Floods subside to reveal destruction in Ipswich

HEARTBREAK: Jose and Ashleigh Alonso in their Darling St West home that was inundated on Monday.
HEARTBREAK: Jose and Ashleigh Alonso in their Darling St West home that was inundated on Monday. Rob Williams

A MASSIVE clean-up was under way at the lower end of Keogh St, West Ipswich yesterday morning, where businesses and homes were hit by fast-rising waters on Monday.

Mechanic shop owner Gary Duffy was caught off-guard by the flood, which peaked much higher and earlier than he expected.

His workshop had about 2.5m of water through it, destroying expensive equipment and tools - including a new wheel alignment machine which he hadn't even had the chance to use yet.

"I was out here just after midnight on Sunday watching the water level at One Mile," Mr Duffy said.

"I thought I would go home and come back again early the next morning."

By then it was too late.

Mr Duffy also left two cars behind. One a Mitsubishi FTO project car he was working on; the other was an engine donor vehicle.

The business was not insured against floods.

Next door, the Cross Fit Gym called on some of its 80 members to help empty out equipment late on Sunday just a few hours before the complex was inundated.

Owner Brandon Swan said it could be months before the equipment could be moved back in, due to the mud/sludge left behind which had created health concerns.

"The walls, the toilets and the showers are absolutely filthy," Mr Swan said.

"We were just lucky to get all of the equipment out in time."

The walls, the toilets and the showers are absolutely filthy. We were just lucky to get all of the equipment out in time.

A fire equipment shop at the same complex was also hit, with hundreds of fire extinguishers and fittings damaged.

Around the corner at Darling St West, Jose Alonso's investment home was destroyed for the second time in as many years.

This time, the water came about half-way up the walls.

The owner was waiting for the tenant to claim his property from inside before commencing what will be an expensive clean-up.

"Because this is not our primary place of residence, we received no funding for the rebuild from the 2011 flood," Mr Alonso said.

"We are still trying to recover from the first time.

"The only thing we were able to salvage was the bath tub - every wall and ceiling had to come out. It took us about six months."

The latest flood also brought a second dose of heartbreak for North Booval couple Brian and Jodie White, who watched as swollen Bundamba Creek swept across their Lamont St property.

The couple was forced to demolish their old home on the block following the 2011 floods.

They had planned to build a new house on the same land but had endured delays due to the need for disabled access.

Mrs White, who lost both of her legs due to diabetes and the complications of multiple organ transplants, said the second stroke of rotten luck was hard to take.

"The way the last 24 hours have gone, I am not sure we can go through all this again," she said.

"We have considered selling the land, but who would want to buy a place that keeps getting flooded all the time?"

We have considered selling the land, but who would want to buy a place that keeps getting flooded all the time?

Yesterday afternoon Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale said 35 homes were inundated with floodwaters in living areas and a further 24 were being inspected to confirm if water rose above the floor of living areas.

A final total will be known in the next few days.



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