Student nurse Ellen Carr can’t leave the town where she is carrying out training.
Student nurse Ellen Carr can’t leave the town where she is carrying out training.

No way out, but she's OK

SHE’S endured the isolation of Augathella, the sadness of a Cambodian orphanage and now Warwick girl Ellen Carr can add battling western Queensland floodwaters to her resume.

The 21-year-old university student started six weeks of practical nursing experience in the border township of St George on Monday.

Yesterday she was watching the waters of the Balonne River rise from her nurses’ quarters room in what locals fear could be the biggest flood in more than a century.

“I was one of the last people through on Monday night before they closed the roads,” Ms Carr said.

“Now we’re completely cut off, but there hasn’t been any floodwater through the town yet, although some places have been evacuated.”

The former Assumption College student had a hands-on role helping the elderly leave the town’s low-lying nursing home this week.

But aside from grocery shortages – there is a two-day wait for bread and milk is near impossible to buy – Ms Carr said St George had yet to feel the brunt of the deluge that inundated Roma and Charleville to the west.

“Cooking has required a bit of creativity because groceries are running low,” she admitted.

“Otherwise though people have had quite a lot of warning and there has been time to evacuate and move things to higher ground.”

The hospital was built on one of the town’s highest points but Ms Carr said the nurses’ quarters were pretty much on the banks of the Balonne.

“I can see the water rising from here, but it has three metres to go before we move,” she explained.

Her only real concern: Road closures means she won’t make it to a friend’s 21st in Toowoomba tonight.

“I have the weekend off but I’m around if they need me,” Ms Carr said.

Meanwhile the experience has done nothing to deter her from planning a rural posting after she completes her degree this November.

“I love rural places: Out here there is a real sense of community.”

At her family’s Warwick home yesterday, mum Sally was confident of her daughter’s resilience in any setting.

“We’ve have been in regular contact and her grandparents live in the town too, so we’re feeling OK,” Mrs Carr said.

St George is, after all, significantly closer than her previous prac: A month-long stay in Cambodia in January.

Read about the big wet across Queensland ...

Thousands left homeless by Qld floods

Flooding rains to boost Qld economy

SES crews help flood-ravaged towns

Rivers rage as big wet continues

Floodwaters surge down river

Dawson flood threatens Theodore

Weather puts clean-up on hold

Records fall as rain continues

Weekend showers continue

View Queensland weather warnings from the Bureau of Meteorology.

To keep up to date with the latest road closures across Queensland, visit www.131940.qld.gov.au.



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