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.

Marine flares responsible for hospital evacuation

Boonah hospital

Bomb squad confirms contents of suspicious package at hospital

Zookeeper who punched kangaroo gets death threats

The man and the kangaroo stood toe-to-toe before he threw a right-hand punch. Image: Steven Stubenrauch/Facebook.

Police called to property after threats made by animal activists

Teachers warned off of wearing pro-refugee t-shirts

Education Minister has stern warning for teachers getting political

Local Partners

Amy Schumer thanks Barbie trolls for hateful comments

Amy Schumer is in the lead role for the new Barbie movie

Shannen Doherty's husband is suing for destroyed sex life

Shannen Doherty's husband is suing her former manager

Azealia Banks' battery case against Russell Crowe dropped

Russell Crowe will not be charged with battery

Mel Gibson named Best Director at AACTA Awards

Mel Gibson poses in the media room after winning the AACTA Award for Best Direction for Hacksaw Ridge.

HIS wartime drama Hacksaw Ridge sweeps 6th annual awards in Sydney.

Mark Hamill unaware his co-stars were romantically involved

Hamill too "self-involved" at the time to notice, he said

ABC's Fresh Blood graduates are a Skit Box full of laughs

Sarah Bishop, Greta Lee Jackson and Adele Vuko in a scene from the TV series Wham Bam Thank You Ma'am.

ALL-female comedy trio hitting the mark with new sketch show.

Ipswich City Properties asset portfolio retains its value

Ipswich City Council Administration Building, South Street, Ipswich. Photo: Claudia Baxter / The Queensland Times

New website launched by Ipswich City Council

INSIDE STORY: The highlights of your $150 million CBD

GRAND PLAN: The highlights of the Ipswich CBD redevelopment and where they will be located.

Work on city heart's radical transformation to begin next year

VOTE IN OUR POLL: Sand mine opponents face serious dilemma

Public meeting for the proposed sand mine at Maroochydore last week.

Coast MP calls on Minister to stop KRA proposal with stroke of a pen

Developer's grand new multi-million dollar estate

NEW ESTATE: This is the only plan revealed by the property developer's new Billabongs Estate in Agnes Water.

DEVELOPER given the go ahead for a massive estate with 149 homes.

Couple's desperate $550K price drop to sell Gladstone home

Brian Headley and Kirstene Staib are selling their Kin Kora mansion for $750,000.

TELL tale sign of Gladstone's property market.

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!