Ham­let feels the fury

Townsville Bulletin - - Inside Today -

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

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