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