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Positive outlook in midst of disaster

Residents clean up the Laidley Hotel after its sixth - and worst - flood in 25 years.
Residents clean up the Laidley Hotel after its sixth - and worst - flood in 25 years. Bev Lacey

FLOOD-RAVAGED business owners are keeping positive as they count their losses and strive to re-open their doors.

The story is the same from the Lockyer Valley to the Western Downs - amid the widespread damage, business people are still managing to smile.

Laidley Better Business Organisation Warwick McLean said most businesses along the town's main street were beginning to get back on their feet.

"People are obviously upset... but they are very happy with the huge immediate response by volunteers," he said.

"By the end of Tuesday, the main street was almost back to looking normal again compared to 2011 when it took more than a week."

Mr McLean said awareness about flood insurance had taken a huge weight off troubled minds.

"Because they knew exactly where they stood, they were able to get on with the business of cleaning," he said.

"The biggest contribution has come from rural fire fighters from all over the region.

"Now what they're doing is helping all the residents who were left until last.

"The first priority was getting businesses back up and running."

The recovery will take much longer for several Laidley businesses, including Eagle Rock Cafe, Foodworks and the local Chinese take-away.

"Buhse Motors was also hit hard and had about 15 cars submerged in the water," Mr McLean said.

Tales of sacrifice are common across the flood plain, a Toowoomba business even ensuring residents of Mt Sylvia would have free access to The Chronicle.

Malcolm Spalding from Colin Mackay's Good Guys organised free deliveries of The Chronicle to the overwhelmed town.

Topics:  flood, laidley




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