Clive Poole's Baffle Creek home inundated with flash floods.
Clive Poole's Baffle Creek home inundated with flash floods. Clive Poole

'The flood's at my floor': Rurals sitting on own islands

AS IF having his Baffle Creek home flooded by rainwater wasn't stressful enough, an elderly resident and his mate became bogged while trying to escape to higher ground.

This week's floods have affected towns throughout the region, with some areas left completely isolated and cut off from the rest of Gladstone.

Clive Poole, 78, is one of those most affected by what the Bureau of Meteorology has said is a one-in-50-year weather event.

The Baffle Creek resident said he spent all day yesterday going through his house, moving his belongings.

"There's another house at the top of the hill I'll go and take it all to ... because in an hour it's going to be through my house," Mr Poole said.

Before becoming completely bogged, Mr Poole said the trips he'd made back and forth to his mate's car became more treacherous, with each load of belongings he carried to and fro.

Hidden beneath the water is a dam, fence and driveway.
Hidden beneath the water is a dam, fence and driveway. Elizabeth Smith

"It was up to my thighs when I went out to the car just now," he said.

While Mr Poole confirmed his friends and neighbours were safe and sound, he said some people would not have been so lucky.

"The ones whose homes aren't high up are all getting flooded like me," he said.

"The floods are at my floors as we speak."

But this week's extreme weather is not the first time flash flooding has personally affected Mr Poole.

"Last time it went right over my house," he said.

Murphy and Baldaw Rds at Captain Creek.
Murphy and Baldaw Rds at Captain Creek. Kathy Robertson-Cipak

"I'm praying with all my heart it won't be like that again."

A friend and fellow Baffle Creek resident said she met Mr Poole in 2013, when she spotted him cleaning up and helping flood victims.

"He lost everything back then ... and he was also flooded earlier in 2010," Kathy Robertson-

Cipak said.

Gladstone Region Mayor Matt Burnett said the biggest concern he held was for residents in the Baffle Creek and Lowmead areas.

"Earlier this week we put the Local Disaster Management Group on alert," Cr Burnett said.

"The manager of disaster co-ordination is looking into (activating) that at the moment.

Police creek at Joe Joseph park.Gladstone weather photos October 18, 2017.
Police creek at Joe Joseph park.Gladstone weather photos October 18, 2017. Mike Richards GLA181017WTHR

"If you're in Boyne Valley, you need to be prepared, and maybe come into the city and make sure you have the supplies you need if you're cut off."

Working to protect the flood victims as best they can, volunteers of Gladstone Region's State Emergency Services have been at the ready all week.

"Baffle Creek is completely isolated, Rosedale is cut off, so are Agnes, Turkey Beach, and several others," local controller for Gladstone Region Doug Savage said.

"Everyone is just sitting on their own island now.

"But we have plans in place if areas go under."

While no official evacuations have taken place, several Lowmead residents chose to relocate yesterday due to high levels of flooding along Lowmead Rd.

Road sections at the corner of Murphy Rd and Baldaw Rd, Captain Creek, washed away in rapid water.
Road sections at the corner of Murphy Rd and Baldaw Rd, Captain Creek, washed away in rapid water. Kathy Robertson-Cipak

"The local pub relocated its freezers and fridges to the rural fire shed," a Gladstone local disaster spokesman said.

"The rural fire shed and church are available to anyone who wants to relocate."

QFES acting inspector Noel King urged those affected to take up the Lowmead Fire Brigade's offer, reminding people to be safe.

"If it's flooded, forget it," he added.

"But if you think that you need to relocate to the rural fire shed, please do so."

Adding to the chaos, roads throughout the region became inundated with floodwaters and caused road blocks in several towns including Calliope, Captain Creek, Miriam Vale, Boyne Valley and Lowmead.

Awoonga Dam was also over-run and spilled early yesterday morning. The 40.4m level the dam hit about 7am yesterday was not even where it was set to peak, with the Gladstone Area Water Board predicting it to rise at least another metre by the end of yesterday.

"We're just going to have to wait and see how bad it gets," Mr Poole said.

Proving Baffle locals were made of tough stuff though, Mr Poole said he was "just glad we had a winch when we got bogged. Or things would be really bad."



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