Willow Street, Killarney as floodwaters breached the banks on Thursday evening, March 30,2017.
Willow Street, Killarney as floodwaters breached the banks on Thursday evening, March 30,2017. John Towells

Killarney residents unite in flood clean up

KILLARNEY businesses were back up and running as normal yesterday after Willow St was inundated with floodwaters late Thursday. 

Resident John Towells said about 30 people were out in the main street to help with the clean up from early yesterday morning. 

"The floodwaters have all gone down and they've cleaned up a fair bit already," Mr Towells said.

"The flood came at about 10 last night and the main street was all closed off, and the roads out to Warwick were still closed this morning when I had to go to work.

"There were a handful of business owners and others helping to clear up and the rural fire brigade was helping to hose all the mud off the street.

"We had our police sergeant Brad Doyle and council worker Geoffrey Farmer helping out overnight as well." 

Mr Towells said business owners started to move stock off the ground as a precaution by about 5pm on Thursday. 

He said residents at The Head typically phoned down to Killarney to warn of heavy falls and possible flooding. 

Killarney Autoworks owner Paul Fox said his business had cleaned up quickly after the deluge.

"We had about half a metre through our shop, about half of 2013 levels," Mr Fox said.

"We've been clearing water out since it started falling at about 1am and we're back up and operational.

"It's the fourth flood we've had since buying the business and we were lucky we could get things lifted off the ground at about 3pm (Thursday)."

Killarney Newsagency owner Kay Hancock said although they had been well prepared, the store escaped flooding.

"We were very lucky," Ms Hancock said. "We always lift our stock up and knew to be prepared but didn't get any water.

"Everyone's helped to clean up and Charlie our milkman who brings our papers, milk and bread got to us and everything was in order."

Though unaffected by the flood waters, Killarney Hotel owner Annalise Moir said a few extra visitors were welcomed overnight.

"It takes a pretty serious flood to reach the hotel so weren't concerned we'd get hit," Ms Moir said.

"We did have a few people stuck and provided extra rooms for locals who couldn't make it back home which was good."

Killarney Butchery owner Steve Carey said he slept the night at the shop on Thursday so he could be up and operating the store for customers.

"That was the only precaution I took," Mr Carey said.

"I live at Swan Creek so I knew I'd be stranded and wouldn't be able to get to work today otherwise."

"Everything's open again now and drying out." 

Meanwhile, Local Disaster Management Group members have  reassured Killarney residents a flood warning system was deliberately not activated on Thursday night.

Local Disaster Coordinator Peter See said because the flow-on effect of ex-Tropical Cyclone Debbie was anticipated well in advance, the group had made the decision to not activate the system.

"There had been a severe weather alert and the Local Disaster Management Group decided to engage the SES to door-knock those businesses in the flood zone in Killarney," Mr See said.

"Because we had seen the event coming we were able to give businesses about 10 hours minimum warning and because no one's lives were endangered we made the decision not to activate the warning system.

"This is the second time since it was installed that we have done this."

The system, was installed in 2015 at the cost of about $80,000, of in State Government funding. following the Queensland Floods Commission of Inquiry after the 2011 floods.



BEFORE AND AFTER: Changes of the $1.8 billion Coffs bypass

premium_icon BEFORE AND AFTER: Changes of the $1.8 billion Coffs bypass

Images show how the new highway will look once completed

Coffs Coast’s best beauty salon as voted by you

premium_icon Coffs Coast’s best beauty salon as voted by you

OUR premium online readers have voted in force to elect this winner.

Bypass blues: Highway to hell for Urunga family

premium_icon Bypass blues: Highway to hell for Urunga family

“When they started machinery each morning my bed and window frames rattled.”