PILING HIGH: Alan Olsen adds to the mountain of unsaleable stock at Olsens Home, Timber and Hardware after the 2010 floods.
PILING HIGH: Alan Olsen adds to the mountain of unsaleable stock at Olsens Home, Timber and Hardware after the 2010 floods. Eloise Handley

Businesses speak out over floods

BUSINESS owners have spoken out about how it was up to them to bounce back after Warwick’s floods.

“It’s just hitting back at what life throws at you,” Helen Harm of Helen Harm Real Estate said.

“You’d be shocked at the number of people thinking it’s council’s job to help out.”

The Fitzroy St business owner said it was the community that got her and her business back on its feet.

“The help came mostly from friends and clients, as well as tradies,” she said.

Chamber of Commerce President Lewis von Stieglitz said it was impressive the way businesses pulled them- selves back to their feet.

“It was quite interesting that business stopped dead in its tracks during the floods,” Mr von Stieglitz said.

“And it was pretty impressive the way people bounced back.

“The majority just simply cleaned up and restocked and off they went again.”

Alan Olsen of Olsen’s Home Timber and Hardware, experienced extensive damage to his Fitzroy St store.

“We got flooded through the store three times,” he said.

“Our issue was before the flood, we weren’t given much warning, so we rushed around like crazy.”

Mr Olsen said more notice certainly would have saved parts of his and others’ businesses.

“When they know it’s actually happening, we only get a few hours notice,” he said.

Mr Olsen questioned what the council and government were doing now to help safeguard the town’s businesses from future disaster damage.

“Half of it is stopping it happening,” Mr Olsen said.

“They say taking the rails off the bridge could save waters rising 400 or 600ml.

“You might think that’s not much, but it would have saved us from flooding two out of three times.”

Helen Harm said she now has a safety plan in place for when future disasters strike.

“I’ve got a plan of attack and know what my priorities are,” she said.

“We pack up a few hours before floods are due to hit, we wait for the waters to peak, we go back in the morning, clean up, then move back in.”

Mr Olsen said half the issue was education.

“People in the area probably don’t know what to do when a flood is coming,” Mr Olsen said.

“They went through all the process of advising people, but things change, people forget and there’s different people that move in to towns.

“It’s not easy because it might not happen again in another 20 years. But then again, it might.”



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