Man still missing as Qld counts cost of floods | Western magazine

One person remains missing in Queensland’s south-east floodplain as the state embarks on a long and costly recovery with damage estimated at over $1 billion.

The elderly man was last seen falling from a boat on the Brisbane River near Breakfast Creek on Saturday February 26.

Ten people have now died in major flooding in Queensland triggered by record-breaking days of rain that hit the state’s most populated region between Gympie and the NSW border.

Entire communities remain cut off by floodwaters, 15,000 properties are without power and up to 17,000 homes and businesses have been submerged and damaged.

Queensland is seeking Commonwealth approval to fairly distribute a $559 million aid package targeting small businesses, primary producers, sports organizations and local councils.

The state is looking at a total damage bill that “could easily run into the billions” when factoring in insurance claims and repairs to infrastructure, roads and the power grid, Prime Minister Annastacia Palaszczuk said Friday.

Work needs to be done to mitigate future flood risks and to ensure new homes are not built in areas prone to natural disasters, Deputy Premier Steven Miles said.

“I’ve visited flooded areas in the past few days that frankly shouldn’t have been built on,” he said.

Conditions eased on Friday, and while thunderstorms and showers are forecast for the next few days, the Bureau of Meteorology does not expect widespread heavy rainfall.

Catchments in the flood watch area remain very wet and rain may cause localized flooding of streams and rivers, but this is not expected to worsen the current flood situation.

Some of the flood-related deaths in the area were due to water moving very quickly “in areas that we’re not used to,” Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll told reporters on Friday.

“So over the next few days as the showers, storms and rain continue, please be aware of this flash flooding, be aware of your situation,” she said.

Australian Associated Press