More pain for the North Team aids rural recovery
WHILE Townsville deals with the effects of the wet season, torrential rain has flooded homes and businesses north in Cardwell, where residents are still trying to clean up from Cyclone Yasi.
The news is not much better for the rest of the North either, with forecasters predicting more torrential rain in coming days.
Premier Anna Bligh said her heart went out to the cyclone victims facing the new flood threat as water rose to waist level in some areas.
‘‘ Those people, particularly in Cardwell, still reeling from Cyclone Yasi, must be thinking what on earth is next,’’ she said yesterday.
‘‘ The thoughts of all Queenslanders are with them.
‘‘ There are stark reminders around Queensland t oday that the wet season is not over.
‘‘ The ( Barron) river is rising extremely rapidly and we are concerned about cars being washed off causeways.’’
Cardwell Caravan Park owner Colin Oke says about a metre of water has flooded hi s p r o p e r t y , i nundati ng three guest cabins. QUEENSLAND’S agriculture department will send a team to North Queensland to help farmers and small businesses clean up after Cyclone Yasi.
The contingent of 12 recovery support officers will also link struggling farmers and business people with financial counsellors, mental health professionals and farming experts.
Agriculture Minister Tim Mulherin said the officers would be sent this week as part of a $ 1.7 million Operation Clean Up Queensland program.
The officers would help farmers decide the sort of assistance they needed and help them in
He said two of three neighbouring homes also had water above the floorboards, and more would have gone under on the low-lying end of Roma St, where his business is located.
Mr Oke said it was another cruel blow, on the back of the getting applications in, the minister said.
The officers will be employed for nine months with $ 1.16 million in state funds and $ 555,000 from industry.
They will concentrate on the Cassowary Coast, Hinchinbrook and parts of the Tablelands, Charters Towers, Etheridge and Flinders, Mr Mulherin said.
‘‘ The officers will work with local industry and business to assist in prioritising debris clearing, and ( to) help landholders determine their recovery needs,’’ he said.
Requests can be made by calling 13 25 23. ruin Yasi brought to the town, halfway between Cairns and Townsville.
‘‘ Everything’s damaged. I’ve spent four weeks just removing trees and branches and bits of everyone else’s roofs that landed in my yard. I’m about to call my insurer again and tell them I’ve got another problem,’’ he said yesterday.
But he had not lost his sense of humour, and answered the phone with a chirpy: ‘‘ Flood central’’.
‘‘ It’s either that or floods are us. We used to call ourselves Cardwell by the sea, now we call it Cardwell in the Mr Oke said.
He said he managed to move cars and vans t o higher ground after an extraordinary overnight deluge, but there was nothing he could do t o s t o p w a t e r w a s h i n g through cabins and sheds.
‘‘ My rain gauge was empty last night and it overflowed t hi s morning. My g a uge measures 12 inches so that’s 300mm that fell on my property overnight,’’ he said.
‘‘ The three houses next door to me, two are under. And I’m on the high end of the street. There’ll be houses at the other e nd wit h water r unning through them, guaranteed.’’
Mr Oke said the water rose to within a couple of inches of the floorboards of his home.
‘‘ It’s just missed it. It’s gone through the patio area and through the washing machine. All the fun things.’’