Floods force mass evacuations
By ALEX EASTON
THOUSANDS of people were evacuated as flood waters washed through Ocean Shores, New Brighton and South Golden Beach yesterday.
Worst hit were New Brighton and South Golden Beach, where Rural Fire Service volunteers said nearly every home was flooded.
By 2pm yesterday New Brighton was completely inaccessible to road traffic with three boats being used to evacuate residents, who were taken to the Ocean Shores Country Club for shelter.
The temporary refuge was being managed by RFS volunteer Janine Burger, who only hours earlier had been evacuated from her South Golden Beach home which backs onto a local canal.
Waters rose about 1.5 metres to reach her front door from the street.
By the time she was evacuated, Ms Burger said the water in her house was knee deep and neckdeep in the street.
At the southern end of Ocean Shores, residents in prime properties adjoining the golf club and near the beach were badly hit.
Flash floods swept across from the golf course and into Orana Road, inundating homes.
Residents of Brunswick Street, near the beach, said the flood caught them by surprise.
Chris Cole said he woke about 6am to find water rising in his street. Neighbours scrambled to get their cars away but many were flooded before they could be moved.
Within a few hours most houses in the street were flooded and water was waist deep. The rising waters also cut off the Pacific Highway, severing it completely at Billinudgel and cutting the southbound lane at Tyagarah.