FLOOD evacuee Ettie Costello at Ripley. Ettie was evacuated from Riverview Gardens retirement home after power was cut.
FLOOD evacuee Ettie Costello at Ripley. Ettie was evacuated from Riverview Gardens retirement home after power was cut. Claudia Baxter

Precious but left behind in storage

FLEEING with little more than the clothes on their backs, Janice and Terry Minshull were among those Ipswich residents forced to leave their homes.

They were among more than 1000 people bunking down at flood evacuation centres including the Ipswich Showgrounds, which like the Bremer River was overflowing yesterday, forcing some of those seeking refuge to look elsewhere.

The Moores Pocket couple was forced to evacuate on Tuesday.

Mrs Minshull said happily they were allowed to bring their miniature fox terrier, Babe, with a makeshift shelter set up at the showgrounds for pets.

She said the couple had made sure their “precious things” were safe in storage before they left, taking just clothes.

“We didn't know what to bring, how long we will be away or what we will come home to,” Mrs Minshull said.

“But we are okay and our family knows where we are.

“You see the other poor souls sitting on their roofs and you feel for them.”

One Mile resident Jo Bourke also sought refuge, along with her husband Peter and four-year-old son Ryan. She was joined by her sister Christine Bolton and her three-year-old son Joseph, who left their home in Tiger Street, West Ipswich.

Mrs Bourke said the family had left their Vineyard Street home about 3pm on Tuesday, preparing for the eventuality by packing their car the night before.

“We took some toys and changes of clothes,” she said.

“We just grabbed the basics.”

She said sadly the family had been forced to leave their dog, Nipper, behind, although she said it was being cared for by neighbours who lived on higher ground.

Mrs Bourke said the family faced an uncertain couple of days.

“The house didn't go under in '74, so fingers crossed we won't this time,” she said.

Among the first to arrive at the evacuation centre on Tuesday was Sian Barber, 39, who had fled a flood-devastated Bundaberg to stay with her mother at Bundamba.

But flooding in the Bundamba Creek prevented her from getting home and she was left with no option but to go to the Showgrounds.

“I just escaped the mess up there in Bundy and here it is again in Ipswich,” she said. “I wanted to go to see my son in Stanthorpe but he is isolated as well.”

North Booval family Ken, June and son Rodney Everson made the early decision to flee their rental home.

“We started packing on Monday - just personal items and precious photos,” Mrs Everson said.

“It's not a good situation but the main thing is that you're safe - there are people far worse off.”

EVACUATE TO:

Ipswich Showground

Ipswich Girls’ and Boys Grammar Schools

Ipswich City Community Church, Ripley

St Joseph’s School

West Moreton Anglican College



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