Stress takes toll on Dixie’s health

Floodwater surrounded Dixie Gibson’s low-set Canning St home early Monday morning.
Floodwater surrounded Dixie Gibson’s low-set Canning St home early Monday morning. Erin Smith

THE foreboding knock on the door at 1am Monday was all too familiar for Dixie Gibson and signalled yet another devastating flood was approaching his home.

The Canning St resident had spent the past two years restoring his home after the Condamine River attempted to swallow it in the 2010 and 2011 floods.

He was out of his house for months as the building was gutted to restore it to its pre-flood condition.

Despite the hardship, the 76 year old put the floods behind him and turned his house back into a home.

But this week he endured a cruel case of deja vu, as he watched his residence disappear under floodwaters for the third time in two years.

His son-in-law Norm Self and granddaughter Sam Self, have rallied around Mr Gibson to help get life back to normal.

"He was only just getting back on his feet after the last time," Mr Self said.

"He lost his wife six months before the last floods, so has had a hard time," Mr Self said.

Seeing his home damaged and covered in stinking mud also impacted Mr Gibson's health.

"He sat down and saw the floods on the news and that's what I think brought on the turn and he had to be taken to hospital," Mr Self said.

The battler has since been released from hospital and is staying with family while his house is cleaned up again.

Mr Self said his father-in-law was under strict instructions not to help with the clean-up.

Instead, family members have pitched in.

Ruined carpet has been torn up and the destroyed goods thrown away but the work ahead is no mean feat and Miss Self said it could take some time before her grandfather was able to return.

"Last time it took about eight months before he was home," she said.

"The mud is the worst part of the clean-up because it is so thick and sticks to everything."

Fortunately, Mr Gibson has insurance through APIA.

Topics:  condamine river, flooding, floods, warwick



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