Queensland dam failure fears spark evacuations at Talgai
Saturday February 15, 2020 – 10:15 EDT
The Bolzan Quarry Dam has a hole in it that could cause the whole dam to break.
– ABC licensed
People in a southern Queensland town are being urged to evacuate amid fears a large irrigation dam is in imminent danger of failing.
An emergency warning was issued after a 3.5-metre by 1.5-metre hole formed in the side of the 430-megalitre Bolzan Quarry Dam on Dalrymple Creek near Talgai, about 30 kilometres north of Warwick.
The wall of the privately owned dam has not yet collapsed, however attempts to repair it have failed and the hole has substantially expanded.
The dam, which is at maximum capacity, is gushing water and an emergency alert has been issued for people in parts of Talgai, with flooding expected to occur between Talgai West Road and Dalrymple Creek Road.
Residents have been told to leave for higher ground, with dangerous downstream flooding expected to hit low-lying areas.
Southern Downs Mayor Tracey Dobie said at least 250 properties were expected to be affected.
“So, the dam has broken at the base and the water is coming out at a considerable rate of knots right now and because the Dalrymple Creek is already in a moderate flood because we’ve had extensive rain, this water will come down that creek very, very quickly,” Cr Dobie said.
“The Queensland Fire and Emergency Service have prepared a polygon [map] based on the anticipated spread of that water when that dam wall bursts.
“The area is already saturated from the considerable rain we’ve had in the last week and Dalrymple Creek has been breaking its banks the last couple of days.”
Earlier this morning an evacuation centre was opened at Warwick Christian College, but at 8:00am the council said the centre had been closed and evacuees should seek shelter with family and friends.
Other areas flooded
The area near Warwick is the latest in southern Queensland to cop a battering from heavy rainfall.
Major flooding was recorded at Beaudesert on Thursday and there were reports of rapid river level rises at many locations across the Logan and Albert River catchments.
Record-breaking rain hit the Gold Coast earlier in the week, leading to flash flooding.
On the Sunshine Coast earlier in the week.