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People choppered out but dogs left

SALVAGE OPERATION: Linda Boyd with her dogs trying to dry out her home after the flood.
SALVAGE OPERATION: Linda Boyd with her dogs trying to dry out her home after the flood.

LEAVING her beloved dogs on the roof of her house as she was airlifted from her flooded Tandur property on Saturday was one of the hardest things Linda Boyd has ever done.

About 200mm of rain brought flash flooding, leaving Linda, her partner Lachlan Lind and their animals flood-bound.

When police phoned Linda to alert her to evacuate, she told them she was not leaving because of her animals, especially the dogs - poodles Missy and Doodle and doberman Bindi.

Missy was blown off the roof by the wind from the helicopter's blades in the rescue.

"He (police) told me the dogs would be rescued by SES and that's what made me decide to go," she said.

Linda realises she was most likely told this so she would get herself to safety.

"I realise saving lives - human lives, is a priority ..."

Linda's voice tails off as she relives the fear she felt for her dogs. How Missy saved herself after she was blown off the roof during the rescue, isn't clear.

Lachlan thinks she managed to get on to a building that was floating and got caught against a tree.

"Either that or she made it to the roof of the car port," he said.

Along with the dogs, Linda's chooks and 17 alpacas also survived the trauma.

When Linda and Lachlan were being rescued, the water was half way up the alpacas long necks.

Experience with rescue in 10 years with Red Cross in New South Wales, helped keep Linda Boyd calm as she got to the roof of her Tandur home with her partner, dogs, a handbag, two external hard drives and some photos.

But it wasn't only the dogs Linda was not allowed to take on the helicopter, she was stopped from bringing all of it - not even her handbag and medication.

"I'm pretty sure I told them I had medication," she said.

Now the water has subsided, Linda and Lachlan are left with ruined possessions, no food, a waterlogged home and a stench that is going to take a long time to go.

Having lived through the experience, Linda said she would like to see better communication between emergency services.

"The first thing is that I am not knocking them," she said.

"I really appreciate the helicopter rescue.

"When the police picked us up after the helicopter dropped us in Gympie, they got our names but when my daughter phoned, they said they didn't know anything about it.

"She kept phoning the SES and was told a different story over the two days depending on who she spoke to.

"Having worked with Red Cross for 10 years where we were set up for disaster and worked with SES, I think it (Gympie) could be fine-tuned a bit."

Having said that, Linda is very appreciative for everything.

She said Mayor Ron Dyne went out of his way to find a neighbour who could check on the animals, and then got back to her to let her know they were safe.

"When I got to Gympie, I had no money and no medication," she said.

"If Lachlan hadn't been at home (when the water rose) I wouldn't have been able to buy any because the pharmacy at the hospital was closed."

Adding to their woes, Lachlan injured his foot getting on to the roof and had to be treated at the hospital and Linda is still recovering from surgery to an injured shoulder.

The only good outcome was the alpacas which, according to Linda when she returned home yesterday, were very amorous. "It was like alpaca love boat," she said.

Topics:  flooding flood waters rescue

Gympie Times


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