Flood victims Ken and Fran Arndt get a massage from Peta Hughes Jones at Golden Door Spa.
Flood victims Ken and Fran Arndt get a massage from Peta Hughes Jones at Golden Door Spa. Blainey Woodham

Flooding makes way for facials

CLINGING to trees in the flood-ravaged town of Grantham, Ken and Fran Arndt said goodbye to each another.

But the couple were plucked from danger by a rescue helicopter and now, thanks to the generosity of the Kingscliff community, they have spent a week relaxing at a Salt resort and spa.

Seven weeks ago, the Arndts were washed into flood waters in their ute.

They escaped through windows and clung to trees in waist deep water.

“At one point, there was a shipping container coming towards us,” Mr Arndt said.

“We said our goodbyes but it just missed us.

"It was so close we could have touched it.”

The couple, who have been married 36 years, were in the flood water for about three hours.

“When I saw the helicopter chap, it looked like an angel of mercy dropping out of heaven,” Mrs Arndt said.

“I was so glad to see him ... I thought we were going to die.

“We’re just lucky to be here, against all odds.”

Mr and Mrs Arndt have spent the past three nights at Peppers Salt Resort and Spa.

Thanks to donations from several Salt businesses, organisers Noni Yates from Salt and Linda Pennalligen from Casuarina, arranged for the couple to be pampered with massages and facials, breakfasts and dinners and more.

“This was absolutely beyond our expectations and we owe it to the generosity of the Kingscliff community,” Mrs Arndt said.

“I feel like a movie star ... I’d never had a massage before.”

Ms Pennalligen met the Arndts while volunteering in Grantham.

“I went up a week after it happened with a carload of stuff,” she said.

Ms Pennalligen said she could see that the couple needed a break and the two women are now organising similar pampering deals for nine other families in the area.

“We’re hoping other businesses will come forward for the other families,” Mrs Yates said.

The Arndts, both retired timber contractors, are returning to their temporary demountable home in Grantham today.

“We have to demolish our house,” Mr Arndt said.

“We lost everything.

“The worst part is the insurance company doesn’t want to pay.”

For safety reasons, the couple have not been allowed to return to their property and are unsure if they will be allowed to build again.

 

Heartbreaking

  • About 10% of Grantham’s 300-plus community died or are missing


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