Hamlet feels the fury
HIDEAWAY Bay residents will awake nervously this morning to see if Mother Nature has unleashed any more fury on their small Whitsundays community.
The coastal hamlet, south of Bowen, was the s cene of a knee-deep landslide, triggered by overnight falls on Monday.
Whitsunday Regional Co u n c i l Mayor Mike Brunker yesterday afternoon said while residents were lucky no one was i njured, he was concerned what they would find this morning with more rain tipped to fall in t h e a r e a , p o t e n t i a l l y causing more landslides.
Emerg e n c y Manage - ment Queensland late y e s t e r d a y a f t e r n o o n issued a severe weather warning for areas bet w e e n I n n i s f a i l a n d Mackay.
C r B r u n k e r s a i d authorities were playing it safe last night, making sure no residents would be in harm’s way if disaster struck again.
‘‘ At this stage we look like we’re going to get some voluntary evacuations out of there, because we’re just concerned about the amount of rain last night. If it continues overnight we could have some more slips,’’ he said.
Cr Brunker said geol ogical experts would survey the scene this morning, while evacuated residents would be put up at the nearby hotel if they did not have anywhere else to go.
He said the clean-up, which began late yesterday, would be a big task.
‘‘ There’s a fair lot of slip there and we had about 91cm of clay . . . and rocks across our road that’s been there from this morning,’’ he said.
Cr Brunker said while landslides were not unusual in the area, the latest incident was due to unrelenting rainfall in the area since Christmas.
TOUGH TIMES: Bowen farmer Allan Brackley says this is the hardest start to a season in 2 WITH rain spitting down and storm clouds massi ng o v e r head, Bowen farmer Allan Brackley says it’s the worst start to a season he has seen in 25 years.
He grows eggplant, capsicum and chilli and although he has some ground planted, he is worried about the delays the rain will cause to the rest of his planting schedule.
Like other growers in t he wider productive Bowen farming belt, he’d like some respite from the rain so that he can start working machinery and get the rest of his crop planted.
This week he has has b e e n b u s y s p r a y i n g fungus which attacked plants during the wet. If left unattended it could stunt the crop and bring production to a standstill.
Ra i n whi c h s t a r t e d Monday and kept falling t hr o ughout y e s t e r d a y hadn’t helped the situation.
Bowen-Gumlu District Farmer’s Associ a t i o n president Carl Walker said 400mm of rain had