The showgrounds at Theodore photographed by Stirling Helicopter Services.
The showgrounds at Theodore photographed by Stirling Helicopter Services.

Second surge to hit Theodore

UPDATE 5PM:  A SECOND surge of flood waters is expected to hit devastated Theodore on Sunday, postponing any thoughts of residents returning to see the havoc caused to the town until at least late next week.

Acting Mayor Maureen Clancy said the Dawson River peaked at Taroom at 10.45m yesterday around 3pm, which was expected to hit deserted Theodore on Sunday, with a peak of around 15m, higher than what saw the town evacuated.

She said any return to Theodore was a long way off, with the flood waters having to recede and the damaged roads surveyed before being re-opened.

Theodore residents were evacuated to Moura when the river hit an estimated 14.64m.

It was only an estimate because the measuring point, the SES shed had gone under, making it the biggest flood in Theodore’s history.

328 people evacuated from Theodore were being sheltered in Anglo’s Dawson Mine camp, motels and other accommodation facilities at Moura.

Moura people are pitching in, not only housing Theodore people at the mine camp and motels, a donation collection centre has started at Kianga Hall.

Representatives from the Department of Community Services and Red Cross are at the hall to assist those who have lost everything, and activities have been organised for adults and children as they wait out the flood to see if they have anything left.

Premier Anna Bligh is expected to visit Moura in coming days to hear first hand from Theodore’s flood victims.

Theodore resident Malcolm Ball described his list pictures of Theodore as eerily silent.

“There was no one n the street – there was silence, just the sound of the bloody water lapping,” Mr Ball said.

He said people were overwhelmed about where to start the massive cleanup once they could get back into the town, with no one having any jobs with every business affected.

Until then, Theodore’s people are in limbo.

He said few would feel like celebrating New Year’s Eve but some would drown their sorrows.

Mr Ball spoke to Central Telegraph online after a town meeting, in which the displaced residents had thanked emergency services and Anglo for their assistance.

Acting chief executive officer of Anglo American’s Metallurgical Coal business, David Diamond praised the Moura community for its help.

“The community spirit shown by the people of Moura and the region over the past few days has been extraordinary and our company is proud to be helping their effort,” Mr Diamond said.

The Acting General Manager of Anglo American’s Dawson Mine, Andy McLeod, today also announced a $100,000 company donation to the Premier’s Disaster Relief Appeal.

In addition, Anglo American employees will be able to make donations to the Appeal through voluntary payroll deductions.

“Anglo American is the largest employer in the region and a number of employees unable to get to work due to flood waters have been volunteering their time to help the community,” Mr McLeod said.

“Most of the people evacuated from Theodore left with just the clothes they were wearing so we are providing them with shelter and basic necessities such as food, clothes and toiletries,” Mr McLeod said.

“We have capacity at our Dawson and Kotti Doon camps to house more evacuees should that be required in the coming days.

“A large number of pets and other animals were also evacuated and are being looked after by the local veterinary clinic.

“I wish to commend the work of Banana Shire Council, emergency crews, local doctors and the Spotless team at Dawson Village for their tireless effort in coordinating evacuations, moving people safely, arranging accommodation and providing medical treatment in difficult conditions,” Mr McLeod said.

“I particularly wish to commend the local, teachers, housewives, nurses and small business owners who rallied together through Facebook and by phone to set up a crisis centre at Kianga Hall in a very short period of time, the centre is now filled with clothing and other community donations,” Mr McLeod said.

Biloela’s SES Shed (next to fire station on Callide Street) will be open from 7am-3pm on Sunday for donations to help Banana Shire’s flood victims.

Items that can be donated include:  white goods, electrical goods, furniture, bedding, children’s toys, clothes, toiletries, tools, kitchen utensils, computers, shoes, non perishable foods and vouchers for fresh food.

 Numerous local roads in the Theodore area are inaccessible due to flooding and caution must be observed when travelling these roads. Travel only if absolutely necessary.

The Department of Transport and Main Roads has issued advice that there have been closures on the Leichhardt, Burnett and Dawson Highways, as well as the Eidsvold-Theodore Road. 

For further information on all State road closures, please call 131 940 or visit the Department of Transport & Main Roads’ website www.131940.qld.gov.au.

Primary producers are urged to contact the QRAA for assistance or go to the www.qraa.qld.gov.au website.
People who are experiencing personal hardship due to the flooding can contact the Department of Communities on 1800 173 349 or visit www.communities.qld.gov.au for updates on the types and availability of support that is available.



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