ABOUT six in ten flood-affected Ipswich residents have still not moved back into their homes after January's flood disaster.
But there are hopes many will be back in their houses before Christmas as rebuilding efforts around the city ramp up.
Mayor Paul Pisasale said a building rush was now under way around Ipswich, which would hopefully see the majority of residents back in their homes for Christmas.
The slow rehoming rate was revealed as the city council revealed its new online flooding maps, which will give locals and newcomers detailed information about the 1974 and 2011 floods.
Cr Pisasale said the length of time waiting for insurance claims to be processed and other factors had resulted in the current glut of rebuilding work.
"Everything is in active mode now, people are doing everything they can to get back into their homes," he said.
He said about 40% of flood affected residents were back in their homes, and that Christmas loomed as an important milestone for those waiting for work to be completed
Cr Pisasale said there would be a small number of people who would never be able to rebuild their homes, such was the extensive damage.
One resident who will be back in his home by year's end is East Ipswich resident Bert Eleison, whose Leslie St home was inundated in January.
Mr Eleison said that after good dealings with his insurer Suncorp, he will move back into his home next week after spending the last nine months with his daughter.
"We didn't think it would take this long, but you can't do anything about it," he said.
Mr Eleison, who was in the same home when it flooded in 1974, said he was looking forward to moving back in, and sympathised with those who could not return home.
"It is tough and you do feel sorry for those who are having problems," he said.
Council planning and development committee chairman Paul Tully said the new flood maps released yesterday were comprehensive and measured the 1974 and 2011 flood levels against every Ipswich home's eaves.
He said since the flood, people had questioned the amount of information previously available.
"What we've done is to prepare the most sophisticated flood modelling and information available to any local government area in Queensland," Cr Tully said.
"What this does is to provide precise data, within 600mm plus or minus, of each property affected in the 2011 and 1974 floods.
"More particularly, it will show the level of flooding for the highest and lowest points on each property which had been affected by those floods, for which we have data - which is the majority of cases. It will also show the height of the flood compared to people's eaves.
"This is a first for Queensland."
The service is free and available on the council website now.
Cr Tully said people could use the maps to help them make informed decisions when buying, renting or renovating homes.
He said officers had made exhaustive surveys of flooded areas immediately after the flood and used a number of sources, which included aerial surveys and interviews with hundreds of residents.
Cr Pisasale said council figures showed that of the 473 Ipswich businesses affected by the floods, 397 were already back in business, with 34 not set to reopen.
He said 15 are in the process of reopening.
- To access the new flood maps, visit ipswich.qld.gov.au and follow the links.
- Enter a street address to find information on flood levels for that particular site.
- Maps of the areas surrounding a chosen building are also shown.
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