moment and this will continue for the next couple of days.”
He said in one incident, a road collapsed underneath a truck which had driven onto a flooded road.
“As soon as we finish [one job] it rolls into another one … again, more people who drive through floodwaters and they get stuck,” Mr Buckley said.
At the Dalby Tourist Park, on the banks of Myall Creek, 30 caravans were evacuated on Monday morning.
Operator John Wadwell said the frequent floods were taking a toll.
“They’re expecting the water to be a bit higher than the last one, probably around two to three metres … so we’re just getting everyone out of the park just in case,” Mr Wadwell said.
“The biggest thing is the clean-up and the loss of income.
“[Further rain] will make it even worse … it will just prolong us getting people back in, and then the clean-up.”
More rain to come
Dalby residents have begun taking precautions as the Myall Creek is expected to exceed the major flood level of 3.5 metres late Monday.
An emergency alert has been issued, warning residents in low-lying areas to prepare to move to higher ground immediately.
Western Downs mayor Paul McVeigh said the predicted levels were concerning.
“Residents in low-lying areas will certainly start to see some impact and probably start to see water above their floorboards, which is very, very serious for our community,” he said.
Evacuation centres have been set up at the eastern and western sides of town to accommodate people stranded by rising water levels, which are likely to close the main bridge in town.
Cr McVeigh warned it was important to act now.
“Make arrangements, move to family and friends or get in touch with council to let them know that they’ve had to evacuate their homes or potentially evacuate their homes,” he said.
“We can react to that and accommodate them in these evacuation centres.”