The Savage family waits at the water’s edge and watches its Basin Pocket home disappear into the floodwater.
The Savage family waits at the water’s edge and watches its Basin Pocket home disappear into the floodwater.

Massive clean-up begins

THE first day of an epic Ipswich clean-up began yesterday as residents, business owners, council workers and defence personnel came to grips with how much work would be required to return the city to normal.

Their work will not be finished for another three to four months.

And as the floodwater receded, the tales became stranger.

“There are dead fish in my house, on the steps to my second storey,” Basin Pocket resident Petta Savage said.

The Blackall Road resident said she was a nervous wreck as the water slowly rose through her house on Wednesday.

But now she is determined to return her home to its former glory as quickly as possible.

“We decided to stay in our house on Wednesday,” Ms Savage said.

“We were on the second storey and the water was lapping at the first-floor ceiling.

“We were worried about looters so we drew a mark and said if the water comes past that mark – we are leaving here.

“Luckily it never reached it.

“It’s going to take us weeks to clean this house.

“There are worms everywhere and fish on our stairs.”

In the Ipswich CBD, hundreds of council workers swept, scrubbed and hosed all day as the floodwater dropped several metres.

Defence Force personnel also helped co-ordinate the clean-up.

State Member for Bundamba Jo-Ann Miller was on a flight to New York when the ‘inland tsunami’ began its path to Ipswich.

Mrs Miller landed in America and immediately flew back, arriving home yesterday morning to discover her office in Goodna had been completely submerged.

“I went into Goodna as far as I could and when I saw the office – I just broke down and cried for half an hour,” she said.

“I was devastated. A lot of records and very important possessions have been lost forever.

“I can’t believe how badly the region has been torn apart.

“It’s heartbreaking.

“The clean-up will take months.

“I’m setting up my new office in a tent in the grounds of the St Francis Church in Goodna.”

Bernie Rippoll’s office was also submerged.

Ms Savage said 20 neighbours helped her move furniture to the top level of her house on Tuesday.

“It was amazing, these strangers helping me,” she said.

“That’s the one good thing about all this.”



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