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Tranquility to boiling cauldron

Pomona’s Mary Lehane stands among the destruction brought about by extremely heavy rain which flooded several properties in Pomona.
Pomona’s Mary Lehane stands among the destruction brought about by extremely heavy rain which flooded several properties in Pomona. Kieran Campbell and Geoff Potter

"THIS is my house," Mary Lehane announces as she welcomes me into the mud-caked lounge room of her Pomona home.

It is difficult to see the floor - most is either still underwater or underneath muddy furniture.

The house at No.17 Rifle St was submerged in murky floodwater on Friday night and everything on the ground floor tossed about like it was inside a giant washing machine.

With water still pooled at her feet, Ms Lehane yesterday struggled to find where to start.

"Where do you start? I don't know," she said.

"I could cry but that's not going to solve it.

"It's just heartbreaking."

The tranquil cul-de-sac at the end of Rifle St was the address for those worst hit by the torrential rain on Friday night.

Ms Lehane's two-storey home, where she lives with son Matthew and grandson Hayden, was ground zero.

She watched helplessly as furniture was flipped and most of it dumped in a corner of her home.

There was no time to rescue any precious belongings, including some albums and framed family photos that were saturated or swept away.

"Within an hour and a half the doors all swung open, the back door burst and the water just came in," Ms Lehane said.

"And it would have been at least five, six foot (150-180cm) through the house and it turned every bit of furniture over.

"The water (sounded) like a jet going off - that's how fast and fierce it was."

Across the road from Ms Lehane, the Swinkels family rushed their four chickens and two dogs inside the high-set home while everything underneath was flooded.

Nathan Swinkels' motorbike was drowned in muddy water despite his best efforts to keep it out of Mother Nature's way.

Next door to Ms Lehane was an empty home after July Metsamoa decided to stay at a friend's house in Eumundi after work.

Ms Metsamoa returned to her house to find a film of mud through every room.

It didn't compare to the destruction at Number 17.

Ms Lehane said her 11-year-old grandson tried to rescue as many toys as he could.

The boy's bedroom was turned upside down by the torrent of water.

In the dawn light, Ms Lehane sat on a paint tin in her front yard that had been dragged by floodwaters hours earlier.

"I just sat there and I thought, 'What's going to happen? Where will it end?'

"I don't know."

Topics:  floods



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