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Water will be released from dams as deluge continues

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Campers rescue stranded drivers

Two men are stranded on top of their cars in rapidly rising floodwaters at Mt Tamborine before campers find themselves "dragging someone back" to safety. Vision: Nine News

PT0M0S 620 349

UPDATED

As the latest deluge in southeast Queensland continues, water will be released from Wivenhoe and Somerset dams from midday on Tuesday.

More than 100 millimetres of rain has fallen over the southeast in the past 24 hours, with the bureau saying there will be little reprieve from the wet weather for the rest of the week.

Weatherzone: Brisbane storm tracker

Mike Foster of Seqwater said staff had been monitoring the situation since the weekend and were “keeping a close eye” on the dam levels.

Although releases were initially thought to be unnecessary, Seqwater has decided to release water from Somerset and Wivenhoe dams from about midday.

These releases could continue for about a week.

‘‘There have been significant inflows in to Somerset Dam overnight and inflows will continue today,’’ Seqwater said in a statement.

‘‘As a result, gate releases from Somerset Dam in to Wivenhoe Dam will be necessary to drain Somerset back to full supply level.’’

Releases from Wivenhoe Dam will force the closure of Savages Crossing and the Twin Bridges.

Wivenhoe Dam was at 87 per cent capacity on Tuesday morning, while Somerset Dam was at 100 per cent capacity.

The remnants of ex-tropical cyclone Oswald caused flooding across southeast Queensland in late January, prompting releases from both dams.

However, Brisbane came close to losing tap water after silt from floods in the Lockyer Valley forced the closure of the city’s main treatment plant at Mount Crosby.

Residents were asked to conserve water and restrictions were put in place limiting water use to essential purposes only, including drinking, cooking and bathing.

The water crisis was averted after operators managed to flush out the treatment plant within 24 hours.

3 comments

  • MSTAT weather page shows just what we can expect.
    http://www.goes.noaa.gov/sohemi/sohemiloops/shirgmscol.html

    Commenter
    woftam12
    Location
    Brighton
    Date and time
    February 18, 2013, 8:25AM
    • Another media beat-up. Every time we get some rain, is the media now going to question whether there is going to be a release from a dam. What a load of tripe.

      Commenter
      Paul Carman
      Location
      Brisbane
      Date and time
      February 19, 2013, 4:57AM
      • Exactly my thoughts! This isn't a cyclone/ex cyclone, it's just a low pressure system that has parked above Brisbane. We get them more or less every year – they drop 100mm or so, then disappear out to sea or move further south. Wivenhoe still has a LOT of flood mitigation capacity available to it, it's not necessary to drop the level every time a bit of rain comes over.

        I'm worried that we're beginning to succumb to a form of "flood paranoia". Certain areas of Brisbane do flood reasonably regularly (we are a city on the banks of a river after all), but that doesn't mean that we will see a 1974/2011 event every time the rain clouds gather.

        Commenter
        The Realistic
        Location
        Brisbane
        Date and time
        February 19, 2013, 11:49AM
    Comments are now closed

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