Spirit not dampened by floods

Andrew Hadson from Woolooga store looks at the damage flood waters caused.
Andrew Hadson from Woolooga store looks at the damage flood waters caused. Contributed

A DRIVE to the beautiful South Burnett towns of Woolooga, Kilkivan and Goomeri was a little slower than usual – but nobody was complaining.

The hold-up was road works just past the Sexton turn off, after the Lower Wonga Hall and Serpentine Creek where a substantial chunk of the road disappeared.

I U-turn off the Wide Bay Highway into Woolooga to find a particularly nasty patch of road – but the little township has had bigger problems than potholes.

Andrew Hadson from the Woolooga store experienced first-hand the damage done last week by the town’s biggest flood since 1894.

“It came up on Friday, January 7 and on January 9 it came up again but only to the floorboards the second time,” he said.

“We’ve lost everything we own.

“Everyone came and helped including the SES and Rural Fire Brigade. We only got our power back on Sunday after being without it for nine to 10 days.

“We had a centimetre of mud in the shop, it looked like a war zone, it was unbelievable.”

Mr Hadson said white goods banging against the shop walls also caused damage.

The store’s fridges and freezers have to be replaced, along with a fridge in the kitchen bought only three months ago. One of the freezers was actually taken away by floodwaters and has not been seen since.

“The rails from Kilkivan Pony Club took four hours to get to Woolooga along the floodwaters,” Mr Hadson said.

He and his partner, who live in the house at the back of the shop, have to open the shop each day even though they’ve got not stock, as customers still want to access the post office services.

Like a lot of stories to come out of the floods, Mr Hadson said too has a nice new story.

“We had a collection tin that had money in it for the man whose plants we sell.

“The tin got washed away but somebody recognised it and brought it back to us and we could give it to the man who owned the plants.

“There are a lot of good people out there and Woolooga has real community spirit.”

Further down the road, the township of Kilkivan didn’t escape destruction.

The Kilkivan Lions Club lost its cold rooms and a van. With the club marked to sponsor of the town’s Australia Day concert quest, but now having experienced loss of assets, the event has been cancelled. The concert was for anyone who wanted to perform an act but rather than have judges, the performers names went into a hat and the winner was drawn. With the loss of the club’s assets, the event has been cancelled but the actual awards will still go ahead.

Keep reading The Gympie Times for Australia Day events.

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