BREAKING: CQ residents evacuated from homes

FLOODS: Ex-Cyclone Debbie is dumping down on Central Queensland.
FLOODS: Ex-Cyclone Debbie is dumping down on Central Queensland.


EMERGENCY crews are evacuating residents in the Gemfields as flash floods threaten homes.

The community has gone into flash-flood preparation mode with emergency services pouring into the town.

Swift Water Rescue, SES and Rural Fire Brigade members are door-knocking households threatened by flood waters, telling residents to get out now. 

The man leading the charge, Kris Nilsson, said this morning's forecast predicted 250mm could fall over the Gemfields.

"And if that's the case, then of course the creeks are going to come up," he said.

"Generally the creeks will go up and down quickly, but there are numerous houses on the creeks, quite a few houses that will get inundated if the event happens," he said.

While the Bureau of Meteorology initially warned flooding would occur this afternoon, the flood waters may come in the night and isolate the town.

CQ FLOODS: Towns in disaster mode as locals brace for floods



Mr Nilsson said he has lived in the Gemfields for 27 years, and has only seen the bridge out of town go under three times.

"If the town gets cut off usually it's only for a day," he said.

"We have been isolated back in 2008, 2010 and 2011; if it happens again this will be the fourth time."

Gemfields SES member Win Knighton at the Four Square Shop in Rubyvale is one of the emergency service personnel helping locals as flash-flooding threatens to township.
Gemfields SES member Win Knighton at the Four Square Shop in Rubyvale is one of the emergency service personnel helping locals as flash-flooding threatens to township.

As the owner of the Four Square Shop in Rubyvale Linda Murton raced home to prepare her creek-side home for the floods, SES crew member Win Knighton checked in to the store which is likely to be inundated.

"We have just finished an activation warning for people on the Policeman's Creek area that there could be possibly flash flooding tonight and to be prepared to move out," he said about 4pm.

Central Highlands Regional Council staff have also assisted with the preparations.

More to come

EARLIER: Tense wait for CQ township as floods threaten to come in the night

GEMFIELDS residents are in the grips of a tense wait with floods expected to "come in the night".

Owner of the Rubyvale Friendly Grocer (4 Square) Linda Murton has weathered her fair share of flood events, and believes her community could become isolated come tomorrow morning.

The local of 30 years said low-lying houses along the creek bank would be the first to go if Bureau of Meteorology forecasts are correct.

CQ FLOODS: Towns in disaster mode as locals brace for floods

"In 2004 and 2010 we had big floods here, but most people just get through it, there's not much you can do about it; can't stop nature," Linda said.

As one of three general stores in the township, Linda said locals have stocked up over the last few days with many having experienced similar weather events.

"A lot of people have been buying a lot of bread and milk," she said.

Also on the list of vital supplies are dog food, pet supplies, candles, meat, torches, camp ovens, stoves, butane gas and fuel for cars and generators.

SEVERE WEATHER: 'Intense' rain, 100km/hr winds to hit CQ soon

The Central Highlands Regional Council this morning activated their disaster coordination centre as ex-Cyclone Debbie moves south into the region.

A severe weather warning is current for the Central Highlands region, and the Bureau forecast falls above 100mm and up to 200mm over the next few days in some areas.

Linda said heavy gusts had torn through town earlier, but the rain had not been as heavy as anticipated this afternoon.

Though she said falls had "not let up" and was expected to intensify.

"We have started preparing, some people have got sandbags ready to go and the SES have got sandbags and a pile of sand over at their shed at Sapphire for people to go an collect if they need it," Linda said.

"They are saying that it's supposed to clear here by Friday.

"The rains not letting up at all... I don't know whether its going to flood or not, it's a tense wait."

Linda said most locals new the drill and if they were at risk of flooding would evacuate on time, finding refuge with friends and family.

"Most people are just getting on with things I think, making sure they have got supplies because a lot of people will get flooded in," she said.

"But they (flood waters) tend to go down as fast as they come up too, everyone is dealing with it and handling it, they have been there and done that.

"Most people know what to do, they are well-prepared. We just hope no one goes driving through flooded creeks."

It appears locals are taking all possible precautions, with the Anakie School sending kids home on the bus about midday.

Topics:  bureau of meteorology central highlands cyclone debbie disaster editors picks flood wildweather

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