At 1pm today (26/2/20) the Balonne River level was at 11.23m and rising, and had entered the lower section of St George's Terrace.
At 1pm today (26/2/20) the Balonne River level was at 11.23m and rising, and had entered the lower section of St George's Terrace.

$5.7M flood levee will ‘hardly get a workout’

THE $5.7 million St George flood levee is "unlikely to get a workout" when the Balonne River peaks in the town tomorrow, according to Balonne Shire mayor Richard Marsh.

The levee was opened in 2014 after the town experienced floods in 2011 and 2012, where the highest peak was 13.95m.

Cr Marsh said the levee was 14.5m high around the southern end of St George, so if the river peaked at 12.5m tomorrow as expected, it would do little more than wet it down.

"That thing is probably 4m high in most places, so only the lower end will really get anything against it," he said.

"But it will give us an indication as to whether there's any washaway."

 

The Balonne River at E J Beardmore Dam is expected to peak early Thursday morning, with the township bracing for the peak to arrive early to midafternoon.

Cr Marsh said Bureau of Meteorology would offer greater insight this afternoon and again tomorrow, but the people of St George were celebrating the water.

"Spirits are really high, there's still plenty of smiles and everybody is loving it," he said.

"We're just urging people to remain safe. Don't swim in flood waters and remember if it's flooded, forget it.

 

In 2014, some houses along the riverbank were also raised, which Cr Marsh said would help protect those dwellings from major flood damage.

"For this sort of flood, those houses could see a bit of water under their house," he said.

"So we've told those people they can stay there if they want, but as soon as the river gets to 12 metres Ergon will cut their power, so that's why they'll leave.

"If we hadn't of had those houses raised, they would have some water go through."

 

In Dirranbandi, the peak is expected to reach the town over the weekend.

"At this stage we don't have an indication of heights, but we're pushing BOM to give us some rough idea. We'd rather be safe than sorry," he said.

"Dirranbandi has had some work done, so we're pretty well organised and they know what to expect when the flood comes.

"Bollon is on the Wallum Creek and the levee has been activated and the town fully closed. The Balonne Highway is closed at both St George and Bollon, the causeway up their end is strong and we expect that to be up until early next week."

 

Cr Marsh said he was already hearing positive news from growers and graziers of the region.

"The community are loving it, they just appreciate having some water which will mean more work," he said.

"Some people had already done some planting before all this, and I imagine there will be plenty of others enthusiastically looking forward to doing the same."

 

Flood Safety Advice:

Remember: If it's flooded, forget it. For flood emergency assistance contact the SES on 132 500. For life threatening emergencies, call triple-0 (000) immediately.

Current emergency information is available at www.qld.gov.au/alerts