Rosemary Addis’ native garden drowned in a torrent of floodwater and her laundry was also destroyed.
Rosemary Addis’ native garden drowned in a torrent of floodwater and her laundry was also destroyed. Mike Nolan

Victims count the cost as they wait for help

AS the swollen Condamine waters seep back into the river the clean-up has begun and, though the first phone call for a flooded property owner is usually to their insurance broker, some of Warwick's residents and business owners have been left waiting.

Ryanie for Tyres owners Sharon and Brendan Ryan had been told they won't be seeing an assessor any time soon.

"We had 33cm of water through the business and to date our insurer hasn't sent out an assessor," Mrs Ryan said.

"We called the broker and they said that Bundaberg has taken priority and they sent all their assessors north."

Instead Mrs Ryan has been asked to take her own photos, track how much she spends then fill out a paper assessment.

While the process has been somewhat haphazard Mrs Ryan said she was happy she had changed insurers before the flood.

"During the 2010 and 2011 floods we were insured for business interruption through Elders but because we didn't have flood insurance Elders didn't cover us for the trade we lost during the floods."

Mrs Ryan said it was that loss of trade that caused the most heartache.

"We'd only just got back on top of the bills before this latest flood hit. It just wrecks you emotionally."

Further along the river on the corner of East and Fitzroy Sts, home owners Glen and Maree Cowell have just finished cleaning up.

When the river peaked at 7.45m, about six inches of water went through their home but not before they mustered an army of volunteers to empty their home of furniture

Ferreting their goods and chattels to higher ground has helped to reduce this year's damage bill and Glen said the only thing they needed to replace was the carpet.

"We've been on the phone to our insurers QBE and they said they'll have (an assessor) out in the next few days."

Despite losing almost all their household possessions in 2010 Mr Cowell said their premiums have only slightly increased.

"The premiums are not that big of a deal; I'm not whinging or complaining because when you live by the river you just have to accept this kind of thing."

Down on the soggy end of Pratten St, Rosemary Addis' home narrowly escaped a soaking when the river peaked an inch below her floorboards but while her main house is dry her laundry and garden have been all but wiped out.

"Most of my native plants have died, natives don't like too much water so the flooding didn't help them at all," she said.

After the 2010 and 2011 floods her insurer paid for her house to be cleaned and fixed but they didn't offer enough to have it raised.

"It seems a little bit silly; if they had have paid for it to be raised the first time they wouldn't need to pay for a second clean-up," she said.

What has your experience with your insurer been like after the flood? Call us on 4660 1364.



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