MIRANDA Baines, 5, of West Tweed, helps out after flooding at Twin Towns Kindergarten.
MIRANDA Baines, 5, of West Tweed, helps out after flooding at Twin Towns Kindergarten.

Devastation in flooded kindy

By ED SOUTHORN

EVEN the little ones joined in to help clean up.

The devastating floods which swept through northern NSW and the Gold Coast last week, leaving an estimated $6 million damages bill, filled the Twin Towns Kindergarten with about a half-metre of water.

Hundreds of irreplacable books and toys, carpets, bookcases and cupboards were lost in the deluge. Paint has bubbled on the kindergarten interior walls, which may also need replacing, and the telephone line is cut.

It was the first time since the 1974 floods that the Lanham Street, Coolangatta, community kindy has been inundated with water.

The kindy was due to re-open today after a holiday break but is expected to remain closed for the next few days at least as staff and volunteer parents continue cleaning up.

On Saturday about a dozen families, including some of the kindy's 50 enrolled children aged three to five, began removing a big pile of water-damaged items and hosed out mud from the premises.

Twin Towns Kindergarten president Geoff Carlin yesterday called for donations to help replace the waterlogged books.

Many of the books - stored low to the ground to encourage easy access for the children - had been donated by parents over the past 40 years.

The kindy is facing a substantial fundraising task to help cover its flood losses, on top of its usual $20,000 annual donations target.

"The rain was just too heavy and too quick and the drains couldn't cope," Mr Carlin said.

"We're about a metre above the street, so it was quite some amount of water that came in.

"We've got a lot of rotten carpet and we're not sure how the lino will dry out.

"We can get the kindy going again but we won't have a lot of the books.

"We had a big tidy up two weeks ago and now this happens, but I know a lot of people are in the same boat as us."

As well, Twin Towns Services Club had recently donated $9000 for a new deck and landscaping at the kindy. The deck survived the flood, but the gardens are wrecked.

Anyone able to help with donations of books or other items for the Twin Towns Kindergarten can phone 0408 436 360.



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