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Sunshine Coast mops up after deluge

Author: AAP
Friday 23rd March 2012

Floodwaters on Queensland's Sunshine Coast have subsided, but residents and businesses face a huge clean-up after a once-in-a-century deluge.

Disaster co-ordinator Andrew Ryan says nearly 400mm of rain fell in some areas in just 12 hours.

"Couple that with a reasonably high tide last night and the coastal strip was almost like a giant bathtub with a very small plughole," he told AAP.

Mr Ryan said the region was slowly returning to normal.

"We're down to about 30 roads still closed and 90 or so open with caution.

"But last night we had cars floating and people trapped on the Nicklin Way for five hours, so there was a fair bit of havoc and chaos with a lot of water through houses, shops and businesses in low-lying areas.

"That's all dissipated this morning and our focus now is getting out and assessing property damage ... a lot of houses have sewerage backing up from systems that aren't coping."

Kawana, Mooloolaba, Alexandra Headland and Maroochydore were the worst-hit areas.

"We had 384mm in 12 hours in the Parrearra area just north of Kawana, in Bundilla 360mm, and Sugarbag Road just above Caloundra copped 325mm," Mr Ryan said.

"A lot of water built up and it took a long while for the stormwater system to dissipate it all out.

"Businesses along Brisbane Road in Mooloolaba and in Alexandra Headland had half a metre to a metre of water through some of them."

The IGA supermarket in Alexandra Parade had a metre of water through it, destroying stock and a new $10,000 computer system.

"I have lived in Alexandra Headland all my life and have never seen a weather event like this," proprietor Tony Spinks told The Courier Mail.

"The water came in from the front and back. It was a metre over the road in front of the shop ... the storm water drains just couldn't cope. It was radical."

Mr Ryan said about 200 homes and dozens of businesses were flooded and scores of cars which stalled, or were trapped as floodwaters rose were abandoned on Thursday night but have now been reclaimed by their owners.

At one point, emergency crews had to evacuate adults and children from a Mooloolaba child care centre after its bottom floor flooded.

The SES had more than 600 calls for help, but Mr Ryan said it was a miracle no one was injured.

More than 250 calls for help were from Maroochydore, while 141 were from Kawana and 115 from Caloundra.

Goodwood, Alloway and Wartburg State Schools and a child care centre at Mountain Creek were closed on Friday but all others in the Sunshine Coast and Wide Bay-Burnett remained open.

A severe weather warning for the region was cancelled on Friday as the trough which brought the deluge weakened and moved offshore.



Tags: Qld, Storms
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Based on information provided by and with the permission of the Western Australian Land Information Authority (2014) trading as Landgate.