VIDEO 'Just two minutes': Gladstone Valley shop fronts go under

UPDATE 12.05PM

THE BIG clean up of the Gladstone Valley Shopping Centre has begun.

Clean up at Gladstone Square: Clean up at Gladstone Square
Clean up at Gladstone Square: Clean up at Gladstone Square

Gladstone residents, shop owners and workers were armed with brooms, buckets and a whole heap of elbow grease as they swept out gallons of water.

But with floodwater, comes dirt, branches, debris and a damp smell, making the job more than just a dry-off.

AND SO IT BEGINS: The clean up around town has already started, people armed with brooms and buckets have taken to the Gladstone Valley Square Shopping Centre to flush out the floodwater and mess.
AND SO IT BEGINS: The clean up around town has already started, people armed with brooms and buckets have taken to the Gladstone Valley Square Shopping Centre to flush out the floodwater and mess.

While their doors are wide open, most businesses at the Valley are closed, likely to open once electricity has been restored, and the flood mess is clean.

EARLIER 10AM

The Observer caught up with a staff member of the Smokemart Gift Store at the Valley, who said it all happened within two minutes.

Gladstone Square Valley Shopping Centre: Gladstone Square Valley Shopping Centre is underwater
Gladstone Square Valley Shopping Centre: Gladstone Square Valley Shopping Centre is underwater

Sue said in all her time in Gladstone she had never seen "anything like it".

Sue from the Smokemart: Sue from the Smokemart
Sue from the Smokemart: Sue from the Smokemart

"We were closing the store because of all the rain, and I turned to look and I saw the water," she said.

"I went to grab some towels but it started to flood the store.

"It was as quick as two minutes. Now the shop is flooded."

Sue said other shopfronts at the valley were also flooded in, and more than a foot and a half in some areas.

Sue - Smokemart Gladstone
Sue - Smokemart Gladstone

"There's thousands and thousands of dollars worth of damage," she said.

Water is flowing into Woolworth's, with one passer-by saying they had seen the roof cave in, in one area of the store.