Counter-disaster ops activated in 20 government areas after Cyclone Debbie

THE Queensland Disaster Management Committee met on Sunday morning where it was updated on the flood crises that has gripped the state in the wake of Severe Tropical Cyclone Debbie.

The committee was brought up to speed on the recovery efforts underway in communities directly impacted by Debbie in the state’s far north and was updated on the subsequent flooding that has enveloped the east coast.

Debbie carved a path of destruction along the coast after making landfall as a Category 4 storm near Bowen on Tuesday and sliding south into the state’s southeast on Thursday before contracting offshore.


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The storm’s impacts were felt far and wide, with millions of people living between the impact zone in far north Queensland and Lismore in northern NSW either impacted by major flooding or destructive winds.

As a result, counter-disaster operations have been activated in 20 local government areas along a 1400km stretch of coastline, from the Gold Coast City in the south to Townsville in the north.

SCROLL DOWN FOR DISASTER DECLARATIONS & ASSISTANCE

As of this morning, 4000 properties had been assessed in in north and central Queensland. Sadly, more than 500 of these have been deemed uninhabitable.

Meanwhile, a further 500 properties have been assessed in the southeast, 20 of which can no longer be lived in.

In the time from when Debbie made landfall to when the system ripped through the southeast, the Queensland State Emergency Service has received more than 6000 calls for help and performed 188 swift water rescues.

More than 65,000 homes and businesses lost power during the height of Debbie’s onslaught in the far north. As many as 29,000 of these were still without power this morning.

A staggering 170,000 buildings were blacked out in the state’s southeast when Debbie moved through as a low-pressure system on Thursday. Just 3900 were waiting to be reconnected on Sunday.

Rockhampton is now in the firing line, with the Fitzroy River to peak at a height of 9.4m in the coming days. This is the biggest flood threat the city of Rockhampton has faced in 99 years.

Temporary flood barriers are being erected to protect homes in the northern suburb of Berserker and to protect the airport and essential infrastructure.

Ergon Energy will work with the Rockhampton Regional Council on disconnecting customers to ensure there are no live wire issues as the river rises.

As a result, 90 customers are expected to be disconnected today and they have been notified.

DISASTER DECLARATIONS & ASSISTANCE

Under the joint Commonwealth-State funded, the following declarations have been made and categories of assistance are available for the following local government areas:

The personal Hardship Assistance Scheme has been activated for:

  • Isaac
  • Logan
  • Mackay
  • Scenic Rim
  • Whitsunday

This will provide hardship and distress assistance for families and individuals to help with emergency needs such as food, clothing and accommodation, essential repairs to damaged homes and the replacement of essential household contents.

Counter-disaster operations and clean up assistance have been activated in the affected local government areas of:

  • Burdekin
  • Central Highlands
  • Charters Towers
  • Gladstone
  • Gold Coast City
  • Hinchinbrook
  • Isaac
  • Livingstone
  • Lockyer Valley
  • Logan
  • Mackay
  • Moreton Bay
  • Palm Island
  • Rockhampton
  • Scenic Rim
  • Southern Downs
  • Toowoomba
  • Townsville
  • Whitsunday
  • Woorabinda

Financial assistance is also being made available to local government authorities to restore damaged essential public infrastructure in the local government areas of:

  • Gladstone
  • Gold Coast City
  • Isaac
  • Livingstone Shire
  • Lockyer Valley
  • Logan
  • Rockhampton
  • Scenic Rim
  • Southern Downs
  • Toowoomba
  • Mackay
  • Whitsunday

For Primary Producers, small businesses and non-profit organisations – Category B – in the affected local government areas of:

  • Mackay
  • Whitsunday

This includes concessional interest rate loans and interest rate subsidies for small businesses, primary producers and voluntary non-profit organisations, freight subsidies for primary producers, grants to voluntary non-profit organisations, as well as grants and loans to needy individuals.

DONATIONS

Queenslanders wanting to help and donate can do so directly with a respected charity:

These charities are trained to respond to the needs of communities hit by natural disasters and can provide food, equipment, shelter, and other support.

Goods and services can also be donated to GIVIT through their website www.givit.org.au

  • For storm and flood assistance contact the SES on 132 500.
  • In a life threatening emergency call Triple Zero.
  • People who are experiencing personal hardship due to TC Debbie should download and use the Self-recovery app, go to www.qld.gov.au/communityrecovery or contact the Community Recovery Hotline on 1800 173 349 for further information.