THE BIG WET: An aerial shot of the floods around Taroom earlier this week. Picture by GARTH CHRISTIANSEN.
THE BIG WET: An aerial shot of the floods around Taroom earlier this week. Picture by GARTH CHRISTIANSEN.

Theodore to be flooded for Xmas

THEODORE farmers face a Christmas wipe-out with floodwaters likely to ruin crops for the second time this year.

Cr Vaughn Becker said official Bureau of Meteorology predictions were for a peak at Theodore of 13.5 metres today  between midday and mid-afternoon, bigger than the record March flood.

Low-lying areas of Theodore are already under water onthe southern side of town and there has been significant crop  losses in the area.

Cr Becker said  a levy bank near Fruit Salad Corner on the northern side of town saw  houses  on that side inundated.

He said the Dawson was at 13.35m at 10am (Friday) but was appearing to remain steady at that level  for the past  several hours.

Wowan had also had flooding, with Pocket Creek spilling over and water flowing into yards and under houses.

The Banana Shire Local Disaster Management Group was yesterday (Thursday) recalled to oversee flood preparations along with the Theodore disaster group run by Cr Becker.

The Bureau of Meteorology issued a flood warning late Thursday and advised that fast river rises are occurring between Gyranda Weir and Isla Delusion Crossing, with similar rises extending downstream to Theodore where a major flood peak of at least 13.5 metres is expected during today with even higher levels possible.

Fast river level rises are also occurring downstream to Moura where a major flood peak to about 12.5 metres is expected during Saturday, with further rises possible.

Major flooding is rising at Baralaba, with fast rises expected during Friday as upstream floodwaters arrive.

A major flood peak of at least 13 metres is expected over the weekend with higher levels possible.

Theodore grower Fleur Anderson fears a devastating impact.

“It's what I call a perfect storm – runs in local creeks, rain and the Dawson rising,” Ms Anderson said.

“We are bracing for what could be a disastrous Christmas.”

She said they had moved farm machinery to another, higher property.

Taroom has been inundated with water from the flooded Dawson, cutting the Leichhardt Highway and flooding low-lying areas at the town's northern entrance.

Taroom teen Shaydie-Jane Campbell is likely to be trapped on the 18,000-acre family farm on the Fitzroy Development Road, between Theodore and Taroom.

“We're on an island,” she said of the waters surrounding their farm from nearby Ghinghinda Creek.

She will spend Christmas Day separated from some of her family, with her mum and brother Nathan marooned in Taroom after they went Christmas shopping in Toowoomba.

Ms Campbell, 15, has been helping her dad Tom run the family farm.

“We're not liking our chances to get into town for Christmas,” Ms Campbell said.

“We got six inches in three days.

“It will be our first Christmas without mum and Nathan.

“We got to Theodore to get some groceries before the floods came.”

Ms Campbell said she and her dad had bought each other presents on the trip to Theodore but still had to buy for the others.

“We can't wait to see some sunshine,” she said.

Ms Campbell said the family's other property, near Wandoan, had 6.5 inches in two days.

Another farmer, John Hay, is unlikely to see his son and grandchildren, who only live next door, due to flooding.

“Our son and his family live on the property next door but a creek runs between the two homes – it will be a problem if the rain comes as forecast so (my wife) Ailsa and I are resigned to Christmas without our grandkids,” Mr Hay said.

He said his Biloela grandkids were also supposed to be there for the week but could not get through with the roads closed.

“We made a quick trip to Taroom on Friday between floods to get stocked up with most things to be ready for the Christmas flood.”

Farmer Rob Lethbridge spoke to Central Telegraph after returning by boat to his property on the flooded Injune Road with supplies.

He said he and his family had planned to travel to Townsville for Christmas but couldn't get out.

Mr Lethbridge said he wouldn't be able to see his brother, who has a property next door but will be cut off with Robinson Creek between them.

With more rain expected yesterday and today, the black soil would be impassable even to get to the creek to launch a boat.

Biloela's Callide Dam has benefited from the heavy rain, now sitting at 34%, while Kroombit Dam is at 100.1% with 113 megalitres being released every day.

Minister for Primary Industries, Fisheries, Rural and Regional Queensland Tim Mulherin said joint State-Commonwealth Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA) had been activated to help those areas impacted by December's flooding in Banana Shire.

Roads closed yesterday were: Baralaba-Rannes Rd; Gladstone-Monto Road; the Leichhardt Highway at Taroom and Theodore; the Dawson Highway from Moura to Bauhinia; Roma-Taroom Rd; and Duaringa-Biloela Road.

The Eidsvold-Theodore Road is cut  between Cracow and Theodore..

THE BIG WET: An aerial shot of the floods around Taroom earlier this week.


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