DISASTER ZONE: Nigel and Linda Grams in front of their refurbished home, which has lost about half its value since the flood.
DISASTER ZONE: Nigel and Linda Grams in front of their refurbished home, which has lost about half its value since the flood. Rob Williams

Memories of flood nightmare remain as Grams rebuild lives

IT'S been three years since the devastating 2011 floods destroyed Nigel and Linda Grams' North Booval home.

The house, which was engulfed in water, has since been rebuilt and refurnished.

In fact, it's now hard to imagine that it was ever flood-damaged at all.

But memories of the disaster remain fresh in the minds of the couple who say they still live in dread each time it rains heavily.

Mrs Grams said it had taken 11 months to get the house back in livable condition after the flood.

She said the repair bills had reached the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

"The whole house had to be fixed; all the furniture was destroyed and the floors had to be replaced," she said.

"And we've had some problems with the repairs since - the house is still moving because there are big cracks in the walls and tiles.

"Our neighbours had to have their house re-levelled."

Mrs Grams considers her family to be one of the lucky ones - their insurance covered their loss.

But if their house was ever inundated again, the mother of one said she wouldn't have the strength to go through the ordeal for a second time.

The Grams in front of their home in the wake of the 2011 floods.
The Grams in front of their home in the wake of the 2011 floods. David Nielsen

"I wouldn't want to live through that again," she said.

"If our house flooded like that again, I wouldn't come back to it.

"The event was a nightmare - such a physically and emotionally exhausting experience.

"Each time we get a lot of rain now, I think 'oh God - please not again'."

Mrs Grams said her insurance premiums had doubled since the flood, while home values in the area had dropped just as significantly.

"We had an appraisal done last year and the home had fallen in value by about half compared to when we had it appraised before the flood," she said.

"So we've lost a fair amount on it.

We'd like to move out of the flood zone but we're still here because we can't sell it at that price."

The 2011 floods forced the evacuation of thousands of people across southern Queensland. With more than 200,000 people affected statewide, the economic damage from the flood was estimated at $2.38 billion.

The Grams in front of their home in the wake of the 2011 floods.
The Grams in front of their home in the wake of the 2011 floods. Sarah Harvey


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