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Rebuilding community, again

Laidley Uniting Church members help rebuild the community after flooding. Photo: Euan McDonald

Exactly two years, two months and two days after the terrible floods of January 2011, the people of Laidley, west of Brisbane, were inundated once again.

But while the flood waters swept away so much, they couldn't take the community's spirit.

Laidley Uniting Church minister Euan McDonald reflects on the months that followed.

Our church still has many reminders of the floods, but with faith in God's help and goodness, and reaching out to neighbours in the community, we are looking forward to a better future.

The community spirit in this town was terrific.

Despite the terrible situation and loss experienced by so many, a great community spirit came to the fore.

Strangers, young and old, turned up to offer a hand, not just for one day but day after day.

Contractors gave their time day after day without charge to shift the mud and debris.

The local fire brigade was boosted by fire crews and trucks from many of the surrounding areas to hose out houses and buildings that had dirty silt and debris in them.

Our church gave out flood packs which consisted of a bucket full of goodies including rubber gloves, chocolates, vouchers and water bottles.

Groups donated goods and clothes and our church has also received various amounts of money for distribution and we are still helping people.

There will be long-term effects with property values decreasing, insurance premiums skyrocketing, and the effects of depression due to long waits for repairs.

Some residents in the area have even taken up the offer of a land swap to the high ground developed at Grantham after the devastation of the 2011 floods.

Moving to a new area without the support of friends and neighbours may be a short-term fix and possibly lead to other social problems.

Rev Euan McDonald, Laidley Uniting Church.

Photo : Laidley Uniting Church members help rebuild the community after flooding. Photo: Euan McDonald