Dealing with damage
JUST two years after the Kilkivan Showgrounds were all but destroyed by devastating floods the community has once again been left to pick up the pieces.
And Kilkivan Campdraft Association secretary Donna Atthow said the water levels were far worse than last time.
"We have completely lost our ladies' toilet building and our second catering outlet inbetween the bar. The new pony club building sustained damage as has the Atthow Pavilion, which had water above stovetop level," Mrs Atthow said.
"Our arena is totally devastated with the surface extremely damaged and our power and plumbing has been severely damaged.
"The whole arena fence is gone, but the camp and the back yards are still there."
Wide Bay Creek, which surrounds the showgrounds, broke its banks to engulf the grounds after 20 inches of rain fell in the region.
"I think the region had 10 or 12 inches overnight, but there had already been eight to 10 the day before," Mrs Atthow said.
"Last time this happened there was 15 inches of rain overnight."
Despite mass destruction, a couple of buildings did survive the torrent of water that crippled the showgrounds.
"Our announcer's box, which was desgined to withstand a flood and funded by the Freemasons of Queensland after the last flood, is good and our new men's toilet block from the Gambling Community Benefit Fund is good," Mrs Atthow said.
The small reprieve doesn't offer the community groups that use the facility much solace.
The campdraft committee is predicting the cost to repair and replace the arena surface alone will be $40-60,000 with the cost of other damage unknown.
The total repair bill for the showgrounds is expected to be significantly higher than from the flood two years ago.
And as a double blow the campdraft committee has been working hard at the grounds in preparation for the Australian Campdraft Association National Finals, which are scheduled for April 17 to 20 this year.
"We held our last working bee on January 12 preparing for the Australian Campdraft Association National Finals," Mrs Atthow said.
"It's going to be tough on the committee and on the community because everyone is stretched.
"A lot of our committee has their own disaster at home to front.
"No lives were lost, but it is heartbreaking because of the amount of effort we have put into it.
"It was going to be a big year for our town and all of the community groups who these events support through operation of canteens."
Major community events on the calendar for the Kilkivan Showgrounds this year include the Kilkivan Great Horse Ride in March, The Australian Campdraft Association National Finals in April and the Tom Quilty Cup Endurance Ride in June.