Queensland Floods: Latest Briefings

8.35pm AEDT – At a briefing tonight, Queensland Premier Anna Bligh said 1000 homes in Ipswich are now inundated although the flood has peaked there. Brisbane’s peak at 4am tomorrow will be slightly lower than expected. Chinchilla has peaked.

Anna Bligh media briefing on Queensland floodsThe death toll stands at 12, the number unaccounted for at 43. There are grave concerns for some of them and “we are despondent about finding them all.”

The Moggill ferry has broken a guide rope. A 1.5 tonne anchor will be flown in by helicopter in the morning and will be used to secure the ferry. The Island barge/boat will either be secured or scuttled. Naval divers are on their way to assist in the event of a decision to sink it.

The Floating Walkway around New Farm is at risk of disloding. It will be broken up into sections and disposed of.

115,000 properties have had the power cut off already. This is another reason to evacuate now.

Police say they have had only one case of forcible evacuation of a man with a firearm. There has only been one case of looting.

Bligh said the flood will peak at 4am tonight. Many people will find water their streets tonight and should make the decision to leave. Now is not the time for complacency.

Bligh said Brisbane residents will take up to scenes like they’ve never seen in their lives. People need to brace themselves for what they will witness. Already there are parts of Brisbane that are unrecognisable with some areas looking like inland lakes.

There will be a substantial economic impact, Bligh said. The coal industry would take several weeks, if not months, to get back to normal. Agricultural producers have been seriously affected. Cotton growers have lost their second crop in a row.

Cuts to supply lines, especially railway lines and major arterial roads, will have a major impact. Bligh said the state can recover quickly and reconstruction will be the top priority after the crisis is over.

Police have still not gathered details about the two people who have been found alive after they were swept away by flood waters.

  • Premier Anna Bligh and Police Commisioner Bob Atkinson briefing.

4.45pm AEDT

  • Listen to Qld Minister for Police and Emergency Services Neil Roberts and Police Commissioner Bob Atkinson briefing.

The death toll now stands at 12. There are grave fears for 9 people and 51 are unaccounted for.

Police are aware of two people found alive after having earlier been swept away by flood waters.

The Brisbane River is now at 4.16 metres and rising, expected to peak at 5.5 metres around 4.00am. This is above 1974 levels.

Ipswich flood level is around 19 metres but still expected to rise about 20 metres.

2.30pm AEDT

  • Anna Bligh press conference.

Bligh announced the bodies of two men have been found in the Lockyer Valley.

Bligh said the number of people unaccounted for is now 66. The number fluctuates.

Chincilla is bracing for a worse flood than the one they had two weeks ago.

The river at Ipswich is 19.2 metres. Many areas of Ipswich inundated.

The Moggill ferry in Brisbane has broken one of its two ropes and may be sunk to prevent it becoming a torpedo down the river.

3585 people are located in 57 evacuation centres, 1500 of these in Ipswich.

Buses into the Brisbane CBD have stopped, although trains are running on public holiday timetable. All tolls have been cancelled on roads. Bligh said the Central Business District will look like a ghost town around now and for the next few days.

Substantial aerial support is available: 25 helicopters, 11 of them military are in use, some transmitting streaming live footage of conditions back to the emergency control room.

2.15pm AEDT

  • Brisbane Lord Mayor Campbell Newman press conference (end only).

2.00pm AEDT

  • NSW Premier Kristina Keneally and Director-General of Emergency Services Murray Kear press conference in Grafton.

11.30am AEDT

  • Premier Anna Bligh, Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Chief of Defence Angus Houston held a joint press conference with an overnight update on the flood situation.

Overnight the peak flood level for Ipswich has been revised downwards to 20.5 metres but this is equivalent to the 1974 peak.

The death toll now stands at 10, with 90 missing.

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