Queensland 2013 Floods Tops 2011 Tragedy

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By Esther Tanquintic-Misa | February 1, 2013 4:16 PM EST

The damages caused by the floods in Queensland in January this year that was brought about by an ex-cyclone will surpass that of the same flooding tragedy the Australian state experienced in 2011, where millions of dollars will be needed in order to rebuild the state.

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, who visited flood-ravaged Bundaberg along with Deputy Prime Minister Wayne Swan on Thursday, said it will take "hundreds of millions of dollars of federal government investment" to reconstruct the area.

This as authorities updated residents on Friday of the situation in North Bundaberg, where according to Peter Byrne, Bundaberg council CEO, 10 properties were destroyed and another 30 severely damaged.

Many homes were likewise washed onto the road by the great floods. While many have been located, other homes remained missing. Also washed away were several roads, the sewerage system as well as power lines.

"What I'm saying to you the gravity of the situation is dire," he said during a meeting at the Moncrief Theatre that was attended by 1,000 people who were eager to hear updates from the Bundaberg disaster committee.

There was also a road that now bores a hole 2 metres deep and 100 metres long, a council engineer reported to the attendees.

Campbell Newman, Queensland Premier, said the damages of this latest flooding incident will surpass the ticket bill of the 2011 floods, which according to the Insurance Council of Australia, the then 2011 floods in Brisbane, Ipswich and the Lockyer Valley amounted to $2.388 billion damages.

''I can tell you today that early estimates put the damage across Queensland at at least $2.4 billion,'' Mr Newman said in Rockhampton on Thursday. ''I think that figure will rise.''

Still at present, North Bundaberg remains an exclusion zone.

"I think the biggest shock for the Bundaberg people, again particularly those of North Bundaberg, is going to be the fact that unlike previous occasions when the water has subsided and they were simply allowed to walk to their places and try the best to get on with life, there are some inhibiting factors this time round," Police Inspector Mark Henderson told the Bundaberg News Mail.

"It certainly has been worse as infrastructure goes and it has certainly created some dangerous situations we have to work through prior to allowing people back in."

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