$15m clean up but rising water brings flood of generosity

AUSTRALIA DAY 2019

Victoria Stone-Meadows

Journalist

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BIG WET: Train tracks were underwater during the Australia Day floods in Douglas Shire. Image: Ian Arcus.
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Record flooding and monsoonal rainfall across Douglas Shire is expected to run a damage bill up to $15 million and keep council workers very busy for the next 12 months.

The Daintree River reached its highest flood level in 118 years and more than 2.5 metres has been recorded at Whyanbeel Valley, north of Port Douglas, since the start of the wet season.

During the deluge, one Daintree resident lost everything when their home was inundated with floodwaters from the burst Daintree River.

Enrico Frattin was left without any furniture, white goods, and most of his personal effects when the floodwaters filled his house on Australia Day.


Related Coverage: 
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WHY THE DOUGLAS AND DAINTREE REGIONS ARE MORE FLOOD RESISTANT THAN OTHER AREAS
FLOOD ASSISTANCE GRANTS AVAILABLE FOR FAMILIES AND INDIVIDUALS


After reaching out the community for assistance, Mr Frattin and his young daughter are back on their feet and recovering from the ordeal.

Mr Frattin’s mother, Manuela Simeoni, the said support form the community was overwhelming.

“My son has now put things back in the house and the gofundme campaign was very good as people gave about $2600 for the recovery,” she said.

“It was so good for the entire community to come to help him like that and he even has a bed, couch, and table and chairs that were donated from local people.”

Ms Simeoni said she wished she could individually thank everyone who helped her son.

“Thank you to everybody; all the people that gave us help, it has meant the world to my family.”

Road and other public repair works have been in full swing around The Shire with high priority placed on busy roads such as the Alexandra Range.

Douglas Shire Mayor Julia Leu said some of the repair projects had been fast-tracked to minimise the impact on tourism in the region. 

“This recovery work will double our workload and put pressure on our civil crews,” she said.

“It is important for everyone to be patient and understand that it may be some time before smaller repairs are completed.

“We have been all hands on deck for some time now to minimise inconvenience and our crews are striving to restore our region for the busy season.”

Douglas Shire Council will be hosting community check-ins at Degarra on Monday 11 March and Daintree Village on Tuesday 12 March to connect with communities and assess flood recovery works.



 

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