Cody Bartz and Paul Fox show where the water came up to in the 2013 January floods at the Killarney Autoworks
Cody Bartz and Paul Fox show where the water came up to in the 2013 January floods at the Killarney Autoworks Georja Ryan

Killarney rises from the mud of January floods

BEING inundated, cleaning up and dealing with the damage bill of the January floods is not something business owners in the main street of Killarney will ever forget.

But for the past nine months some have been busy doing everything they can do reduce the impact of another flood.

Killarney Newsagency owner Kay Hancock has owned and operated the business for the past 16 years.

She has been through her fair share of floods, but this year's was the worse she had ever seen.

"There was so much damage," Ms Hancock said.

"We could not get rid of the smell."

So this time around, instead of just cleaning out the mud, Ms Hancock re-fitted the store.

"We have tiled the floors, fitted stainless steel legs under the shelves and added removal skirting boards around the shelves, so it was easier to clean," she said

"We have put extensions at the other end of the shop and raised the back part up above the flood level."

The flood scene outside the Killarney Polocrosse Club grounds in January.
The flood scene outside the Killarney Polocrosse Club grounds in January. Contributed

Ms Hancock said she had been covered by insurance but that she still had to pay a fair bit of money for the alterations.

"We had to pay the difference between carpet and tiles, the extensions and the steel legs," she said.

"We did pay a lot of money to be insured.

"But it was worth it in the long run."

A little way down the street the owner/manager of Killarney Autoworks, Paul Fox, is also just getting back on his feet.

"We have had three floods in the four years since we have been here," Mr Fox said.

"All three times we had just finished getting the place looking good when it flooded again."

Last January 115cm of water, mixed with mud, logs and an array of debris, filled up his office and workshop.

"It is hard work cleaning it up," Mr Fox said.

"The first two times we were really enthusiastic but it was harder the third and fourth time."

The Killarney-Warwick Rd during the January floods.
The Killarney-Warwick Rd during the January floods. John Gass

The wooden shelving in the office was destroyed along with the carpet and several of the fuel bowsers out the front of the shop.

"We were lucky that we had insurance," Mr Fox said.

"We have switched to steel shelves and moved them higher up the walls."

Mr Fox said a bobcat was needed to lift the mud out of the workshop.

When it comes to the workshop Mr Fox said there was only so many places they could store things.

"We have a lot of stuff stored within the flood level," he said.

"We have to move it all into a trailer which then gets lifted up on the hoists."

Mr Fox said it was a long task lifting all the items in the workshop, but said they were well aware of when a flood was coming.

"If we are in town we know it is going to flood," he said.

"But the money they are spending to improve the warning systems is important for future generations who don't have the contacts or as much experience with floods."

The mechanic said he was limited to what he could do in terms of flood-proofing his business.



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