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

LETTER: Tasteless attack on MP with shark comments

Catherine Cusack.
Photo The Northern Star Archives

Politicians get the teeth out as shark comments infest parliament

Restored vehicles tell vintage tales

RESTORING STORIES: From left, Mick and Angela Mellows, of Cabarita, and Klassic Kustoms owner, Jason Parkes with the Mellows' wedding gift from Angela's late father.

Restoration is a labour of love

Federal grant keeps NORPA telling our local stories

ANNOUNCEMENT: NORPA's Producer Marisa Snow, Artistic Director Julian Louis, General Manager Patrick Healy, Chair David Wolff, with Member for Page Kevin Hogan.

Arts company granted almost $400,00 over two years

Local Partners

Dad's Army comic genius Jim Perry dies

Jimmy Perry, the creator of Dad's Army.

Dad's Army series captured all that British people savour

Check out some fashions from the Coast festival

FASHION: Ocean Zen range.

Images from the Sunshine Coast Fashion Festival show what's hot

Australian Survivor's magician Matt out of tricks

Australian Survivor contestant Matt Tarrant.

SHOW'S power couple looks unstoppable in race to the finish.

Top floor teams take out The Block's terrace week

Kim and Chris pictured on their winning outdoor terrace in a scene from The Block.

RIVALS Kim and Chris and Julia and Sasha tie in final week of work.

Bob Dylan slammed as 'arrogant' for Nobel silence

Nobel Prize winner Bob Dylan.

Singer the controversial winner of literature Nobel

Shannen Doherty reveals fear of dying in post on chemo

Actor Shannen Doherty shared this image of her lying in a hospital bed after a chemotherapy session.

Actor has been fighting cancer since 2015

Hinterland horse stud passed in for $8.25 million

UNREAL: This Maleny estate is incredible.

12-bedroom hinterland horse stud still available

Hit songwriter's Noosa mansion on market

SPECIAL PLACE: The Cintamani estate is going to tender, marketed by Tom Offermann Real Estate.

Is this Queensland's best property?

Kiwi siblings snap up Dotcom mansion for $32.5m

The new toy company owners of the Coatesville mansion want replace any controversy with positivity and fun. Photo / Barfoot and Thompson

The trio paid $32.5 million for the property in June

New $200 million development will create 580 jobs

Cassie And Josh with baby Alfie and daughter Andee. They have bought at new Lennox Head development Epiq.

Majority of new positions will be given to Northern Rivers locals

Cherrabah's mega resort plans axed

PLANS for a massive development at Cherrabah have been scrapped.

Dusit Thani finance crisis 'just a small hiccup'

ON TRACK: Springfield Land Chairman, Maha Sinnathamby, Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale, Developer Richard Turner and Springfield Land Deputy Chairman, Bob Sharpless, at the recent resort sod turning ceremony.

Property developer says project remains firmly on track