Left in the water’s wake
GYMPIE Mayor Ron Dyne has been crisscrossing the region to talk to locals and witness the flood devastation firsthand.
On Thursday, Councillor Dyne was in the areas of Sexton, Woolooga, Kilkivan, Amamoor, Kandanga and Imbil.
"People are shattered - particularly those that are still traumatised by the 2011 floods," he said yesterday.
"I spoke to the family that was rescued off a roof at Sexton and can still only imagine the horror they must have endured.
"Farmers are reporting significant stock losses and damage to farming infrastructure, and there are major issues with respect to roads and bridges.
"The damage to houses along Running Creek Rd at Kilkivan, Yabba Creek at Imbil and to the railway line at Kandanga goes to show just how destructive the flood waters were.
"It was also heartbreaking to see destruction to places that had only just recovered from the 2011 floods, like the Kilkivan Showgrounds and the hall and hotel at Woolooga.
"But it is the human cost that is most profound and my thoughts are with the family of Jacob Shearer, his friends and the Widgee community."
Mr Shearer, 27, drowned when the car he was travelling in with his family was swept into Widgee Creek early on Sunday morning.
Cr Dyne said the emotional impact of events such as this could not be overstated.
"I encourage people to look out for their family, friends and neighbours at this difficult time," he said.
Cr Dyne has been touring the region since the Local Disaster Co-ordination Centre, which he chaired, wrapped up on Wednesday morning, starting with a tour of hard hit areas with Local Government Minister David Crisafulli.
He visited coastal areas yesterday and, today, will return to the west to visit Goomeri and Tansey - all of which were isolated due to flooded roads, and experienced power and communications outages.
"The diversity of our region is a great strength, but in times of disaster, it can prove very challenging," he Dyne said.
"I would like to hear from people across the region and also encourage people to get involved in support groups and networks like Gympie's Resilience Leaders Network."
For information about financial assistance programs and other support services, visit council's website at www.gympie.qld.gov.au or call council on 1300 307 800.