Floodwaters destroy Australia's Queensland town

15:05, January 11, 2011      

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A flash flood hits Toowoomba, Queensland on January 10, 2011. (Xinhua/AFP photo)

Residents in the small town of Withcott in Australia's Queensland have been devastated by third time flood that hit on Monday night, with houses and businesses being destroyed, local media reported on Tuesday.

The flood moved through the small community with a population of 1,200, east of Toowoomba in South East Queensland, uprooting houses that floated down creeks before gushing toward Brisbane on Monday night.

Supermarket manager Treg Cleland said he struggled with almost one meter of water inside the store, as up to three meters of water rose outside the shopfront doors.

"We had roughly about five to 10 minutes' notice that there was a wall of water coming down the range from Toowoomba," Cleland told Australia's Fairfax Radio on Tuesday.

"Nobody had any idea the sheer volume of water that was coming, " he said.

Within two hours the water had passed through Withcott, shifting parked cars, a horse float, shipping containers and fuel bowsers from the local service station.

Cleland said no one in Withcott had escaped the impact of the flood.

"The whole township has been affected in some way or another," he said.

Withcott Dog Grooming salon owner Holly Webster said her shopfront windows have been smashed, and water has pushed equipment out of the building through the back entrance.

"It's never happened like this before," she said.

Webster said she was now leaning towards moving the business out of Withcott.

"It's absolutely heartbreaking, it's devastating."

Source: Xinhua
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