Police and State Emergency Service volunteers use boats to help a flood-stricken Creek Street resident in Bundamba.
Police and State Emergency Service volunteers use boats to help a flood-stricken Creek Street resident in Bundamba.

Flat out with floods

THE flood levels were slowly dropping yesterday in Ipswich but for the city's SES volunteers, the level of activity stayed high.

At SES headquarters in Thorn Street, Ipswich SES controller Arie van den Ende's BlackBerry was ringing or beeping every few seconds.

For the district's SES crews, the 2011 floods meant 702 jobs including 500 in Ipswich, 113 in Goodna, 49 in Rosewood and 40 in Marburg.

“It's been hectic; it's been busy but less than I expected,” Mr van den Ende said yesterday.

“We've had a few complicated rescues. We had three members who lost their houses and they're as devastated as anyone else.

“We've got 200 SES people coming to Ipswich tomorrow and 40 of our people plus QFRS.

“We're going to divide the city into sectors and evaluate damage from all over the place.”

North Booval stood out as being a particularly bad area, he said, but it was some people's poor preparation that made the biggest impression.

“You go to a house at 4am and there's a family of two adults and a couple of kids but the driveway is dry and they say they don't need to go yet. Then you get called back the next day and they're standing waist deep in water. It's very frustrating,” he said.

“They know what was going to happen; this event was not immediate, it built up over days.”

Another source of frustration was people who didn't take medication with them so they had to wait for medical drops.

“It's sad. I hope people are better prepared next time. I honestly hope it never happens again,” he said.



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