Local Bungadoo residents that lost property during the 2010/11 floods were happy to find their pool on New’s Years Eve after it had floated away in flood waters and became lodged on a bank downstream. With the help of friends and neighbours, the freestanding poly pool was towed back home. Jai Sweatman in pool, was towed by Jim Winn, father Darren and Troy Cadman (both on kayaks) Photo: Contribute
Local Bungadoo residents that lost property during the 2010/11 floods were happy to find their pool on New’s Years Eve after it had floated away in flood waters and became lodged on a bank downstream. With the help of friends and neighbours, the freestanding poly pool was towed back home. Jai Sweatman in pool, was towed by Jim Winn, father Darren and Troy Cadman (both on kayaks) Photo: Contribute

PICTURES: Remembering 2010/11 floods a decade on

OFTEN overshadowed by the horror events of 2013, the 2010/11 Bundaberg floods were the worst in 40 years, ripping through homes, businesses and bringing about a temporary closure of the port.

The days of December 28-29 saw the worst of the flooding event.

Hundreds of homes were evacuated in the event, sparking fears of looting.

Water St's Simon Jackson, who had been ferrying people from their inundated homes, told the NewsMail he was exhausted, hadn't slept and feared looters would visit empty homes.

 

Greg Wixon found some unwanted visitors at the Jim Quaite Hockey Grounds once the floodwaters started to subside. Photo: Max Fleet/NewsMail
Greg Wixon found some unwanted visitors at the Jim Quaite Hockey Grounds once the floodwaters started to subside. Photo: Max Fleet/NewsMail

 

"I rang police about it because there were people going from house to house," he said.

He said he saw people dressed in black, in the early hours of the morning, and followed them down the street.

"They said, 'someone's still here', and ran away."

Some residents, such as Steve Ostrofski, refused to leave his highset home despite water filling the ground level.

"Both the front and back door have swollen so we can't close them - so we're not going anywhere," he told the NewsMail.

 

Kim Nilsen, David Nilsen and Ms Jipzy outside Kim's partially flooded home with the red roof in Maryborough Street. Photo: Mike Knott/NewsMail
Kim Nilsen, David Nilsen and Ms Jipzy outside Kim's partially flooded home with the red roof in Maryborough Street. Photo: Mike Knott/NewsMail

 

Kim Nilsen said she was also afraid of looters, so she was camping out in her car with a keen eye on her home.

But she said she's also seen people on their very best behaviour.

"When I was moving stuff around the house, a woman I have never met saw us and came and helped us put everything up high," she said.

"After a man found out what happened to my house, he insisted on giving me $20 for breakfast."

 

Penny Turner of Fagg Street has a huge clean up ahead of her after floodwaters inundated her home. Photo: Max Fleet/NewsMail
Penny Turner of Fagg Street has a huge clean up ahead of her after floodwaters inundated her home. Photo: Max Fleet/NewsMail

 

Police stated at the time that there had been no reports of looting made to police, but increased patrols had been put in place.

There was certainly a great deal of goodwill shown.

 

Debris floating in floodwaters came in all shapes and sizes. Photo: Sharon Beath
Debris floating in floodwaters came in all shapes and sizes. Photo: Sharon Beath

 

John Schlott and Ian Willett both risked their lives to help secure vessels along the flooded Burnett River and were awarded a Group Citation for Bravery.

Mr Willett said the memories of the 2010 flood were still vivid two years on but he was humbled by the award.

 

Barolin Street was almost unrecognisable. Photo: Max Fleet/NewsMail
Barolin Street was almost unrecognisable. Photo: Max Fleet/NewsMail

 

"It was very scary at the time," he said.

"But there were more people than me helping during the floods."

By December 30, then group chairman police superintendent Rowan Bond said 380 homes had been affected by floodwaters.

 

Barolin Street under water. Photo: Max Fleet/NewsMail
Barolin Street under water. Photo: Max Fleet/NewsMail

Businesses also faced a struggle, with many CBD, north and east Bundaberg shops affected.

By the first week of January 2011, about 180 business owners packed a flood recovery meeting at the civic centre.

 

Cooper's Home Hardware owner Steve Cooper.
Cooper's Home Hardware owner Steve Cooper.

Current councillor Steve Cooper, who then owned Coopers Home Hardware which was inundated, said he had received support from all over the world.

He told the meeting he'd had calls from people in Asia, New Zealand, the UK and Sweden.

 

Andrew and Sean Healey wait out the Bundaberg floods of their Water Street home. Photo: Max Fleet/NewsMail
Andrew and Sean Healey wait out the Bundaberg floods of their Water Street home. Photo: Max Fleet/NewsMail

 

Mr Cooper said all his stock had been written off, and all the fixtures in his shop would have to be replaced.

"It comes to $1 million," he said.

 

Bundaberg Chainsaw and Lawnmower Service owner Keith Iseppi has a chat with Dion Taylor who is informing businesses about the types of government funding available to victims of the 2010 flood. Photo: Max Fleet/NewsMail
Bundaberg Chainsaw and Lawnmower Service owner Keith Iseppi has a chat with Dion Taylor who is informing businesses about the types of government funding available to victims of the 2010 flood. Photo: Max Fleet/NewsMail

The aftermath of the floods saw heavy criticism regarding flood plans and town planning.

In March 2011, Millbank man Rod Savidge said he'd viewed the floodwaters on December 29 by helicopter when they were at their peak.

 

George Street residents banded together to help each other salvage personal items from their flooded homes. Photo: Max Fleet/NewsMail
George Street residents banded together to help each other salvage personal items from their flooded homes. Photo: Max Fleet/NewsMail

 

The retired sugar farmer criticised flood mapping that had been released in February, saying it didn't align with what he saw from the air.

Authorities at the time said they welcomed public feedback to help improve flood mapping.

 

The Floods Commission of Inquiry opening statements. Photo: Mike Knott/NewsMail
The Floods Commission of Inquiry opening statements. Photo: Mike Knott/NewsMail

 

In October 2011, a Queensland Floods Commission of Inquiry heard from four locals who shared their frustration over drainage issues.

Bundaberg locals breathed a sigh of relief when recovery efforts started to kick in, but for some, they wouldn't even have a chance to finalise renovations to their homes and businesses before the record flood of 2013.

 

Targo Street businesses as floodwaters begin to rise. Photo: Max Fleet/NewsMail
Targo Street businesses as floodwaters begin to rise. Photo: Max Fleet/NewsMail

 

The one light in the darkness of both events was the community spirit, with many coming together to share help, shelter, food and manpower.

The 2010/11 floods were caused by heavy rain from tropical cyclone Tasha that joined with a trough during a La Niña event.

 

Barolin Streets. Photo: Max Fleet/NewsMail
Barolin Streets. Photo: Max Fleet/NewsMail


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