News

Iconic flood footage thrust back into limelight

The unidentified man lets air from his tyres before driving his car away.
The unidentified man lets air from his tyres before driving his car away.

FLOODWATERS were rising around him, pushing cars like toys down East Ck and he did the unthinkable.

A man, as yet unidentified, rushed to let air out of his 4WD tyres so he could drive it away to safety.

Now that footage, often listed as among the most iconic of the 2011 floods, is being featured in a United States television show.

The Weather Channel posted a snippet of its show "Weather Gone Viral".

The preview has been viewed more than 414,000 times.

"A flash flood rushes towards a parking lot where one man attempts to save his car," the Weather Channel wrote.

"Follow all the action on the season two premiere of Weather Gone Viral this Sunday!"

A presenter says: "If you've had years of drought, that ground may be just like concrete, so you have extra runoff".

Another says: "As cars are being swept away, one man tries to save his SUV".

"This is obviously something never to do, that water is moving really quickly and six inches of moving water is enough to knock you off your feet.

"The river becomes a monster, taking away nearly every car in the parking lot. And there's nothing you can do about it."

Helen Chapman recognised the footage straightaway, writing: "Yes! This is my hometown. Toowoomba, Australia. January 10, 2011."

"I don't even have to look it up. That is how etched this day is into everyone's minds. People still talk about it now. "Where were you when the flood hit?".

Ms Chapman said the strangest thing was that Toowoomba was nowhere near the ocean.

"There are no major rivers close by. Just two little creeks fed by a spring.

"Plus, the town is up in the mountains. It had rained for a month straight prior to this.

"The ground was so waterlogged. And then on January 10, 2011, an intense rainstorm came in. And stopped right over the top of Toowoomba. It absolutely pelted.

"And the underground spring and watertable just couldn't take it any more. This water in this picture killed a mother and her son two kilometres upstream. East and West creeks met and smashed through the centre of town, taking out all the bridges on the way.

"The water went down into Murphys Creek, a small community outside of town, and from there crashed down into the next little town, Grantham. Grantham was completely destroyed.

"The death toll from that day is officially I think around 20 from our area, but unofficially I've heard, its much higher.

"There are still people missing from that day. Toowoomba was cut off from the rest of the country for almost two weeks. The only way in or out was via helicopter. It was so eerie.

"Toowoomba is the largest inland city in Australia, and a major highway out west. And there was no traffic at all. No trucks as all the highways up and down the mountains had been washed away. Only rescue and army helicopters flying looking for survivors.

"Toowoomba has repaired most of the damage. They are still working on parts of the creek near the railway bridge. The majority of Grantham has been relocated.

"Yep, they shifted a whole town. When you drive through Grantham now and see the markers where the water got up to, you just can't even comprehend it. There are flood memorials now in both towns, and still flowers at the intersection where the mother and her boy were swept away. Donna Rice was her name."

She advised people to "Google" Toowoomba floods or Grantham floods for more footage and pictures.

Topics:  editors picks flood toowoomba


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Parents warned off high profile anti-vax campaigner

Controversial American speaker on health, nutrition and food, David 'Avocado' Wolfe, is coming back to Byron Bay.

David Wolf 'may influence vulnerable parents already hesitating'

Seniors expo and more in Mullum

SENIOR FUN: The Ukueles play each Tuesday at the Mullumbimby Neighbourhood Centre and will be performing at the Seniors Expo.

Seniors week kicks of tomorrow across the shire.

Byron Public is chalking up a major milestone

PARTY PLANNER: Byron Bay Public School principal Linda Trigg is putting the call out for the community to assist with the school's 125th anniversary celebrations.

Who is Byron Bay Public School's oldest living graduate

Local Partners

Club cyclists have a wheely good weekend

WHEN it comes to club cycling. it's all about good sportsmanship, having a go and overcoming those pesky headwinds no matter your grade.

High energy show promised by Bullhorn this weekend

Bullhorn will perform in Yamba on Saturday night.

Don't miss their show this weekend

REVIEW: Under the Gun doco looks at right to bear arms

ARMED: A still from the 2016 documentary film Under the Gun by Stephanie Soechtig.

An in-depth look into America's gun culture.

Messing with your head

MIND BLOWN: What could be weirder than the realisation that we have another completely separate brain and nervous system than the one originating in our heads?

Fascinating connection between your gut and your brain

'I wasn't naked': Blanca Blanco speaks out

BLANCA Blanco made headlines around the world after 'accidentally' flashing, but she says she was actually wearing a nude bodysuit.

‘IT’S A LITTLE SAD’: Trump makes Oscars bungle all about him

US President Donald Trump claims Hollywood's elite were too busy mocking him to pay attention on Oscars night.

Donald Trump ‘explains’ Oscars stuff up.

Lama and Sarah’s ‘epic’ MKR fail

My Kitchen Rules contestants Lama and Sarah.

Tempers flare as Lebanese feast turns into an epic fail.

Oscars 2017: How did biggest award get stuffed up?

Presenter Warren Beatty shows the envelope with the actual winner for best picture as host Jimmy Kimmel, left, looks on at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. The winner was originally announced as La La Land, but was later corrected to Moonlight.

'Guys in headsets starting buzzing around. They took the envelope.'

Lisa Curry can't marry her fiance

Lisa Curry breaks down in the jungle.

Lisa Curry says she can’t get married to her fiance

The true cause of the Oscars bungle

Faye Dunaway, left, and Warren Beatty present the award for best picture at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.

The Oscars ended with a moment that left everyone speechless.

HUGE OSCARS FAIL: Wrong film handed Best Picture award

Presenter Warren Beatty shows the envelope with the actual winner for best picture as host Jimmy Kimmel, left, looks on at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. The winner was originally announced as La La Land, but was later corrected to Moonlight.

IN A monumental stuff-up, La La Land incorrectly named Best Picture.

Casino boss loses $4m on waterfront Sunshine Coast home

The owner of this stunning Noosa home accepted much less than he had initially wanted for the home.

When illness struck owner forced to try and cash out of property

Mining homes dive: $600k homes sell for $120k-$300k

18 Yeates Street, Moranbah sold for $135,000 in December, after being repossessed by a bank. The owners bought for $545,000 in August, 2011.

The economy still has two speeds, but with a painful twist

The trick homeowners are using to buy more properties

Chantelle Subritzky leaves her home each week for Airbnb guests.

Queenslanders are going down this path to help pay their mortgages

Stunning home blends South Pacific beauty with Orient style

Immaculate residence with two outdoor living areas

$140k damage: landlord says property trashed, contaminated

He had what he calls "the tenants from hell"

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!