News

Coast flood 1 in 100 year event

The Sunshine Coast is in cleanup mode again after hundreds of homes and businesses were inundated in what has been confirmed as a 1 in 100 year flood.

Local Disaster Coordinator Alan Rogers said council crews were assisting the community with recovery efforts after the heavy rainfall that was of similar scale to that which fell over Cooroy in late February.

"This rain event was in excess of a 'Q100' which means it was even more severe than a 1 in 100 year rain event," he said.

"Crews from council and the Queensland Fire and Rescue Service (QFRS) are conducting assessments of damage as well as the associated business and residential support needs."

Mr Rogers said council would deploy skip bins around the worst affected areas of the Sunshine Coast for residents to dispose of rain affected items.

"We offered this service during the February storm cleanup around Cooroy and Pomona and will offer it again around the hardest hit areas of the region," he said.

Don't miss tomorrow's Sunshine Coast Daily for our souvenir edition of the floods featuring some amazing tales from those caught up in the drama as well as our best pictures

Mr Rogers said council crews would also conduct additional cleanups along the route for Sunday's Mooloolaba Triathlon.

"There is a significant amount of debris strewn from the Mooloola River Bridge down to Wurtulla on the Nicklin Way," he said.

"Street sweepers have been working in this area today and will continue again from midnight tonight in order to ensure that the triathlon course is as safe as possible for competitors on Sunday.

"I understand this is on a residential strip however this weather event requires these additional measures to ensure a thorough cleanup of the area is conducted."

SES volunteers on standby, watching weather

 SES volunteers are on standby and monitoring warnings of an unstable weather pattern hanging about the Sunshine Coast.

The emergency response crews are replenishing supplies after a horror night of flood drama with more than 600 calls for help after 4pm.

Four state schools near Bundaberg are closed today as well as the Mountain Creek Outside Hours School Care.

All other Sunshine Coast state schools are open, the Department of Education says.

SES Maroochydore controller Fred Reuter says volunteers were sent home to rest about midnight after helping as many callers as possible.

SES crews are back out this morning following up with the hundreds of requests for assistance.

The clean up started at dawn as many returned to collect their abandoned cars on busy roadways between Coolum and Caloundra.

Nicklin Way remained a graveyard of empty vehicles for most of the night until floodwaters dropped after the afternoon deluge.

Deluge forces IGA to close this weekend

IGA X-press store owner Tony Spinks has kissed goodbye to his busiest trading weekend of the year after yesterday's deluge forced the closure of his Alexandra Headland convenience story.

Mr Spinks said the store would be shut for at least the next two or three days while he and staff clean up after 40cm of water rushed through the store.

Tradesman arrived at the store early this morning to try and restore power while Mr Spinks and staff mopped up and sorted out what stock could be saved.

He said he had lost all of the stock on the bottom shelves of the store plus perishables worth about $8000.

The store's closure coincides with the arrival of thousand of visitors for this weekend's Mooloolaba Triathlon.

SES flooded with 600 Coast calls

SUNSHINE Coast SES volunteers have received more than 600 call outs after almost half a metre of rain was dumped in the region in just hours.

About 200 homes in the Mooloolaba area were inundated with floodwaters last night as more than 300mm of rain fell in three hours.

Up to 80 roads were closed, there were multiple evacuations and more than 500 calls to the SES for urgent assistance.

This morning, the SES reported 408 calls had been attended to with others being responded to today.

The Sunshine Coast yesterday experienced a major rain event when up to 340mm fell between 2.30pm and 7.30pm.

Local Disaster Coordinator Andrew Ryan said the rain had a significant impact from Coolum to Caloundra with areas of Pacific Paradise, Maroochydore, Alexandra Headland, Golden Beach and the Nicklin Way at Kawana hardest hit.

"The highest rainfall totals over 12 hours were recorded at Parrearra Weir with 384mm, Bundilla with 359mm and Sugarbag Road with 325mm, and created havoc in many areas as flash flooding hit commuters, houses and businesses alike," he said,

Flash flooding on the Nicklin Way ground traffic to a halt and rising water threatened vehicles, with some people trapped for up to four hours.

Many vehicles were abandoned on roads across the affected areas and as weather conditions eased and flood waters receded last night, police were making arrangements for those vehicles to be moved clear of the roadways.

Mr Ryan said a number of vehicles were left along the median of the Nicklin Way as people sought refuge from flood waters.

"Police are requesting that people hold off on retrieving these vehicles until after 10am this morning to avoid causing traffic disruptions and for safety reasons," he said.

"Where people require assistance they are requested to contact the Sunshine Coast Police Communications Centre on 5409 0000.

"With the assistance of Red Cross and Queensland Surf Lifesaving, five evacuation centres were activated and provided respite for fifteen people with 5 staying overnight.

"This morning, 36 roads remain closed and 104 are open with caution. .



"I recommend that drivers check council's website for the most up-to-date information before travelling today."

Flooded roads hampered SES efforts to respond to 594 requests for assistance. At four am 397 jobs were completed with 197 outstanding.

Queensland Fire and Rescue Service performed four swift water rescues from Mooloolaba and completed 110 requests for assistance with 17 requests outstanding at midnight.

Queensland Police Service responded to 220 calls overnight for assistance.

Council staff and members of Queensland Fire and Rescue will be out assessing the extent of damage to infrastructure and private property this morning, and will be determining where people need help to dispose of damaged goods or other personal assistance

The heavy rainfall caught tens of thousands of people between Coolum and Caloundra off guard when the deluge hit about 4pm.

Children had to be evacuated from a Mooloolaba childcare centre by a swift water rescue team when flash-flooding hit Ocean View Ave.

There was 126mms of rain in one  hour in Kawana - making it a one in 100 year event. A total of 385mm was recorded in the 19 hours up until 5am Friday.

Evacuation centres were established at Nambour Civic Centre, and Maroochydore, Kawana, Marcoola and Mooloolaba surf life saving clubs.

Some people were unable to even make it there, camping out at work for the evening.

Cars were abandoned on the side of roads and on median strips, some with water up to the windows.

Water was reported to be waist high during high tide about 8.30pm in Cotton Tree.

The SES registered 150 jobs between Coolum and Caloundra in about an hour from 4pm. It skyrocketed to 500 by 6.30pm.

Businesses were also hit. Many were forced to close their door under the threat of water.

Kawana Shoppingworld had to resort to sandbagging.

Main roads including Nicklin Way, Alexandra Pde, Bli Bli Rd, Sugar Rd, Aerodrome Rd and Sunshine Mwy were gridlocked from the afternoon into the evening.

At Sunshine Coast Council's disaster management centre, representatives from the Police, Ambulance, Fire and Rescue and SES worked with council hydrologists.

SES and Emergency Management Queensland area director Andrew Wyatt said response crews were expected to work throughout the night.

"We've had calls for leaking roofs, flash flooding, drains backing up and not coping," he said.

"Water was entering kitchens, laundries and bathrooms because it couldn't get away."

Mr Wyatt said the worst of the storm had passed by 7.30pm.

With it, he expected a lot of SES calls to drop off as well.

Residents around Maroochydore were stunned by Mother Nature's destruction.

On Bungama St, resident Gavin Bingham used towels and bedding to keep water from coming in his back door.

"It's already come in. The entire backyard is under," Mr Bingham said. On Aerodrome Rd, businesses including Eagle Boys and Video Ezy had to shut the doors.

Eagle Boys store manager Adam Larkin said delivery cars were stranded and some had water in them.

"We've never seen it like this before. We had no choice but to shut the shop," he said.

At Mt Coolum, the wall of a house was knocked over by the water and a stormwater drain burst.

Despite the massive rainfall, Energex reported minor disruptions.

At Sunshine Coast Airport, flights DJ 481 from Sydney and JQ 792 from Melbourne had to be diverted.

Reports a 56-year-old man had drowned about 7.30pm at Lopinya Cres, Kawana, proved false.

Topics:  flooding floods sunshine coast



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