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Gas restored to flood-ravaged Bundaberg residents

By Alyse Edwards, Friday February 22, 2013 - 11:24 EDT

Businesses in Bundaberg in southern Queensland should have full gas supply back from today, after pipes were damaged more than three weeks ago in the floods.

Des Petherick, from gas distributor Envestra, says engineers and contractors have been working around the clock to restore gas to around 550 homes and 400 commercial properties.

He says considering the extent of the damage, repairs have happened very quickly.

"We haven't had any of our pipelines in the past ruptured in this particular nature," he said.

"Emergency crews have worked in very ordinary conditions and long hours.

"We have installed a 500-metre pipe under a very large river in record time.

"These sort of projects would normally run into months and our emergency crews been able to do this in the space of three weeks."

He has thanked residents for their patience.

"I'm sure for the people in the region this is just one small step in recovering from what was obviously a very terrible situation for them," he said.

"Envestra would like to thank them for their understanding throughout the period.

"It's been a major engineering exercise for us to get the gas supply restored as quickly as we have."

Farewell parade

Meanwhile, around 40 Queensland Fire and Rescue Service (QFRS) personnel will leave Bundaberg today, after spending more than three weeks helping the flood-hit city.

At the height of the disaster, more than 700 QFRS workers were deployed to the city, pitching in an estimated 25,000 hours of flood recovery work.

Bundaberg MP Jack Dempsey says residents can say thank you at a farewell parade at Salter Oval today.

"It's time now for other avenues of the community to step up, but it's been great having them here," he said.

"The initial response was the swift water rescue - saving lives and then went into the property side of it.

"Now obviously we're into the restructure side of it now, but they had to do over 4,000 rapid damage assessments.

"We've got to make sure we have an opportunity to say goodbye."


© ABC 2013

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