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Toowoomba And The Lockyer Valley Flash Flood

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Recent weather reminds one of the terrible floods in Australia last year.

The city of Toowoomba, in the Darling Downs, was hit by flash flooding after more than 160 millimetres (6.3 in) of rain fell in 36 hours to 10 January 2011; this event caused four deaths in a matter of hours. Cars were washed away . Toowoomba sits on the watershed of the Great Dividing Range, some 700 metres (2,300 ft) above sea level. A three-week period where it had rained on all but three days had left the soil around Toowoomba super saturated and when a line of storms hit the city on 10 January, the resulting torrential rain rapidly ran off down gullies and streets. The central business district of the city sits in a small valley where two small water courses—East Creek and West Creek—meet to form Gowrie Creek. Unable to cope with the volume of water heading toward them, the creeks burst their banks, pushing a devastating wall of water through the city centre. This water then headed west, not towards the Lockyer Valley which was also experiencing extreme rainfall that fell on eastern facing slopes.

The surge passed through the Lockyer Valley town of Withcott, where the force of the water pushed cars into shops and forced the evacuation of hundreds of people. The scene was described by an onlooker as "like Cyclone Tracy has gone through it ... If you dropped an atom bomb on it, you couldn't tell the difference." Nearby Helidon had several homes and farms flooded but did not break the main creek bank and enter the town. It was cut off from all sides by destroyed roads. Grantham was also devastated by the surge of water. Houses were left crumpled by what Premier of Queensland Anna Bligh described as an "inland tsunami". According to local media, the flood waters had reached a height of 7 or 8 m (23 or 26 ft) by the time it struck Grantham. At least 100 people were evacuated to the Helidon Community Hall. Nine people were confirmed dead, and many more feared dead among 66 reported missing. The body of one victim washed away at Grantham was recovered 80 kilometres (50 mi) downstream and Queensland Police Commissioner Bob Atkinson warned that some bodies may never be found. Nearby Gatton saw voluntary evacuations as the Lockyer Creek rose to a record height of 18.92 metres (62.1 ft), exceeding the previous record set in the 1893 Queensland floods.

Three people from Grantham listed as missing were officially declared dead by the Coroner on 5 June 2012

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2010%E2%80%932011_Queensland_floods

Quite an amazing video.

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