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Tonight - Australia's worst flood - nine flood - nine dead, South-East

Queensland is swamped. We do

need to brace ourselves for the

likelihood of further bad

news. Towns in the Lockyer

Valley ripped apart by a wall

that building behind me, an of water. Stood on the roof of

watched the cars float down the

road, watches the houses float down the road. Flood

disefstated townsthe Darling

Downs bracing for the inundation in a week. They had

not been able to prepare, it's

come so fast. And it's all

heading for capital - Brisbane

preparing for a repeat of 1974. Today is very significant.

Tomorrow is bad and Thursday is

going to be devastating for the residents and the businesses concerned. Good evening, Joe

O'Brien with a special national

bulletin of ABC News from

Britain on ABC1 and across us on ABC News on ABC News 24. Australia's

worst flood ing disaster, that

is how the situation in

Queensland is being guess

criebtd. Tleerctd of the State

is now a disaster zone. And

after 19 days the human toll

has risen dramatically. Nine

people were killed overnight,

nearly 60 are missing in the worst hit area of the Lockyer worst hit

Valley to the west of Brisbane. The South-East Queensland

wall of water as the Lockyer

Creek rose in a minutes of minutes, roaring through town

of Grantham. Home ing were

ripped from their stump, cars swept from treat streets. More

people were killed from flood

waters in Murphies Creek. Black

Hawk helicopters have been evac

ing people. Two lives were lost

in Toowoomba which in Toowoomba which yesterday

experienced what's being

described as an inland tsunami.

Police are not expecting that

number to climb but the crisis

being warned that a flood peak is far from over. Brisbane is

worse than the record 1974 event

is likely to hit the capital in

the next 48 hours. Already the

suburbs of Fortitude Valley,

Albion, West End

Albion, West End and Milton are

going under. People in other

low lying area s have been told to leave before they're forced

out. Premier Bligh why was

shaken last night as she revealed the extent of the

crisis. Today, she described it

as true test of Queenslanders.

She's called in help from

residents to hang in interstate, but appealed for

understand that I understand residents to hang in there. I

you may be very frightened by

what is happening around you.

What we need now is calm. At least 30 suburbs in Brisbane

are under threat,

residents affected in 1974

being told to expect the same.

Ipswich is also about to be hit

hard. The mayor says 16

suburbs will be flooded with

thousand of residents affected.

The Bremer River is expected to

reach 22m tomorrow and may go

higher. That is a greater flood than

than 1974. Like swin damage to the Lockyer Valley town

town of Grantham is being

described. There, houses were torn from their foundations and

literally carried away by the raging Trent Paul Lockyer is the only raging Trent torrent. The ABC's

reporter who has been able to

get into the town and he filed

this report. The images are

stark. This is a batters

remnants of a smam Queensland town destroyed in a matter of minutes by a wall of

minutes. The torrent wall. This man and his wife

climbed on to the roof of the

house to try to escape the

water. Stood on the roof of the building behind me and watched

the cars float down the road,

watched if houses float down

the road, watched the massive

amounts of debris. Me house is

now right up the back corner

there. You can see me kitchen

and the laundry. Leroy Shepherd

points where to his wr his

house once stood. You felt the

house pop off its stumps

turn around 180 degrees. He and

his family stayed in the home

as it broke up and floated

away. They spent five hours on

the roof. It's not a good feel

ing to feel the house ripple

and crack and watch a room

disappear in front of your

face. Most survivors were

evacuated from Grantham today a

nearby town where they're being

offered accommodation and support. The most chilling

aspect of this disaster is how many people may have caught in their homes when many people may have been

water came. Towns people

fleeing for their living tell

of hearing cries of anguish

from several houses as a torrent consumed the town. We

were worried about this house

at be side the hotel where we were

at the height of it. And we

just watched it implode and

just explosion of insulation

and everything. The velocity of

took the water was incredible. It

there was two people in took it so quickly. We think

there. Maybe three. But nobody

are still missioning here. Only knows. No-one is sure. People

when the water drops will be

full tragedy finally be

revealed. And reporter Paul update from Grantham. Finally Lockyer has just filed this

the rain has begun to ease in

Grantham and the water has

started to drop. But what that

has revealed is even more

graphic damage than that which

we captured this morning in the

first light of day. If you look

behind me here, this is a

nursery that's been totally

mild of the nursery down there crushed by the torrent. In the

is a water tank that's come

from about 400m away. And there

sitting in the middle of it all

is a house that's come from just over here, about 200m

away. The damage here is just

clos ical and for the town

itself, most of the people have

been evacuated. There's nowhere

to live here for moment and

there's no support mechanism s

in place for them. As for the recovery process, we know there's been some bodies

recovered from flooded homes in

gran grand we know there may

when the waters begin to drop.

We know also there are car s

trapped under railway bridge at

Grantham and there are fears people

There is a huge recover y

effort and clean-up to be done

in 24 small Queensland town. Now earlier this Prime Minister warned the nation to

brace for a higher death toll.

She joins us now from Parliament House. Julia Gillard, can you believe the magnitude of this? It's

certainly huge and un absolutely shocked by the

images I've seen on the TV

screens and I am sure

Australians are joining me in

that shock, when you're seeing

cars tossed around as

they're match sticks and houses

that have been swept away. This

is a truly dire set of

circumstances for the people of

Queensland with more flooding

to come. So our condolences go

to those who have lost their

lives, those who grieving, and

also to those who are waiting anxiousry for news of loved Brisbane over the next few days

is huge. What role could the

Army play? Certainly I have

said to Premier Bligh

tance she needs from assistance she needs from the Australian

Defence Force will be provided.

We already have the Australian

Defence Force involved in & assisting Queensland through

the floods. They've been flying

around food supplies, they've been engaged in medical

evacuations and today they've

been assisting with the search

and rescue effort but we will provide anything that Queensland needs from the Defence Force. We've heard estimateds that this will

cost several billions of

dollars. What have you heard

about how much this could cost

the nation in Well, we have

already responded to make really urgent really urgent payments available to people, people

whose homes are inundate and

need some cash in their pocket.

We processed more than 10,000

claim, more than $13 million, that

that is just going to be the

start. Then we will need to

assist people as they go back

to their damaged homes,

businesses and farms. And then

we will see what the infrastructure bill is when

flood waters recede and we can see the damage underneath. But

we will be working with

Queensland every step of the

way, shoulder to shoulder, to

help Queensland recover from

these devastating, devastating floods . Julia Gillard, in Canberra, thank you. Thank

you. Queensland's Premier has

just briefed the media after talking to emergency officials.

Here is what she sad had to say. We still have 59 people who are unaccounted for. That

means there are the families and loved ones of 59

Australians who tonight do not know where those people are or the

the circumstances in which they

find themselves. We know that

we have very grave fears for at

least 15. But with so many others outstanding and

unaccounted for we still face

some very grim news as we

continue the search and rescue

activities. One of the great

things about the rain starting

to clear, even overnight, is we

do expect to see much more

activity in the search and rescue teams across the Lockyer Valley. Adds they are get into some of these creeks

an tributaries and some of the

terrain becomes a little more

accessible we do expect to have

a better idea of just how many

of those people remain unaccounted

Bligh there. Brisbane's Lord Mayor is warning residents in

the capital that the flood here

will be worse than the 1974

flood which inundated thousand of homes and businesses.

Residents and businesses in low lying areas have been told to

prepare for the worst when the

city's flooded river peaks on Thursday and already many low

lying suburbs are flooded. The

council says 9,000 will be affected. Residents

have been told to consider

evacuating their homes, or at

least packing up their we

longings and moving them to higher ground. It

day in Brisbane and the river

is still rising. Scenes

reminiscent of the 1974 flood

which inundated thousand of homes homes and businesses. The flood reached a peak of 5.45m

in 1975. Our current modelling

shows that with continued rain

into Thursday we will see the

levels of the river higher than that. The Premier

says Brisbane is facing its

greatest threat, and its

toughest test in more than 35 toughest test in more than 35 years. Today is very significant. Tomorrow is bad.

And Thursday is going to be

devastating. The mayor says

water from the devastated Lockyer Valley combined with

releases from Wivenhoe Dam,

more predicted rain and a very

high tide spells disaster for

the city. Almost 15,000 people

will be directly affected. That is 6,500 properties, businesses

and homes that should see significant flooding. So, you

know, sort of half a metre or more of water we are being set up across the

city to house an expected 3,500 people. West End resident Pam

Morris has seen it all

before. This is our grand

father clock which is over 100

years old. In 1974, she lost

almost everything. It was one

Mayer of bricks away from

upstairs then. Like many in her street, Mrs Morris spent the possessions an moving them to

higher ground: The She said the '74 flood, the water reached

the window sill. Andre Hickey

feel fears the worst. If it is

to be estimated of two of

Sydney Harbour, and I've lived

in Sydney, there is a mass of

water coming our way. As the

waters rose, this consider was

swamped late this afternoon - -

car was swamped late this

afternoon. Low lying businesses

were taking chances were taking chances either, sand bagging their

properties. Come in the

building before, there's a pump

in here to pump the water

But we're worryed we won't be

able to Col control it. Late

this afternoon the water s

continue ed to rise, swamping

this cafe which wasn't liveing

up to its namesake. Have you

scene anything like this

before? No. An ominous sign of

things to come. And reporter

James Kelly is at 12 the State emergency headquarters in

Brisbane. What is the latest on

the situation facing Brisbane

over the next two days? Good

evening, Joe, the brem Premier says that 59 people are still missing in the Lockyer Valley

and there's grave fears for 15

of those. In Brisbane alone,

the package there stid there

were 6,500 homes, it's now upgraded to 9,000 homes and businesses which more than

likely will have about a metre

of water through them come Thursday. I am here at the

emergency centreand it's very

busy at the moment. But 30,000

properties will be affected in

some way or another. That's

water on the lawns or water up under the houses. Now an up at the RNA showgrounds in

Brisbane. One family I believe

is there already and they're expect ing many more families

to roll up tonight. But the

message is from the people here

if you have relatives and

friends you can stay with,

please go there first,

otherwise go to the evacuation

centre. Now on the Darling Downs, towns and communities

are flooding again, some for

the second and third time since Christmas. People who just

finished their clean-up from

the last flood are facing the devastation of

properties full of water once

more. Emma Pollard is in

Warwick where more than 100

people are in evacuation centres. The Southern Downs agricultural sent

has been isolated and snit

Split in two. I've never seen anything like this here at

Warwick before. About 150 homes

have been evacuated, up to 90

people will shelter here

tonight, including Nicola

Gilmore, who turned five too. She's celebrating at the

school tonight. Monty gill

ploer was in Brisbane during

to be there for this one. I

think I'd rather be in Warwick than Brisbane. Authority says

the Condamine River is still

rising and up to 200 Warwick homes and businesses could be flooded. Truckies travellers

and locals are stranded. Hi

husband and my two other

children are stuck out there. I

can't get to them and they

can't get to me at the moment. Des piet their own

flood emergencies, most people

say their thoughts are those

who have lost loved once Adds I watched myself on the point of tears. Warwick is at the head

of the Condamine River and the

river is yetd to peak here. All

the water will then head downstream towards places like

Dalby and Condamine that have

already been devastated by

floods. The town of Dalby knows

all too well what's coming its

way. It is facing a fresh flood

disasters. Already about 200

homes in the town have been flooded their

floorboards. Local mayor Ray

Brown says 190 people spent the night in

centres. The 3.8m is only a

mark that will be reached by

this evening, that is not the peak. That is a mark that will be

be reached. At the moment, we

are still struggling with the

models to find out what the

peak will be. The Mile Creek

fell slightly overnight but is

expected to rise again after

heavily y rain NFL the catchment. Further west in

Chinchilla, the communities

also awash again. Charlies

Creek is expected to week at

7.5m late er today which is a

similar level that devastated

the town after Christmas. Condamine residents

too have been warned to expect

another major flood by tomorrow. Residents who just

started their clean-up have

been told to evacuate again. Toowoomba residents are

reeling after their city centre

was hit by what's been

described as an inland tsunami.

Two people were killed when

flash flooding tore through

city streets, locals are amazed

more people weren't From Toowoomba, Kirrin McKechnie reports. Like

everyone else, shop owner

Victoria Townsend didn't see it Victoria Townsend didn't see it coming: The pressure of water blew that door off. The floods gushing

floods gushing speed put her

and her two young daughters in

immediate danger. There was man

waist deep in water and I threw

my 7-year-old to him and he

took her and my other daughter

and I swam out. It's been like

enned to a an inland tsunami,

path. It was like a wall of

water and I've got a falcon ute

and it just picked it up. There

were seven or eight cars there

and it smashed them together. The last thing I saw of

was going down the creek

bobbing up and down. It was

terrifying. I didn't think the

water could be so strong in the

street. Mitch risked his life

to rescue 10 people stranded in

a hotel. Myself and a couple of

mates got three kids I think

and five adults

a couple of older ladies that

were crying and couldn't swim

obviously and we sort of made a

chain along the back here and

got them up to the shallow

water. The water's strength

ripped the side off Steve Moller's home. He had minutes

to spare as his floorboards

started to give way. I crimed cliemd over the roof on to the

neighbour's roof. This is the level that the flash floods got

to. Local s tell me that

thetorent of water was moving

so fast If I had have been standing would have been swept away.

Long-time residents have never

seen anything like it. I am

still shaking now. And will

shake the city for days to

come. Ipswich too is

preparing for a repeat of 1974.

The mayor says at least a

thoifrd city will be flood avenlths affected with

thousands forced into

evacuation centres. Report

Erica Thi McLeish is in

Ipswich. The city is on high

alert as residents waited for

the flood waters to peak, fierce it could match the '74

floods, Ipswich is preparing

for the worst. There's sand bagging and probably moving to

higher ground. We've got a lot of backwater

river and it's all back ing up

and pouring into my laundry. Emergency authorities are predicting that flood

levels could reach 22m, which

is higher than the record

floods nearly 40 years ago. The

weather bureau is advising the

Bremer River could go even higher if rainfall continues. It's

the houses are going to be

inundate and I am asking people to stay calm. We will handle the

the flood but we are not going

to lose any lives. It's hard to lose any lives. It's hard to

know accurately how much water

is in the upstream and how much

will come down. Hundred of home

s will be affected. By early

afternoon, more than 400

streets were partially flooded.

The SES has been distributing sand bags since yesterday.

Residents were being warned to

move furniture and value

valuable but are now being told

to grab what they can and go. Just get our be longings

and kids and get out. It's

really frightening. I've never been through this before and my children and grandchildren have

to go through 24 Out towns were cut by flood waters

this morning: It is always an

issue that they are going to be dislate

dislate ed. We just hope they can cope. Emergency authorities

are continued to revise the

predicted flood level throughout the

throughout the day. They say

the combination of a king tide,

full dams and torential rain

means the next 24 hour s will

be critical for this city. Don't take a guess, if

there's a chance, get out, come

to the recovery centre because

we can replace your house, but

we can't replace you. >>E

vacation with centres have been prepare and are expecting to take residents throughout the night. And further south

people in the far north-east of

NSW are watching and waiting as

flood waters there tonight to continue to rise. The Clarence

River at Grafton is threatening

the town. Heavy rain is predicted to cause major flooding tomorrow morning when

the river is expected to peak. Communities along

and Wilson s river s are also prepare pairing for worsening

weather overnight. Around 1,000

people in

are cut off. It may be a false

start, I think we will get is a bigger flood later on this

year. But I have to go Baw lot

of people are borderline as to whether they go

yet. Evacuations have begun in

Tenterfield. People from 20

properties have moved to higher

ground. To other news now across the country in WA a bushfire destroyed at least

four homes an threatened house

hundreds of others south of

Perth. It was dlib raets Little

Master yesterday afternoon. Resident s were forced to flee

as fire fanned by strong winds

and higher temperatures ranged

out of control. This is the

result of a bushfire that authorities believe were

started by an arsonist. At

least four homes were destroyed

in Lake Clifton, a semi

ruralariant about 100km south

of Perth. Police

number could rise to six. My

mate up the road, - his house is completely burnt to the

ground and just to see a

growing man crying and growing man crying and all he's

got on him are his clothes. Council sheds and

fences were also destroy and

livestock killed as the blaze

burnt through about 2,000

hectares. Hundreds of residents were forced to flee their

homes, as firefighters workered

through the night. While if

blaze has now been contained,

strong winds are hampering efforts to keep control. There were emotional

scenes as those evacuated

attended a public meeting, and

were told it's too dangerous

for them to return home. Some

may have to wait another 24 hours. I just want to go

and see what's left, that's

all. Probably won't be much

now. But it was pretty well lit

last night. The police arson

squad is now hunting for those

responsible for starting the

dlaiz. To think that someone

could be so cruel to do stuff

like that, to burn and look like that, to burn and look at us all now. It's

that won't get to us. They can

burn our home but they can't

burn our spirit. Seven separate

ignition points have been discovered and police want to

speak to the driver of a car

spotted in the area around the

time the fire start. And the

floods are taking a heavy toll

on financial markets with the

share market in the state of paralysis and the Australian

dollar sharply weaker. Sheer Phillip

Phillip Lasker. As the

devastation in Queensland

spreads, so does the financial

was flat as traders watched the

tragedy unfold. Needless to

say, the insurance sector was

weaker, but defensive stocks

like Fels and Woolworths picked

up. Coal up. Coal miner New Hope

suspended its operations. S we

farmers was an exception - it's

managed to negotiate a 12%

increase for price of its coal,

some of which is flood

affected. And QR National

closed the rail line servicing

coal mines north-west of Brisbane. The currency is

heading south quite quickly.

Financial markets now think the

Reserve Bank will be rates because of the flood damage to Australia's economy.

The Australian dollar is at a

one-month low against the greenback. Today's trade

numbers also weakened

currency. It was another healthy trade surplus, the

eighth monthly surplus in a

row, but it was smaller than forecast. And although their

November trade numbers before

the serious floo k, you can see

our coal exports were beginning

to fall away. We also got some

news on the jobs front,

Internet and newspaper job ads rose again in market is solid. But growth is

slowing, this graph suggests

the heat will come out of the jobs market, as shown by the

falling orange line, falling orange line, although

growth is still the 10-year

average that yellow line.

That's finance. Now, here is Jenny Woodward with a look at the weather around the

country. Good evening. There

was more torential rain in

South-East Queensland today.

Since 9am, falls of 50 to 250mm

were recorded. Some places at

100m in just an hour. The heaviest falls have been in the

catchment of the river, Wivenhoe Dam had 111mm

and that was on top of 211mm

overnight. The satellite tells

the tale. You can see the thick cloud of Queensland and into northern parts of NSW. There's been

heavy rain and storms along the trough line from west of

Queensland down to west of

Tasmania and storms are current there. Also a very active

monsoon line stretching from the

the Kimberley s to Queensland.

The combination of the deep

tropical air mass with a trough

off the east coast and active inland trough which is

just about swal yessed up into

the upper system have combined

to create this extraordinary weather event bringing

monumental rainfall across southern Queensland and into

NSW. There's also been plenty

of rain and storms of rain and storms in southern

States east of the inland

trough and in WA it's wet in

the north and dry an hot to the south. Interstate tomorrow:

There's a coastal wind

warning, we also have a severe weather warning for weather warning for heavy

rainfall, lead ing to flash

flooding and worsening the existing river situation for

the south-east coast district,

the Darling Downs, the Granite Belt districts an south-east Dalby to Goondiwindi. We have lots of flood warnings

including the Brisbane River be low Wivenhoe Dam and that

includes Brisbane City. In NSW.

Please check your local

kieds Guides and listen to ABC

local radio as the situation is

changing very quickly. A quick

recap of tonight's flood crisis. A

has been declared a disaster

zone. Brisbane is facing a

flood threat equal to or worse

than 1974. The Lockyer Valley

to the west of Brisbane is the

worst hit - nine people worst hit - nine people are

dead, 59 are missing. And the

Darling Downs is bracing for another round of flooding, the

second inundation since Christmas.

latest from ABC News here in

Queensland. Stay with us for a

special edition of the '7:30

Report', with Scott Bevan.

Closed Captions by CSI

Tonight

- the shock and horror as flood waters cut a deadly path through Queensland. We cross to

Grantham, one of the small communities left devastated by

what's been described as an

inland tsunami. I just hit,

like it rose in 20 feet in

under two minutes. One minute there's nothing

there's nothing and the next

minute it's up the railway

line. We are going to need so

much help to get this place

cleaned up. It's a great

community and a lot of good

people. This Program is Captioned

Live. edition of the 7:30 Report,

coming to you tonight from Brisbane. I'm Scott Bevan. Queensland is

experiencing one of its darkest

hours, with the flood crisis

taking another deadly turn. The

death toll from that wall of