Body count hits 23

THE death toll from the January flood disaster has climbed to 23 with the positive identification of Postmans Ridge resident, Sylvia Baillie.

Ms Baillie was swept away after her home at Postmans Ridge collapsed in the wall of water that rushed down the Toowoomba Range on the afternoon of January 10.

Neighbours said they heard the 72-year-old woman's cries for help but they could not reach her and she was washed away down Rocky Creek.

Her body was eventually found by police further downstream on the weekend and was first identified by a peculiar ring that she wore.

However, her son Ian James said that DNA examination had confirmed his mother's identity and the family had been contacted by the coroner's department, who had posted the universal date of death was January 10 for the flood victims.

Though distressed, Mr James said the confirmation of his mother's death had been a relief for his family.

“We knew what the result was going to be,” he said.

“This is good for closure.”

Mr James last spoke to his mother at lunchtime on Monday, January 10, only hours before tragedy struck.

Ms Baillie had lived at Postmans Ridge for five years after moving from New South Wales and was well-known and loved by her community.

Her funeral will be held in Brisbane later this week.

Meanwhile, Grantham residents have continued to express their pleas for privacy after Gatton-Helidon Road, which runs through the town, was re-opened on Monday afternoon.

There have been reports of motorists passing through the town to sticky beak, rather than commute through the town.

Police said they would keep a strong presence in the area for security of residents rebuilding their homes.

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