Brave faces breaking down behind closed doors in Gympie
EMOTIONS were running high as floodwater levels slowly started to fall yesterday from the Mary River's peak of 18.44m.
While news crews captured images of resilience as the clean up got underway, brave faces put on in public were breaking down behind closed doors.
Many flood-affected business owners could only shake their heads.
When asked what they were going to do, "I don't know" was the overwhelming response, with more rain predicted weighing heavily on their minds.
"It's not a good day today," Melissa Morley of Poolscene said, echoing the words of Cooloola Paint & Panel's Kane Kelso. The January flood cost his auto business $80,000.
Both businesses have copped their third major flood in a little over two years and their second in a month.
And with heavy rain forecast to return by the end of the week, the big question playing on their minds was whether to move back in or stay closed to see what the weather does, but each day out of operation is costing thousands.
Despite being forced to evacuate from their River Rd premises five times in three years - including once when the flood didn't get into the building - Nick and Gemma Green of PC Place remained optimistic yesterday.
"What can you do?" Gemma said.
"We'll just keep doing the same as we have the last five times. Get in, clean up and set up again."
The pair has their business's evacuation plan down pat.
After five goes they have established a strong flood support network.
"We've got a good bunch of people behind us, we couldn't do it without them," Nick said.
"This one was easier as we are more organised now. Everything is packed in plastic storage containers with the labels still on them."
Nick said one of the most disappointing factors about the flood was utility companies creating extra headaches for local businesses.
Telstra forwarded PC Place's fax number to their mobile phone and Energex cut power to businesses not affected by floodwater.
The Green's concern extended to Mary St retail businesses, which had been struggling before the weather caused even more loss of business a month ago. Several had not returned to their stores since the last flood.
"If we lose three businesses every flood Mary St is going to be empty," Gemma said.
"It would be a shame; Gympie is a great town."
The Greens plan to remain at the River Rd location "come hell or high water".
"It's too good a location. It's a good area, close to Mary St with high visibility and plenty of parking available."