Ipswich, Australia: Floods threat worst for more than three decades

IF you think Ipswich has had a harsh bout of bad weather this winter, spare a thought for those living in a city of the same name 10,000 miles away.

Ipswich, near Brisbane, Australia, has been hit by flash flooding in one of the country’s worst natural disasters for years.

According to local media reports, The Ipswich Local Disaster Management Group warned that the Brisbane River was likely to reach 18 to 19 metres in the early hours of this morning.

Residents living close to the river and associated tributaries are being warned to take evacuation measures if necessary.

The warning follows reports that a child has died in flood waters in the Ipswich region and reports that a young woman is also missing in flood waters at Minden, west of Ipswich.

Queensland is suffering its worst flooding for more than half a century, with natural disasters declared across an area of a million square kilometres. Last year was the third wettest year on record.

Ipswich has been warned to prepare for “enormous disruption”.

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State Premier Anna Bligh said: “For those who are living in some of the lower lying areas and the identified suburbs, now is the time to be making whatever preparations you can, and I would encourage you to be overly cautious.

“I think the entire city of Brisbane, the Ipswich region and most of the south east, needs to prepare ourselves for enormous disruption.

“Ipswich and Brisbane are now facing their greatest threat and their toughest test in more than 35 years.”

Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale said up to one third of the city will be flooded when the Bremer River peaks. He added: “Residents in flood-prone areas should make immediate plans to self-evacuate, and where possible stay with relatives and friends. People have got to prepare for the worst.”

Ipswich is a suburb of metropolitan Brisbane – situated about 25 miles south-west of the city in south-east Queensland. The city of Ipswich including the surrounding suburbs has a population of 162,383.

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