Extensive clean-up under way
FROM the summit of a mountain made of destroyed belongings at Wilsons Beach, a maroon flag flies in the breeze.
It says “Go Queensland”. Whitsunday Mayor Andrew Willcox, during a tour of the wasteland created by Cyclone Debbie, said the areas of Conway and Wilsons beaches had been the hardest hit by the category four tropical storm.
Ron Hurst stands out the front of his Wilsons Beach Rd home.
His bare feet look like they have been in the bath for a week and he is surrounded by the ruined contents of the downstairs section of his house.
Mr Hurst has lived in Wilsons Beach for more than 30 years and has experienced many cyclones.
“But normally we only have 150kmh (winds) but this time we had 270kmh (winds) and it sat on us for 11 hours,” he said.
“It tore us to pieces. “The water came over here and flooded underneath my house. And in that shed I have benches in there at 800mm high and it came up to the top of them.
“It tipped everything upside down, it’s just a big mess.”
Mr Hurst said he had lost a lot of his machinery and his daughter had lost a Lego collection worth thousands of dollars.
He is not alone. Every house in Wilsons Beach and many at Conway Beach have turned out hundreds of tonnes of possessions destroyed by the water and the wind.
The 3rd Combat Engineering Regiment of the Australian Army is on the ground in the area clearing felled trees and responding to a community in desperate need.
“We took care of all the tree felling at Conway Beach and now have the contractors in (removing rubble piles with a claw and dump trucks),” an enlistee said.
He said the community had greeted his men with
BIG JOB: The 3rd Combat Engineering Regiment of the Australian Army is on the ground helping clear Wilsons and Conway beaches. RIGHT: Lester Young from Wilsons Beach helps with the beach clean-up.