Gympie region smashed again
THE receding waters of Gympie's Australia Day weekend floods have revealed a region of smashed public and private infrastructure.
Major farm losses in flood-isolated areas like Tansey and Booubijan added to the toll on near-Gympie farms, towns and urban businesses, homes and vital road and communications links.
Internet was intermittent or non-existent in many areas, as were mobile or even landline phone services.
The damage included ruined highways and major roads only recently repaired from the 2010/11 and 2012 floods, Mayor Ron Dyne said yesterday.
"In February we were due to finish repairing the infrastructure damage from 2010/11 and 2012.
"We're constantly repairing things, but not improving them to take them out of the flood situation.
"It's false economy," he said.
The damage also had secondary costs, including severe damage to an ambulance which was hurrying to an emergency call when it crashed into gullies gouged into the Wide Bay Hwy.
Gympie ambulance chief and Local Disaster Management Group member Wayne Sachs said the ambulance had blown three tyres and severely damage its differential.
"Today, a 48-year-old woman at The Dawn, where I live, reported being woken by severe chest pain at 2am.
"We couldn't get her out; we couldn't get a car in.
"We had to airlift her to Nambour General Hospital.
"We sought help from a neighbour who is a nurse and the local medical superintendent was nearby and helped."
Cr Dyne said there had been substantial road damage throughout the area and private damage amounting to millions of dollars.