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Flood was unavoidable: report

COMMUNITY DEVASTATION: Cars and debris stack up against the railway bridge in Grantham on January 12, two days after the flood.
COMMUNITY DEVASTATION: Cars and debris stack up against the railway bridge in Grantham on January 12, two days after the flood.

A DISASTER of catastrophic proportions was unavoidable in the Lockyer Valley community of Grantham where water rose up to two and a half metres in ten to fifteen minutes, according to a new hydrology report.

The Insurance Council of Australia yesterday released its report on flooding in the Lockyer Valley where more than 17 people died and hundreds of homes had been destroyed.

The report outlines “three distinct” flooding events that occurred in the region from January 9 through to January 13 with a “manifest flash flood” occurring on the afternoon of Monday, January 10.

“The flood was manifest as an abrupt flood ‘spike' characterised by high rates of water level rise, high flood depths and high (destructive) water velocities,” the report says.

The report, prepared by an independent panel from Worley Parsons, WRN and Water Matters International said the flood was caused by widespread rainfalls that occurred in Lockyer Creek catchments.

“The flash flood caused hazardous conditions close to the waterways it travelled down... Conditions were especially hazardous at Grantham because of the number of dwellings on the floodplain,” the report says.

The report further concludes that Murphys Creek, Postmans Ridge, Helidon and Grantham were affected by flash flooding while towns further down the Lockyer Creek were affected by ‘normal' flooding.


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