As residents of Winton prepare for an expected flood peak in the Western River this evening, at a level similar to that experienced in February 2000, the relief manager of the Boulder Opal Motel says he and his staff are comfortable and not expecting to need to evacuate.
Water entered the motel in the flood event 18 years ago, not long after it had been constructed, but a levee bank has since been built around it.
In addition, the Winton Shire Council has placed dirt and gravel barriers at the motel entrances.
Max Lubke said while all guests had left, he, his manager and wife, and the motel chef, had all elected to stay.
“Anything could happen of course, especially if there’s more rain, but everything’s holding and we’re quite comfortable,” he said.
Advice was issued by the Bureau of Meteorology at noon on Tuesday, noting that over 200mm of rain had been recorded over the Western River and upper Diamantina River catchment area in the past two days.
According to the Bureau, moderate flood levels peaked in Mills Creek at Oondooroo on Monday night, but major flood levels are rising in the Western River.
At noon it was at 3.50 metres and rising.
Bureau advice said river levels were expected to commence easing during Wednesday.
Local resident, Robyn Stephens, said water may be getting away quickly enough, thanks to everything being so empty prior to the rain.
“It’s across the truck bypass and banked up round the caravan park on the western end of town, but they’re flood areas and that was expected,” she said.
“The rain has been wonderful and it’s going to make a big difference.”