Queensland city saved from floods

Melissa Meehan |

Numerous generators and pumps appear to have been successful in protecting a Queensland city under threat from floodwaters. 

Maryborough was evacuated with water surging into the CBD through the stormwater drains after a major flood.

The levee was protecting the CBD until an underground stormwater valve failed just before 2pm, allowing floodwater to surge up through the drains and into the streets.

Police and Queensland Fire and Emergency Services issued an urgent emergency evacuation order for more than 30 inner-city blocks.

Late on Sunday night, Fraser Coast Mayor George Seymour gave the update that the flood water had been steady at 10 metres “for a few hours”, and that would likely be the peak.

The council was doing all it could to protect the town, with 12 pumps each moving about 120 litres a second, he said.

“I think we are keeping pace with the incoming water. We have numerous generators and pumps running,” he posted on social media earlier on Sunday night.

Authorities had expected the river to peak in Maryborough above a major flood level of 10.5 metres, impacting about 80 homes close to 10pm on Sunday night, after the remnants of tropical cyclone Seth dumped 600mm on the Wide Bay-Burnett region in two days.

One person has already died in the floods, which came after intense rain pummelled the region on Friday and Saturday.

A 22-year-old’s body was found in a submerged ute at Kanigan, north of Gympie, on Saturday.

Police also hold grave fears for a 14-year-old girl swept away while abandoning a flooding car with a 40-year-old man at Booubyjan, near Gympie, in the early hours of Saturday.

The man was found clinging to a tree hours later but police are combing the floodplain for any sign of the girl.

Meanwhile, a low pressure system in the Coral Sea has been confirmed as a category one tropical cyclone called Tiffany which is expected to cross the Queensland coast on Monday night.

It is expected to bring destructive winds and heavy rains leading to further floods. 

QFES Deputy Commissioner Mike Wassing urged people not to enter floodwaters or go sightseeing in Maryborough, where a local photographed a bull shark on Saturday.