Local SES crews to join clean-up
TASKFORCE teams from the Douglas Shire SES Service Unit are being sent down south this week to assist the increasing number of victims affected by the Queensland floods in Emerald and Brisbane.
Mossman SES controller Bob Taylor said the local has been on standby during the floods and could receive a call at any time.
“I received a text message at 5.50pm Monday afternoon and had an hour-and-a-half to nominate more people to go down south - a total of 22 SES officers from the Douglas region are being sent to Brisbane some time before January 21,” he said.
The officers are still unaware of the exact location they will be sent to however police have been advising members of the community who live near the Brisbane River or at West End to move to higher ground.
The Brisbane airport was closed yesterday and most of the roads have been blocked, therefore to combat the issue they are preparing to fly to the team to the Gold Coast and drive them up to Brisbane.
Queensland Premier Anna Bligh called the disaster in Toowoomba “the darkest hour of the last fortnight” and floods in Brisbane are expected to be greater than the Mother Nature’s work in 1974.
Mossman member Linda Collins was sent to Emerald on January 2 to help clean badly damaged shopping centres and businesses.
Ms Collins has been working for the SES for three years and admits that Emerald was her toughest job.
“You could definitely see where roads had been washed away and large rocks had been moved by the force of the current in the water,” she said.
“When we arrived it was at night time, so it wasn’t until the next day that we saw the extent of the damage.
“By the time we got there a lot of the water had receded but you could see where the water levels had been on the side of buildings and it would have been approximately one metre high and you could see that the water current had knocked large trees over.”
Her team of about 22 SES volunteers worked together cleaning out a small shopping centre and pet store which took up to three days.
“There was a lot of mud, mosquitoes, silt and sewage to clean. The smell was really bad and there was a lot to clean,” she said.
“Towards the airport you could see the water current washing out the rail line. You could imagine what the locals were going through.”