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Flood damage high in Central Burnett region

 Damage on a property in Gayndah, after the January floods. Photo: Central Burnett Uniting Churches

The morning of Australia Day saw the people of North Burnett enjoying gentle soaking rain.

By evening it was constant, heavy rain with the rivers and streams becoming a destructive force which was totally unexpected.

Sunday morning worship services in Mundubbera and Gayndah were cancelled and it was "all hands on deck" to evacuate over 100 homes and businesses in each town – not to mention people living all along the river who were watching the water rise beyond their imagining. Helicopters flew constantly back and forth rescuing people from flooded properties all Sunday and Monday.

Orchards were decimated, livestock washed down river, buildings destroyed and lives shattered – many for the second time in two years.

Most were still recovering from the flood in 2010/11 and are now wondering if they will ever begin again.

Members of the congregations were immediately in action, assisting with evacuations, working in emergency services, taking frightened evacuees into their homes and just being there when needed. Both motels and both caravan parks went under which left little alternative accommodation.

When the waters went down, members who were able got into the clean-up and worked from sun up 'til sun down.

Mundubbera congregation went on roster with three other churches in town to prepare evening meals for evacuees, emergency services, and volunteers.

There was no power or phone contact for several days and food that could not be used had to be dumped. The catering continued for two weeks until accommodation was brought into town for those who now had nowhere to go.

We give thanks for Noel and Lyn Park who arrived to give support and encouragement.

Since the word for assistance went out, folk from several other Uniting Churches have volunteered time to assist with the on-going clean up, particularly on properties. It took one man 1½ hours to take rubbish out of one tree. The task is huge.

Anyone who has a day or two, or even more, is welcome to join us as we try to get these communities up and running again.

Blaze Aid is moving in and will organise anyone who can volunteer.

Gifts of money are always welcome so that the local economy can begin to move again.

It is so important to know that the church is praying for us through this.

Photo : Damage on a property in Gayndah, after the January floods. Photo: Central Burnett Uniting Churches