NERVOUS WAIT: The Gympie Cats AFL Club’s playing field at Six Mile has fallen victim to the flood, but club president Glen Warren was relieved when flood waters fell short of the clubhouse. More rain over the weekend has the club remaining on alert.
NERVOUS WAIT: The Gympie Cats AFL Club’s playing field at Six Mile has fallen victim to the flood, but club president Glen Warren was relieved when flood waters fell short of the clubhouse. More rain over the weekend has the club remaining on alert. Craig Warhurst

Flood falls short of clubhouse

GYMPIE AFL Club president Glen Warren was breathing a sigh of relief yesterday as flood waters slowly receded after peaking at 13.64 metres just below Normanby Bridge.

While the club’s playing field at Six Mile was completely submerged, the clubhouse itself, perched up on a hill, was just out of the reach of flood waters.

Warren said the water had to reach 15 metres before threatening to seep in through the clubhouse doors.

“We held off cleaning out the clubhouse and thankfully the water didn’t get too high,” he said.

While the excess water is a challenge to motorists struggling to fight their way across a congested Normanby Bridge, it does carry a silver lining for the Gympie AFL Club.

“It’s given the oval a good soaking and the silt deposited will be a good top dressing,” Warren said.

Once the flood water goes down, good drainage on the Six Mile Oval will see the expanse of water quickly disappear from sight.

Ideally, the AFL club would welcome a few days of sunshine to then dry out the playing field so training can resume for teams.

But with more rain predicted over the weekend across an already saturated Mary River catchment, Warren is not ruling out the possibility of the clubhouse being placed under threat again.

The Gympie AFL club president said the club was looking at appealing to Gympie Regional Council for a track providing access to the nearby RSPCA facility further up on a hill adjoining the back of the club.

If constructed, the track would enable the Gympie sporting club to easily evacuate its premises in the event of a major flood.

“We have a lot of important club memorabilia and we don’t want to see that get lost in the flood waters,” Warren said.

“If we can move our gear to higher ground, then that would be perfect for the club.”

In 1999, when the Mary River peaked at a near incredible 22 metres, water completely engulfing the Cats’ clubhouse and required a lengthy clean up.

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