Maria Pawluczyk (right), from Karalee Community Association, hands over a “feel good” package to flood-affected residents Kevin Stone and Marilyn Croker.
Maria Pawluczyk (right), from Karalee Community Association, hands over a “feel good” package to flood-affected residents Kevin Stone and Marilyn Croker. Claudia Baxter

Goodwill runs deep in Karalee

NEIGHBOURS and friends at Karalee have helped Marilyn Croker and Kevin Stone through a terrible trauma.

Their Lyndon Way home of 10 years was flooded last month to the top of the roof and most of their possessions were ruined.

Considering themselves lucky compared with some of the other 230 Karalee households flooded in the January super flood, the couple faces up to a year living in a caravan in their backyard.

“Tuesday morning (January 11) at 5.30, Kev woke. He was already down on the road,” Ms Croker said.

“We could see water we've never seen before.

“No one came along the street to warn us.

“Neighbours were talking about it but there was no official warning.

“Police came in the afternoon on Tuesday when we were madly packing stuff into utes.

“We salvaged all the photos that were hanging.”

The retired couple lost their furniture and whitegoods, and couldn't return home for two days.

“The house was still under,” Ms Croker said.

“Neighbours came to help clean up. We cannot praise them enough.”

Mr Stone said many people “pitched in and helped”.

“I can't explain how grateful we are,” he said.

“The hardest part was coming back and seeing the state of things.”

Nearby resident Marie Kavanagh took the couple and others flood-affected into her home.

She is a committee member of the Karalee Community Association, which has been reactivated in response to the flood rebuilding.

This weekend the association will distribute “feel good” packages – containing donated treats such as shortbread and chocolates – to households recovering from the flood.

“Our focus will include practical help, communicating important information, co-ordinating community events and fundraising,” Ms Kavanagh said.

“Interestingly, this association was originally formed after the 1974 floods, initially to rebuild but then to lobby for many of the facilities and resources that the community now enjoys.

“In 1974 there were only about 120 homes in the area, so the impact of the floods by comparison was not as great.”

About 230 Karalee homes have been flood-affected in 2011, out of a total 2000 homes in the suburb.

“Many of these houses were not insured and, of those that were, most are still having to battle the insurance companies before being able to assess how they are going to rebuild,” Ms Kavanagh said.

Ms Croker and Mr Stone are “lucky' in that their insurance company looks set to repair the damage to their home.

Karalee Community Association will hold a Miche handbag fundraiser next Friday, February 25, at 6pm at Karalee State School, Arthur Summervilles Rd.



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