DEVASTATED: Annette Anderson empties a helmet of water. Photo Renee Pilcher / The Gympie Times
DEVASTATED: Annette Anderson empties a helmet of water. Photo Renee Pilcher / The Gympie Times Renee Pilcher

Rain damage costs pile up

ROOFS leaked, stormwater backed up and backyards flooded when the Gympie Region felt the power of heavy rain on Wednesday night.

The official recording for Gympie from the Bureau of Meteorology said we were pelted with 51mm.

An alternate weather station showed the different amounts that fell all over the town, with 74mm landing in that rain gauge in the hour it poured down.

For some businesses, the rain meant the loss of a full day's trading and thousands of dollars of stock was damaged.

Stormwater that washed through The Bike Den on Reef St soaked the building in ankle-deep water.

Owners Kylie Thorgood and Annette Anderson said they found the water and damage at 8.30am yesterday when they opened the shop.

They said Gympie council needed to install a better drainage system to stop water rushing down Reef St and swamping their business.

"Council needs a big drain at the corner, what's there isn't working," Ms Anderson said.

Yesterday, they took everything out of their motorbike and accessory business to give it a good clean and were working through what was salvageable.

"There were motors on the ground full of water and wet chains, helmets full of water - I just couldn't believe it," Ms Thorgood said.

Office equipment would also need to be replaced but in the meantime, The Bike Den would be dropping prices.

They've been at the premises owned by Lloyd Cleary for five years and had only ever had water in the building once before - during last year's flood.

Mr Cleary, who also owns the auto electrician business next door, was ropable.

He claimed the council needed to fix the drainage problem because it wasn't the first time stormwater had rushed down the hill and into his buildings.

"It courses down the hill and can't get into the drainage system and comes through the fence," he said.

"It runs between my two sheds a foot deep.

"I picked up my rubbish from the highway today."

Mr Cleary said it was a costly exercise every time it happened, causing a disruption to his business.

"Its hard enough in business as it is."

The Reef St businesses were not the only ones hurt in Wednesday night's onslaught. Mooloo Mountain Produce in Hyne St also had stormwater damage.

Owner Bradford Mathys said he was lucky that he and his wife were working late at the store when the water started flowing in.

He rushed outside to clear a blocked drain and get some water away, but it was too late for the business - it was already flooded in ankle-deep water.

"There's a lot of damage. I can't honestly say how much as we're working it out now, but it's in the thousands," he said. "I would like to thank Widgee Railing Works - their volunteers cleaned up the shop. It's very comforting to think people in the area do care."

Southside SES group leader Craig Miller said the rain caused some localised flooding at Cootharaba Rd and near Gunabul Homestead in the early hours of yesterday morning.

"There were a couple of tarping jobs in Gympie and on the Southside," he said.

Rainfall

To 9am Thursday

 

Chatsworth 86mm

Glastonbury 22mm

Goomboorian 52mm

Imbil 9.2mm

Kenilworth 23mm

Amamoor 6mm

Rainbow Beach 2.9mm

Mt Bilewilam 20mm

Wolvi 16mm

Widgee 38mm

Moy Pocket 23mm

Kandanga 11mm

Cooroy 18mm

Cedar Pocket 16mm

Pomona 21mm

Cooran 16mm

Gympie 51mm

Tiaro 5.8mm

Fisherman's Pocket 56mm

Toolara 14mm

Maleny 14mm

There's a lot of damage. I can't honestly say how much as we're working it out now, but it's in the thousands.

Bradford Mathys

Gympie Times


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