Debri on the safety barrier at Federal shows just how much water washed across the Bruce Hwy on Friday night.
Debri on the safety barrier at Federal shows just how much water washed across the Bruce Hwy on Friday night. Craig Warhurst

Airlift rescues stranded

A TANDUR family fled its home in a dinghy on Saturday afternoon and another man swam to safety before a stranded group of 13 were airlifted to Gympie from Cobb and Co Nine Mile camping grounds.

Mother nature dropped more than 300mm of rain on the region the night before, causing flash flooding that left stock and motorists stranded.

Paul Bielby and his family were among seven adults and six children evacuated from Tandur on Saturday, where camping grounds back on to Six Mile Creek.

The area was above flood water, but with forecasters predicting another 200mm deluge, owner Katherine O'Hanlon decided it was time to get out.

The only way out was up.

A rescue helicopter that winched two people off the roof of a nearby house returned to Tandur three times to rescue the group.

At 6am, Katherine had received a knock on the door from a "neighbour" who lived a further 10km away but who could not make it home after night work. He had swum from Noosa Rd into the O'Hanlons'.

Photographer Bambi Wixon left Brisbane at 10.30pm on Friday night and took seven hours to get to Gympie.

Ms Wixon said she passed two accidents before Cooroy, where her Hyundai i30 hit half a metre of water at 80kmh and aquaplaned sideways off the highway.

She reverse back on to the road and continued her journey before getting stuck with 30 other cars on the south side of Black Mountain.

She was later able to get though to Federal, where "the water was lapping the veranda of the hall" and she waited for two hours for flash flooding to subside.

A two-car accident at Federal left both vehicles submerged in flood waters.

Ms Wixon pushed on to the Traveston turn-off where she waited with about 100 other vehicles until the road reopened before 6am.

Bambi Wixon left Brisbane at 10.30pm and took an incident-packed seven hours to get to Gympie.

Gympie Times


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