Firefighters join flood clean-up
RURAL Fire Service Group captain Mark Eglington has been to houses that burnt to the ground, but he said seeing them completely gutted by water was an eye-opener.
Mr Eglington and 27 other rural firefighters from the Far North Coast spent fives days in Brisbane lending a hand in the massive clean-up.
“You see it on TV but you don't realise the full extent of it until you get down and really see it,” the strike team co-ordinator said. “It really opened my eyes.
“There were two-storey houses that have gone completely under water.
“The mud is still eight inches thick and it just stinks.”
Mr Eglington said a lot of houses were totally gutted.
“I don't know what they're going to do with the rubbish; there was just piles and piles of it.”
The team spent most of its time in the Milton area removing furniture and anything damaged from homes and businesses and hosing them down.
Mr Eglington said they also hosed mud off roads and pumped water out of swimming pools and generally helping out wherever they were needed.
“The people who weren't affected were unbelievable.
“They just kept the food coming.”
Community spirit was at its best, Mr Eglington said.
“The way the community is working and pulling together is just great.
“Even Fourex turned up yesterday afternoon and helped us out with a donation.”
Mr Eglington said he was proud of his team.
“The crews were there to do a job and they did it. They just got stuck in, no arguments, no questions.”
The firefighters spent their nights at Sleeman Sports Complex.
“I think everyone was pretty worn out,” Mr Eglington said.
“Getting up at 6am and not getting home 'til 6.30 or 7 that night. They were busy days and very hot. I think yesterday was 41 degrees.”