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Bundaberg church falls victim to rising waters

Flood waters inundated Bundaberg Uniting Church. Photo: Ray Nutley

Gradually, all of the church, halls and storerooms were inundated with flood water. In 80 years, this has never happened.

With 1.5 m of water in the storage shed, fridges, freezers, tents, canoes and thousands of sundry items were all wet and muddy.

Most had to be dumped.

Sterling Centre was swamped: carpet, furniture, Sunday School resources and items from other organisations destroyed.

McNaught hall, with 60 cm water, lost kitchen and catering facilities.

The grand church building had 60 cm of putrid flood water inside.

As the water rose, many helped retrieve as much as could possibly be carried to an upper level: chairs, crockery, pews, pianos, library books, electronics, files, musical instruments, pulpit and so on.

The water did not stay long and the wonderful church family banded together to clean the mess.

To see new fridges, freezers, pews, carpet and older pianos and equipment being dumped was heartbreaking.

But, with God's help, we will find a new beginning as we piece the remnants back together.

This has been a harrowing experience, and at the same time a wonderful, unifying period of fellowship.

Residents of Bargara, Burnett Heads, North Avoca, East Avoca and the wider community were flooded and lost power for many days.

That is if their house wasn't washed away! Many of our church family, and even those who are in need themselves, have helped clean, house and counsel, especially for the elderly who have lost everything.

Margaret (91 years and a bit) needed to leave her flooded house that had previously not gone under.

The man who came in a boat to the rescue was once a little boy taken to Sunday School by Margaret over 30 years ago.

Our brothers and sisters in the Uniting Church can support our renewal with prayers for our recovery.

Be aware that people in the Bundaberg area will be many months, years even, in recovery.

"Together, the possibilities are endless" are the words from a church banner, hanging proudly, as we move on.

Photo : Flood waters inundated Bundaberg Uniting Church. Photo: Ray Nutley