Pre­mier pays a visit

Home owner sur­prised by ‘stately guest’

Whitsunday Times - - NEWS - Inge Hansen inge.hansen@whit­sun­day­

IT WAS a visit Teresa Jack­son never ex­pected – Queens­land Pre­mier An­nasta­cia Palaszcuk walk­ing through her home to wit­ness the dam­age Cy­clone Deb­bie did not hes­i­tate to cause.

“It’s re­ally great to see the pre­mier here to have a first hand look at what the cy­clone has done,” Ms Jack­son said.

The pre­mier was ac­com­pa­nied by Queens­land Po­lice Com­mis­sioner Ian Ste­wart and Bri­gadier Chris Field when she vis­ited the Can­non­vale home on Tues­day.

Ms Jack­son took the trio on a tour of her prop­erty which felt the full ef­fects of Deb­bie.

“The gut­ter­ings went and then the rain, which was hor­i­zon­tal, soaked the gyprock on the bal­cony and once it was wet, it col­lapsed and that’s when the rain came in,” she said.

Hav­ing lived in her home for 15 years, Ms Jack­son said Cy­clone Deb­bie was, by far, the scariest cy­clone she had been through.

“It was the in­ten­sity which made it so ter­ri­fy­ing,” she said.

Ms Jack­son found refuge in a down­stairs bath­room where she lay on a mat­tress with wa­ter, a ra­dio, her phone and other es­sen­tial items.

“I know at one stage I was a bit con­cerned with the ceil­ing col­laps­ing so I went into my car which was in the garage and closed the door and put the chair down where I felt a bit safer.”

It was a full house in Ms Jack­son’s home on Tues­day, with builders work­ing hard to re­store it to its orig­i­nal state and Sun­corp present to as­sess the dam­age.

Sun­corp ex­ec­u­tive gen­eral man­ager prop­erty and spe­cial­ity claims Matt Pear­son said it was im­por­tant for work to start as soon as pos­si­ble so they could “get the tradies swing­ing ham­mers so we can get (home­own­ers) into their homes”.

“It’s only been a week, but Sun­corp is lead­ing a hive of ac­tiv­ity in the re­gion with Cus­tomer Re­sponse Teams as­sist­ing with claims, asses­sors vis­it­ing im­pacted homes, and builders and re­pair­ers pick­ing up their tools and get­ting to work,” he said.

Mean­while with the wounds of Cy­clone Deb­bie still fresh, Com­mis­sioner Ste­wart said he had one mes­sage.

“I’d ask mem­bers of the pub­lic not to go sight­see­ing around th­ese ar­eas be­cause it gets in the way of emer­gency ser­vices, ve­hi­cles and of the builders – the (trades­men) who need to come in and do their work. But if you see any­thing sus­pi­cious, please come out and re­port it.”

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