Theodore braces for flood peak

RISING: The Dawson River lapping at the bridge near Theodore on Saturday, which has since gone over abouyt 100mm over the bridge.
RISING: The Dawson River lapping at the bridge near Theodore on Saturday, which has since gone over abouyt 100mm over the bridge.

THEODORE is bracing for the flooded Dawson River to peak tonight.

The Bureau of Metrology is predicting the peak to be at 13.6m but Cr Warren Middleton, deputy chair of the local disaster coordination centre in Biloela, said they did not expect it to reach that level but were planning for it.

The river did reach 13.49 but had gone back to 13.44 as at 4pm. 

This morning, Theodore man Grant Wheaton said he hasn’t got much sleep over the last few days, as he has been working hard to keep his house from flooding in Theodore.

The Huon Street resident, whose low lying house was flooded from Castle Creek which runs through part of the town, has been up since 2.30am this morning making sure his sand bag levy was holding back a torrent of water.

“I haven’t been getting any sleep but you have to look after your house,” the contract grader worker told Central Telegraph this morning.

“There is a lot of water around it.”

Mr Wheaton said since 7am till about 8.30am the water had only risen about 5mm.

He said he hoped the river was stationary.

Mr Wheaton had grabbed sand bags from the SES and with the help of neighbours and friends had made a levy before the flood waters came.

“We’re lucky we’ve got good friends and neighbours to help us and we’ve helped them as well.”

He had been worried as his pump had stopped working, but he got it back online this morning as water started to seep under the sandbags.

Mr Wheaton said he and neighbours would jump in a tinny to grab some supplies.

Ron Bock’s engineering business and other houses and businesses including the AgnVet shop were inundated.

Mr Bock had spent Friday moving things higher up of the floor and had water through his shed.

Mr Bock said one good thing was the recent infestation of sand flies seemed to have decreased.

“We’ve nearly drowned them all,” he joked.

Residents on 5th Avenue and the road to Cracow were also flooded in.

Banana Shire Mayor John Hooper, who has been running a counter disaster management centre over the weekend, said the Dawson River was at 13.44m at 5am this morning, above the Bureau of Metrology’s prediction of 13.2m.

Cr Hooper said about 100mm of water was over the Hewitt Bridge just outside Theodore, which was closed to traffic in all directions.

He said council, Emergency Management Queensland, police, ambulance, Queensland Health, and the SES had all been working well together to assist residents.

“Everyone’s chipped in and working fabulously,” Cr Hooper said.

There was also six Red Cross staff in town to help at the evacuation centre set up at the RSL and hotel.

There were a couple of tourists and one resident at the centre.

“Some people have evacuated to friends and relatives’ homes.”

Cr Hooper said the elderly residents at the retirement village were safe, and would only need to be evaluated of the river rose another metre.

He said council and police were concerned at one four wheel driver who had ignored road closed signs and drove over sand bags levies to get through.

“You don’t know what’s under the water.”

The Mayor said they were unsure if the river had peaked and was now stationary.

“That’s the great unknown.”

Cr Hooper said Moura would be the next focus with police and SES door knocking low lying residents today.

One extremely low lying house near Moura had already been evacuated in preparation.

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