Australia Day flood is No.5 for Brisbane St workshop

OLD HANDS: Ipswich Transmission Repair owners Jenny and Martin Sangster clean up their flooded premises.
OLD HANDS: Ipswich Transmission Repair owners Jenny and Martin Sangster clean up their flooded premises. Rob Williams

EARLY warnings can save precious stock and valuable equipment - but they can't keep the mud and water out.

Automatic transmission mechanic Martin Sangster is becoming something of an old hand at cleaning up after disasters - when his Brisbane St workshop went under 1.5m of water on Monday, it was the fifth major flood he'd seen there since 1974.

The positioning of Ipswich Automatic Transmission Repairers, and adjoining business Pearls Radiator Works, on real estate below the level of the main street, make them vulnerable to water rising when the Bremer River floods.

Mr Sangster, his wife Jenny and a small group of helpers spent about 15 hours of Tuesday pumping tonnes of filthy water out of the workshop and then hosing out thick mud.

Although the early warning allowed the Sangsters to clear out their office, as well as a large number of automatics, gaskets, tools and other equipment, there were still substantial casualties.

"I lost three reconditioned gearboxes that were ready to deliver," Mr Sangster said.

"I sat them up on drums to keep them out of the water, but the drums started floating and they fell off."

Of course, the idea of insuring against such damage is out of the question for a business in such a low-lying area of town.

The workshop was flooded in 1974, 1991, 1996 and 2011.

Mr Sangster said a flood levy across Marsden Pde probably wouldn't work because he found the water had risen up through the drains.

With the workshop floor now clear of mud and the phone lines restored, attention has turned to cleaning up stock that has been coated in thick muck.

"We've still got a long way to go before we are back in business - maybe two weeks or so," Mr Sangster said.

We've still got a long way to go before we are back in business - maybe two weeks or so.

As well as his customers, Mr Sangster thanked members of S & G Plumbing for helping pump water out of the shop, as well as their landlord, Tom Hutton to help with the clean up.

Topics:  bremer river

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