Emergency crews have QLD covered

AT HOME and away, SES volunteers from Ipswich and surrounding areas keep helping people frowned on by Mother Nature.

Yesterday, the first group of 28 people who flew north to help with the clean-up after Cyclone Yasi arrived back in Ipswich.

They crossed the next group travelling north after they left Ipswich SES headquarters about 11am on Monday.

Ipswich SES area controller Arie van den Ende said eight of the group of 28 was from Esk and the rest from Ipswich.

“From Cairns we’ve been looking after Mission Beach doing general clean-up,” Mr van den Ende said.

“We’ve had chainsaw crews, working from heights crews and regular crews.

“The first team that went up on day two was mainly chainsaw people and roof people.

“State control wants 200 people all up in the north including our crews.”

During the floods in North Queensland last month and again during the cyclone, Ipswich SES volunteers took over their northern neighbours’ emergency call centre.

“The 132 500 number was redirected to us and while the floods were on we put in 2000 to 2500 jobs and last week we put in 1000 jobs.

“Because Cairns and Townsville were out, we basically became North Queensland at those times.”

At the same time the “Orange Angels” have had their hands full, as work continues after the floods hit the north.

Heavy rain in the Lockyer Valley and parts of Ipswich on Monday and yesterday meant crews were again dispatched to help people.

“Six people were sent to Brassall yesterday and Monday and there was a big problem with flooding at Marburg. We had a team of four out there,” Mr van den Ende said yesterday.

Meanwhile, he said 100 SES volunteers were scheduled to go back into Grantham today to resume the search for missing people.

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