Brian and Linda Hall in their Poole Road home in Fernvale.
Brian and Linda Hall in their Poole Road home in Fernvale.

Fernvale devastated by floods

FERNVALE residents thought they had survived the worst when Tuesday morning’s eerily fast-rising floodwater subsided just hours later.

Little did they know a second round of flooding was coming their way later that day, which, combined with the morning’s event, caused significant damage to a number of Fernvale homes.

Many shattered Fernvale residents whose homes were inundated by water returned for the first time yesterday to survey the damage.

Arriving from homes of their friends and families, or evacuation centres, they came back to find the water had devastated their homes, ruining furniture, white goods and anything else in its path.

Nardoo Street residents Bill and Joan Sharpe said the morning flooding caught them completely off guard.

With the water rising into the house in just minutes, Mr Sharpe grabbed a ladder, propped it beside the house and evacuated his family to the roof.

Mrs Sharpe said the water was rising so rapidly that her daughter, Richenda Oh, had to scramble up the ladder in the pouring rain with her 20-month-old baby in one arm.

“You’ve never seen anything like it – it just came up so quickly,” she said.

Many other families in the street were also forced to take to their roofs to escape the flooding.

The Sharpes, like other residents in their street, were later led out of town by police and SES volunteers before the second round of flooding hit that afternoon.

Linda Hall, who was inspecting her house with husband Brian, said if she didn’t laugh about the disaster she would cry.

“We have a big clean-up ahead. The whole street does, the whole town does – we’ll all work together,” she said.

Mr Hall said they were grateful their daughter and a friend, who were home at the time of the flooding, were able to flee to safety.

Like many in their street, the flooding nearly reached the ceiling in their houses.

Di Tapsell and Kevin Smith were both working out of town when the waters hit, and while their Poole Road home was badly damaged, they were grateful their pet dog was saved by neighbours.

“We have lost absolutely everything, but we’re not as badly affected as some others are,” Mr Smith said.

“We still have our jobs, we haven’t lost our loved ones – others are worse off than us.”



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