Misery for flood victims
By GENEVIEVE ALLPASS
AS if life hasn't been bad enough for Cabarita residents hit by Thursday's devastating flood, scavengers have moved in to feed from their losses.
Picking up the pieces started today and it could not have come soon enough for those living in Tamarind Avenue as Tweed council trucks arrived to help move flood debris.
During the week, the embattled people layed their possessions on the front lawn to either dry out or wait for insurance assessors.
The items were also being eyed off by scavengers, however, who were brazen enough to take anything they could.
The callous actions shocked many residents.
"Isn't it unbelievable these people are coming around already," Tamarind Avenue resident Gwen Cafarella said yesterday.
"I guess the things are out there on the street but people are heartbroken.
"Seeing others running around scavenging their things ... I just don't know how people can do it."
In a street that looked more like a dumping zone than a beachside suburb, swampy smells and stinking water lingered as the disheartened people tearfully piled their belongings in front of their damaged homes.
Simon Read yesterday helped his father go through what was left of his possessions.
"Dad's worked all his life and helped the community and he's basically been left with nothing," Mr Read said.
"I'm really upset for him and mum," Mr Read said.
So devastated is his mother that she won't return to her home, fearful of what she may encounter.
"It's just so sad for her," Mr Read said.
Brenden O'Hearn had a massive pile of furniture and goods outside his home yesterday.
"Raw sewage has gone through the lot," he said. "I've lost just about everything."
Mr O'Hearn's car was so badly damaged he has been out of work since the deluge.
"It's just another thing I have to deal with," he said.
"What more can I do...I'm exhausted."
In what has been a bleak week for the residents at least they now have something to smile about with council promising to recover waste today and next Monday.
Council Waste Management Coordinator Ian Percy said the service would collect flood-affected material such as carpets and furniture.
Batteries, chemicals or tyres would not be included in the collection, Mr Percy said.