Brisbane's Riverbar now under water

Written By Unknown on Senin, 28 Januari 2013 | 20.01

From masterchef to mud army, nervous business owners are helped by volunteers as Brisbane's river breaks its banks, threatening the CBD.

MATT Moran's Riverbar and Kitchen has flooded only six weeks after opening its doors on the promenade level of Eagle St Pier in Brisbane's CBD.

The Sydney-based chef posted a picture of the flooded restaurant deck this morning with the caption, "#riverbar living up to it name! Devastated".

During the opening party for Riverbar in December, Matt Moran and co-owner Peter Sullivan stated that flooding "wouldn't be an issue" for the venue. Neighbouring restaurant Jellyfish, which went under during the 2011 floods, is unaffected at this stage.

An hour earlier, Moran had tweeted that staff were doing their best to sandbag the property in an effort to protect it from rising waters.

"Back prep kitchen is flooding @RiverbarKitchen just glad everybody is safe! Sand bagging!," he tweeted.

Masterchef contestant and Jellyfish head chef Rhett Willis says the Eagle Street pier restaurant will be inundated, but not as bad as in 2011.

"Sadly it's happening! And will get worst! Flooding #riverbar," he had tweeted earlier today along with a picture of soggy sandbags.

Riverbar spokeswoman Caitlin O'Loan said the restaurant had experienced minor flooding.

"Everything is under control,'' she said.

Matt Moran's Riverbar and Kitchen has flooded as the Brisbane River keeps rising.

"There hasn't been any damage but the restaurant won't be open for a few days.

"We've moved all the furniture and we'll wait to see what happens at midnight - we're not fearful of what's to come.''

Jellyfish owner John Kilroy said he and his staff "were praying like crazy".

"We're getting ready for the next tide at 10pm tonight," he said.

"We just managed to avoid flooding with the tide this morning; the water didn't quite come to the door, but we're more worried about tonight.''

Celebrity chef Matt Moran has tweeted these images of rising waters from his new venture Riverbar and Kitchen. Picture: Twitter/@chefmattmoran

Mr Kilroy said that this morning's high tide was much higher than predicted, and that he was working with council to estimate how high the river will rise tonight.

"There are still marks on the wall from the 2011 floods that are well above my head - we can't predict how high it will get this time, but we've put in flood gates and sandbags, sealing it all up and move the stock.''

Jellyfish head chef Rhett Willis is currently a contestant on MasterChef : The Professionals.

Angelica Jolly, co-owner of the nearby Alchemy restaurant, said the SES had informed her that floodwaters are expected to be higher than the 2011 floods.

"We've been told to stay here and wait for advice," she said. "We're very concerned.''

Ms Jolly said there was a high chance her restaurant on Eagle St Pier would be flooded.

Cameron Hann, Riverbar's general manager, is surrounded by sandbags as the clean-up operation begins. Picture: Sharnee Rawson

"It's a bad nightmare,'' she said. "I've been contacting my three best friends: builders, solicitors and insurance people.''

Heavy leaking from the ceiling has already inundated the restaurant and caused extensive damage, she said.

"Two years ago, we were shut down due to water coming from underneath; this time it's from above -  most of the ceiling will have to be ripped out.'' 

Strong winds have caused extensive damage to Moda restaurant on Edward Street  in Brisbane's CBD, ripping heavy glass windows off their fixtures, owner Javier Codina said. 

Bystanders wade through floodwaters outside the Jellyfish restaurant on Eagle St Pier. Picture: Sharnee Rawson

"A massive window has been completely bent and come off the walls - thank God it landed on the table and chairs and didn't smash or there would be glass everywhere,'' he said.

Mr Codina said that rising drain water was more of a worry than flood water from the river.

"We had to wait almost three hours for sandbags at Newmarket, and have secured all of the drains and toilets," he said.

"The carpark at the Stamford Hotel has been evacuated and all of the cars are on the street. The restaurants on Eagle St are finished.'' 

Sandbags line Matt Moran's restaurant Riverbar and Kitchen on Brisbane's Eagle St Pier. Picture: Sharnee Rawson

- with Reshni Ratnam

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