Brisbane Floods: Bruce Highway Closed For Days, Truck Drivers Airlifted From Gympie
Be patient and have a back-up plan.
Those were the two key messages to industry from the Queensland Trucking Association (QTA) as the severe weather system continues to hammer the south-east part of the state.
“I can’t say with certainty, but with my experience, and everything I see, the Bruce Highway is not going to be going to be open for some days yet,” said CEO Gary Mahon.
“We’ve already got inbound on the Warrego open and they can go out on the Cunningham.
“But our general message is do your contingency planning around heading out on the western loop, whether that’s heading north or south, and keep in mind NSW because that’s an unfolding situation.
Mahon said he also wants to hammer home the message, if it’s flooded, forget it.
“There are plenty of photos around of semis and b-doubles up to their windscreen wipers in water. So don’t take any chances. Be patient; if it’s flooded, forget it.
“Patience is going to be key.”
“I know some of the fleets are looking at having to helicopter drivers out of Gympie because there are some who are quite stuck, and that situation is not going to change for some days yet.”
Mahon said the bigger fleets are also now moving “quite a lot of freight” off rail on to trucks over the next few days to ensure the supply chains stay moving.
He said the Rocklea Markets in Brisbane is a classic example of vital supply chain impacted by the severe weather system.
“I know there are a quite a few pallets of freight floating around in the water at Rocklea, and that will disrupt for some days yet as well.”
Mahon added that this latest emergency in the state only reinforced the need for a inland freight route that is as “immune as possible” to flood events.
“One of the bigggest flood events was at the base of the Toowoomba Bypass on the new section so there needs to be some recalculation about the floodway planning there,” he said.
“That cut off the both the bypass and the Old Toll Bar. I understand it’s open again for inbound, but we’re waiting to hear about outbound.”
Update [2.45pm, February 28]
The Bruce Highway has since reopened from Brisbane to Traveston.
The highway remains closed from Traveston to Gympie, with significant flooding still occurring in Gympie and further north to Maryborough.
Information sourced from here.