FLOODED WITH SUPPORT: SES comes to aid of western neighbour
SOUTHERN Downs State and Emergency Service members braved wild flooding in the ultimate show of volunteer solidarity when they joined ranks with their western neighbours last week.
Five members from the Southern Downs region helped conduct floatboat operations and property removal after flash-flooding in the Dalby, Jandowae and Condamine regions left Western Downs volunteers exhausted, according to volunteer Kris Duncan.
"They had been working seven days straight and were at their end by the time we came," he said.
Mr Duncan said he and other members didn't hesitate to help when they got the call.
"It's the same as with the floods that came through Warwick," he said.
"Everyone is struggling for members at the moment. We know what it's like and if we can help relieve then we will.
"It's what we sign up for, it's the fabric of what SES volunteers are."
After a year of drought and fires, the large-scale devastation had left many, including Mr Duncan, speechless at times.
"You speak to the locals - they went from bone-dry paddocks to over a metre of water," he said.
"It really was an eye-opening experience.
"A lot of them had been fighting fires in the last 12 months, so it was definitely going from one extreme to the next."
While many had been alerted by SES to move their property to higher ground, there were inevitable cases where residents had lost everything.
"There were some places where everything people have got was affected and a lot of these towns are small communities with low-set houses," he said.
In light of the heartache, Mr Duncan applauded the skills of the Western Downs SES.
"The big thing that came out of it was the major work the SES there were doing to be proactive and say there's a risk of this happening," he said.
"I feel for the guys going in there. If you were to tell residents there was a potential for a flood they would probably look at you, laugh and go 'are you serious?'"