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Electronic device helps swift team navigate flood waters

Gympie looked like a scene from an apocalyptic movie early Tuesday morning as the flood receded.
Gympie looked like a scene from an apocalyptic movie early Tuesday morning as the flood receded. Craig Warhurst

SUNSHINE greeted Gympie residents besieged by the region's biggest flood since 1999 yesterday and the messy task of cleaning up was aided by an ingenious device.

At the forefront of the clean-up effort was Gympie Fire and Rescue, relocating incident control from Caloundra to the Gympie Station.

Helping to co-ordinate the mammoth clean-up task yesterday was a tiny electronic device known as a trimble.

The hand-held device was being used by an additional highly trained swift water team recruited from Brisbane.

"The team will be using the trimble to carry out a rapid assessment of flood-affected areas," Gympie Station officer Bernie Massingham said.

Information obtained from the trimble was then returned to incident control, downloaded and shared to ensure attention and resources were directed where needed most.

Mr Massingham said the device had been in use for a number of years and previous flood events and was invaluable.

Meanwhile, as an offshoot to incident control in Gympie, the Veteran Rural Fire Brigade was working in tandem with the Gympie Station to commence the grisly task of cleaning up as waters slowly receded.

"We are in constant communication with outlying affected regions," Mr Massingham said.

The weather system generated by former tropical cyclone Ostwald sparked a flood peaking at 20.30m in Gympie, leaving a muddy legacy for the weeks to come, as business and residents now battle to get back on their feet.

Topics:  clean-up flooding floods gympie gympie fire and rescue

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