Business leaders look to flood future
NO sooner had the flood water receded than Gympie businesses began preparing for the next one - and rightly so, according to the region's business leaders yesterday.
Flood plan architect Garry Davison told a large crowd to be prepared for the unexpected, when he opened discussion yesterday at the first Gympie Chamber of Commerce breakfast for 2013.
"This time the flood was very different from any I've ever seen before," he said.
"And I've been here long enough to have seen a lot of them.
"We do normally have a major flood once every seven years but we've now had two in two years."
And this year's flood was sudden, with water rising faster than others in living memory.
"It rose at 0.9m an hour for a number of hours, which takes it up fairly quickly," Mr Davison said.
"I got my first phone call at 5am from (council officer) Ron Potter, and the Disaster Management Group was activated from 3am.
"We worked through mobile phone and internet contacts but some had no mobile reception, some had no power and some people were stranded at home and unable to get to their businesses."
Mayor Ron Dyne urged businesses to call in to the Disaster Management Centre in the Old Bank Building in Nash St to deal with any specific problems, including power supplies.
"There's an Energex person there and people from the SES, police and fire brigade - all the major services - and they are there with laptops, phones and radios," he said.
Diane Fogarty, from Wayne's World, predicted the business, with no flood experience this time, would do better next time, as was the case with the Belly Good restaurant, which suffered badly last flood, but managed a successful evacuation this time.
Sightseers were a big problem, according to several speakers.