Boot and Kettle Creek, Mick Gittens.
Boot and Kettle Creek, Mick Gittens.

Sapphire residents wake to rising floodwaters

Cars and equipment are sitting in metres of floodwaters after Sapphire received a deluge of rain in the early hours of Wednesday morning, prompting a major flood.

Emergency services have spent the morning rescuing people from the roofs of houses and cars, with all rescues successful and no injuries reported.

Blue Gem looking across to the Trading Post. Pic: Lorraine Schou.
Blue Gem looking across to the Trading Post. Pic: Lorraine Schou.

All roads to Rubyvale and Sapphire have now been closed and drivers are being urged to not attempt to drive the roads.

The roads are not expected to be open for a number of hours.

An evacuation alert was issued by the Bureau of Meteorology just before 5am as Retreat Creek rose rapidly.

Warning sirens were heard by Sapphire residents around 3am.

Rifle Range Rd, Sapphire taken by Michelle Johns.
Rifle Range Rd, Sapphire taken by Michelle Johns.

Retreat Creek which surrounds the southern end of Sapphire rose nearly 10 metres in a few hours.

It was reported up to 250mm of rain fell overnight, which it is said to be the most in a decade.

Mount Ball near Rubyvale recorded 235mm overnight.

Residents in low lying homes and properties have been evacuated.

Cars under flood water in Sapphire.
Cars under flood water in Sapphire.

Around 4.15am a vehicle and persons were recovered from floodwaters in Sapphire Central.

A report was made around 5am that the river broke the banks at Graves Hill Rd and water was getting into cabins.

Jenni Solomon took this photo 500 metres from the Graves Hill crossing, Sapphire side of Retreat Creek. Taken at 6am on Wednesday March 17, 2021.
Jenni Solomon took this photo 500 metres from the Graves Hill crossing, Sapphire side of Retreat Creek. Taken at 6am on Wednesday March 17, 2021.

ROADS CLOSED AT 9AM WEDNESDAY MARCH 17:

Capella Road, The Gemfields

Capella Rubyvale Road, Carbine Creek

Makonda Road, Theresa Creek

Dawson Developmental Road, Mantuan Downs

Rolleston Springsure Road (Dawson Highway), Albinia

Dawson Developmental Road, Springsure / Windeyer

Anakie Sapphire Road, The Gemfields



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