Amelia Garrett stands in a huge washout created by the rain at Langshaw on Friday night.
Amelia Garrett stands in a huge washout created by the rain at Langshaw on Friday night. Renee Pilcher

Counting costs of flood

THE cost of road and bridge damage caused by the weekend floods over parts of the Gympie region is not expected to come anywhere near the $40 million of last January's devastation.

Gympie Regional mayor Ron Dyne said yesterday the general feeling at this stage of the assessment was that the flooding impact had not been major and would not trigger the National Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangement in Gympie - which kicks in at $250,000.

Councillor Dyne said he was not yet in a position to specify exactly which roads and bridges had received significant damage on Friday night and Saturday, or what the bill for repairing them would come to.

The council's assessment teams would know more by the end of this week, he said.

"Some of the bridges have only just come out of water and we have to get them to come out a bit further before we start assessing them for damage."

Most damage is expected in the Tandur area and parts of the Mary Valley, as opposed to the floods of 2011, which left a trail of destruction in mostly western parts of the region.

One road that received significant damage was Jerry Creek Rd at Langshaw, where run-off from torrential rain on Friday night carved a 30-40m long crevasse on the edge of an already narrow and busy section of dirt road used daily by school buses and local families.

Resident Jo Garrett said the school bus had nowhere to go if it met traffic while negotiating around the crevasse, as the unsealed road is already narrow and has a fence flush up against it on the opposite side to the wash-out.

The damaged road is mid-thigh deep in some places.

This road has been a problem for some time, and while council had been able to fix it when it became severely eroded at other times, it only takes one downpour for the road to again become a traffic hazard and a danger to children travelling on the school bus, Mrs Garrett said.

"I understand the council has higher priorities than this road but it really needs some attention right now," she said.

Another sizeable crevasse has opened up on a blind corner further up Jerry Creek Rd.

A number of elderly residents who don't have access to 4WDs also live in the area.

Cr Dyne said he would send a team out to look at the Langshaw damage as soon as possible.

The council has so far completed about $15-18 million of the flood repairs from 2011, with an expected total damage bill of $38-$40 million.

Gympie Times


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