East St residents Daphne and Lance Porter with flooding engineer Samantha Watt at the meeting.
East St residents Daphne and Lance Porter with flooding engineer Samantha Watt at the meeting. Gerard Walsh

Property flood risks elude buyers

DAPHNE Porter reckons real estate agents should be required to inform prospective buyers if a house is in a flood area.

She and her husband moved from the Gold Coast to Warwick eight years ago for the sake of her husband's health.

They bought a house in East St, five houses up the hill from Fitzroy St on the river side.

“We found out three years later that the house was flooded in 1976,” Mrs Porter said.

“We were very new to the area and it was the first house we had bought.

“The real estate agent should tell you the house is in a flood area.”

Last December, floodwater was 10cm under the floorboards of their timber home and 60cm in the house in January.

She said they had no warning of the first flood but were warned on the Friday and Sunday about the second flood.

“An SMS warning system would be great,” she said.

“The first flood just came like a tide. We realised we were in trouble when it started coming through the back fence.”

They saved a lot of their personal items as the woman next door allowed them to load valuables onto the back of a semi-trailer.

After 35 years away from home, Mrs Porter said she and husband Lance had moved back to her mother's for the past five months as they waited for their house to be rebuilt.

“The biggest delay was with the insurance company builder who took two months to put a quote in,” she said.

“Our insurer – Suncorp – has been very good. The builders started two weeks ago.”

After experiencing two floods in the space of a fortnight, Mrs Porter is not sure what they would do in the long term.

“It will cost $30,000 to raise the house and we would have to move it back a metre more from the road due to the high voltage power line,” she said.

While there is a lot of criticism of flood relief fund distribution, the Porters have no complaints.

“We got $2000 each soon after the flood from the Queensland Flood Appeal which helped with our bills, which kept coming, and have just been paid another $15,000,” Mr Porter said.

“We are not entitled to any more as we're insured.”

A year after moving to Warwick, Mr Porter had a single lung transplant after getting away from the smog of the Gold Coast, which had him in hospital once a fortnight.

Mrs Porter said she was grateful for everyone who cleaned up afterwards.

“Three people came to help clean out the house and then Jo McNally asked if there was anything she could do. I said my yard needs cleaning. I didn't realise at the time she was a councillor.”



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