Disaster response enters “recovery phase” as floods drop on the Gold Coast

THE Gold Coast’s Disaster Management Centre remains open, with the city now in recovery mode after Ex-Tropical Cyclone Debbie ripped through the region on Thursday.

In less than 30 hours, Debbie dumped 890mm of rain on the Gold Coast hinterland and whipped up wild winds which snapped power lines, uprooted trees, and flipped furniture off high-rise balconies.

The deluge caused widespread major flooding which inundated homes, washed away roads, destroyed bridges, triggered countless landslides and flooded underground car parks.


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The city’s usually quiet, clean canals became turbulent torrents of muddy, debris-filled water and flash floods ripped through properties at Tamborine and in the Tallebudgera Valley.

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Flooded canal in Broadbeach Waters PHOTO: © Jaydan Duck / myGC.com.au

The body of a 77-year-old man was found at Eagleby north of the Gold Coast yesterday. He was swept away by floodwaters while attending to horses on Friday night.

Major flooding ripped through Eagleby, north of the Gold Coast PHOTO: Missy T Pinner

Evidence of a powerful flood at Eagleby, north of the Gold Coast PHOTO: Missy T Pinner

Now, three days after Debbie dealt her cruel blow, the next stage of the city’s disaster response can begin as floodwaters start to recede.

The Disaster Management Team will now enter what it calls a “recovery phase”, shifting its focus on carrying out a damage assessment on affected properties, roads and other essential infrastructure, and “restoring the city”.

Flash floods ripped through Tallegbudgera Valley PHOTO: Carly Sugars

Flash floods ripped through Tallegbudgera Valley PHOTO: Carly Sugars

Flash floods ripped through Tallegbudgera Valley PHOTO: Carly Sugars

As of midday Sunday, 500 properties had been assessed in southeast Queensland. Sadly, 20 of these properties have been deemed uninhabitable.

Crews have been out in force over the weekend, working hard to clear roads and restore access to isolated communities.

But at the time of writing, hundreds of residents remained stranded without power at Springbrook, with the only two roads on and off the mountain cut.

Pine Creek Road was washed away, cutting access to Springbrook mountain PHOTO: Kira Lowe

Landslides blocked Sprinbrook Road in as many as seven locations, while Pine Creek Road was literally washed away. Council crews are working hard to restore access to the mountain via Pine Creek Road.

Crews are working to restore access to Springbrook via Pine Creek Road PHOTO: Kira Lowe

Meanwhile, roads in and out of Currumbin and Tallebudgera Valley have been reopened to emergency vehicles and local traffic only.

Motorists are urged to avoid travelling into these areas unless it is absolutely essential.

Landslides cut access to Currumbin PHOTO: Katrina Ingram

Floodwaters rushed through the streets of Currumbin PHOTO: Katrina Ingram

Currumbin was littered with landslides. This was Currumbin Creek Road PHOTO: Sandy Boyle

Tamborine-Oxenford Road is closed at the John Muntz Causeway after a section of the bridge was washed away by the Coomera River.

Council says the bridge will remain closed “for some time”.

Part of the new bridge at the John Muntz Caseway was washed away PHOTO: Karyn Goodlife Lively

Tamborine Oxenford Road will be closed at the John Muntz Causeway for “some time” PHOTO: Sarah Price

The Alan Wilkie Bridge on Stanmore Road at Yatala has also suffered extensive structural damage and will also remain closed.

The Alan Wilke Bridge on Stanmore Road at Yatala was destroyed by the Albert River PHOTO: Felicity Kilby

The Alan Wilke Bridge has suffered extensive structural damage and will remain closed PHOTO: Felicity Kilby

The road to the glow worms cave and waterfall at Natural Bridge (Nerang–Murwillumbah Road) has been reopened through the Numinbah Valley, however, remains closed at the NSW border.

As of 6pm this evening, 730 homes and businesses remained without power, down from a peak of more than 10,000. The majority of these properties are on Springbrook mountain and in the Numinbah Valley.

Destructive winds uptrooted giant trees in Reedy Creek PHOTO: Sherryl Giokas

Destructive winds uptrooted giant trees in Reedy Creek PHOTO: Sherryl Giokas

Destructive winds uptrooted giant trees in Reedy Creek PHOTO: Sherryl Giokas

Water levels in both the Albert and Logan Rivers are falling.

The flooding of these rivers caused significant widespread major flooding around Alberton, Stapylton and Yatala on the northern Gold Coast, and further north in Logan and Beenleigh.

Flooding around Yatala, on the northern Gold Coast PHOTO: Felicity Kilby

Flooding around Yatala PHOTO: Felicity Kilby

The Albert peaked at 8.02m in Beenleigh around 11pm on Friday, while the Logan River peaked at 10.40m around 10pm last night, causing widespread flooding.

Widespread flooding around Stapylton, on the northern Gold Coast PHOTO: Daniel Williams

Stanmore Road at Yatala PHOTO: Beau Gage

BP truck stop isolated by floodwaters at Stapylton PHOTO: Daniel Williams

Crews are monitoring flood levels around Alberton and will reopen roads in this area when it is safe to do so.

Fortunately, there are no significant water supply issues across the city, according to the Disaster Management Team, and the Tugun Desalination Plant is operating.