Air­lie tourists are ea­ger to go back

Whitsunday Times - - NEWS - Inge Hansen inge.hansen@whit­sun­day­times.com.au

IT WAS Eric Suan’s first cy­clone ex­pe­ri­ence, but it won’t scare him from com­ing back to Air­lie Beach.

While the tim­ing of his three day trip to the Whit­sun­days was far from ideal, he said he wanted to re­turn in the fu­ture so he could ex­pe­ri­ence ev­ery­thing he planned to do.

“I didn’t get to do ev­ery­thing I wanted to, but I will def­i­nitely want to come back,” he said.

“Maybe in a dif­fer­ent sea­son though.”

While sur­rounded by panic, Mr Suan said he waited out the de­struc­tive winds in his ho­tel bath­room un­til Cy­clone Deb­bie’s wrath was over.

The af­ter­math of Cy­clone Deb­bie is play­ing out in Air­lie Beach with wide­spread dev­as­ta­tion in full view.

Peo­ple were queu­ing up on the main street to use the tele­phone box, with car­ri­ers like Op­tus still down.

Whole trees, branches, leaves and pieces of de­bris are lit­ter­ing the Air­lie Beach land­scape, in­ter­spersed with boats on rocks and dam­age to peo­ple’s busi­nesses and homes.

Beach­worx owner Lyn Greg­son said her main street busi­ness had fared worse than some of her other stores, with a par­tial ceil­ing col­lapse, struc­tural dam­age and flood­ing.

Air­lie Beach La­goon fared rea­son­ably well, although tree branches were float­ing in the mid­dle of the swim­ming area and sign posts had been torn asun­der.

Mas­sive waves smashed against the Air­lie la­goon rock wall with bursts of wa­ter splash­ing about.

All Main St busi­ness are ex­pected to be closed for the rest of the week or un­til power re­turns to the area.

An army he­li­copter has just flown into Air­lie Beach.

PHOTO: CON­TRIB­UTED

SE­RI­OUS DAM­AGE: A boat ashore at Air­lie Beach.

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