Sunday, February 13, 2011

Updated: Aftermath - Grantham and travelling up the range 10.2.11

At the Clifton Road turnoff on the old Warrego Highway, just before Placid Hills. The home on the right was flooded and there are piles of logs, sticks and other debris collected all around the place.

Looking at Grantham from the bottom of the hill at Placid Hills. The part of the township on the hill was untouched by the flood.

Approaching the town there is a produce store (I think) and there are shops and a garage on the right hand side, and the pub...

The Grantham pub.

A house between the pub and the shopping strip.

The town garage workshop is on the right and to the left are other shops.

Opposite the shopping strip, on the south side of the highway, a house has been torn off its stumps. I can't see where the house has gone.

And next to that house is another set of stumps minus the home that sat upon them.

And one of the older shop buildings down near the bridge.

Looking up the road toward Foyles' old building, they were furniture restorers and renovators, but they closed or moved some years ago.

Looking south down the creek at Grantham.

The road west of Grantham.

The reason the up photos were so good was that there was a rubbernecker in front of us slowing us down, so the photos are good. (the down ones not so good)

Tomato Land on the right. People clung to palettes to avoid being washed away as the water crossed the highway at Tomato Land, a fruit shop between Withcott and Postmans Ridge.

The up side of the Warrego Highway past Withcott.

I suspect this shot of the water flowing down the Warrego Highway was taken near where the red sign is in the middle of the photo above, just past the truck.
The last flat stage before the climb proper up the range to Toowoomba.

Damage to the highway on the range is amazing. That volume of water seen above must have flowed in places along, across the through the highway.

ABC footage of Grantham.

ABC footage of Grantham.

The Chronicle article about our local member, Ian Rickuss.


Merilyn said...

Well done on the photos Kae, considering you were travelling in a car at the time.
Some of the damage done is heartbreaking, to the owners of those homes all but destroyed, one hopes if they build again they will do it elsewhere above the water line which surely they have marked out if they are unable to move to a different location.

kae said...

Hi Merilyn

Most of he town is on a hill, the little hill in the first photo shown from a distance. In places the water had to be several metres high to reach the roofs of houses on the flat. Grantham is on a big flood plain, with just that little hill sticking out of it. It is unbelievable that the water was high enough to reach roofs of houses particularly those on stumps.

The pictures of the stumps without houses show that the houses hung on for a while, the stumps are at a sharp angle to the ground...

Luckily the storm was in the day, if it had happened in the evening or night there would have been many more lives lost.

Mick Gold Coast QLD said...

Enter "Grantham QLD" into Google, select "Maps" then select "Satellite".

Move the image up & down and you will see just how much high ground surrounds three sides of the valley along which the Warrego passes from Ipswich. The darker the vegetation the steeper the slopes - the water will have been barrelling off that high ground augmenting the flow in the rivers and the rainfall.

The fast and heavy falls on the top of the Toowoomba range will have simply scooted across the surface without being absorbed at all, and straight into the downstream flow.

It is nonetheless difficult to conceive of high water right through that route you have kindly photographed, kae. One just wanders through and enjoys the scenery, without thinking about the terrain.

After all these years I remain astonished at how swiftly levels rise - and at how little attention senior public servants and politicians pay to avoiding the problem until after the event. The formal enquiry in Brisbane now has but one purpose - to protect those classes no matter what.

I remember arriving in QLD in about '93 and immediately recommending (high level consultant on planning and transport) to the chiefs that they set about commuter and goods movement solutions, to avoid the Sydney and Melbourne gridlock.

They had me managing a team acquiring land for a rail-road interchange at Parkinson, which Beattie shelved in '95, for 2 and a half koalas and a tiny group of self interested whingers. You can barely move in heavy vehicles now around the port, which Parkinson would have alleviated.

The ports loading and rail work now under way to service the coal fields is in the same boat - recommended 15 years back, started 3 years ago.

"We need to tap into your Sydney and national cities experience" - pigs! They had too much money, no brains and mirrors to preen at.

Thus we have major floods which should have been avoided on so many levels. I doubt they have a single senior bureaucrat left with any engineering or major project knowledge.