BOOMING BAFFLE: The road was destroyed and the Essendean Bridge disappeared as Baffle Creek burst its banks and went above major flood levels at 22 metres. Photos: Carl O'Loughlin
BOOMING BAFFLE: The road was destroyed and the Essendean Bridge disappeared as Baffle Creek burst its banks and went above major flood levels at 22 metres. Photos: Carl O'Loughlin Beth Young

Baffle Creek community recovering after devastating floods

THEY call it Baffle Creek, but it is a huge body of water and one of Queensland's last remaining wild rivers - and this week it was really wild.

The tiny coastal town named after this unencumbered waterway, Baffle Creek was swamped again as the river rose and broke its banks engulfing everything in its path.

Baffle Creek the township sits at the junction of Euleilah Creek and the mighty Baffle and together they form a formidable waterway.

The river meanders around on a huge flood plain and its catchment spreads far and wide; and when more than 800mm of rain bucketed into this funnel, the Baffle rose rapidly to 22 metres - twice the required level to be called flooding - it went minor to major to above record levels of flooding overnight and the whole district was inundated.

Some residents had to be plucked from rooftops, many properties, homes and businesses went under - and despite being called one in 100 year or one in 20 year events it was only two years since the last time.

The Baffle Creek Tavern had opened only weeks earlier after being flooded out in the 2010-2011 disaster, when about a metre of water went through the local "watering hole".

New manager Francie Grimward was cleaning up the bottle shop, some 300-400m from the tavern itself and on much higher ground, yesterday, awaiting word from her boss and new licensee Mick Rose about when they could start the big clean-up job.

"Mick's overseas at the moment, so he got the bad news when he was away and didn't know what was going on," Ms Grimward said.

"It went up to the roof and it's full of all new stock and everything. I don't know about insurance or anything and when we can get in there - it looks a mess."

And while there is plenty of heartache in Baffle Creek at the moment, they are a resilient mob down that way and ready to pick themselves up wipe off the mud and get on with it.

"What can you do? We'll just get going again," local real estate agent Sue Robertson said.

Among the stories of devastation there was plenty of promise and good tales too as the sun came out on Baffle Creek.

Ms Robertson spoke of the community getting together, and generosity of local farmers and business owners helping out with supplies and fuel and in many cases with beds for the night.

Baffle Creek is a community in every sense of the word.