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North Bundaberg homes remain a no-go zone

By Elyse Edwards and William Rollo, Tuesday February 5, 2013 - 09:28 EDT
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Volunteers are still needed to help with the clean-up in North Bundaberg. - ABC

An exclusion zone will remain in place tonight for people who live in North Bundaberg.

The Bundaberg Regional Council says residents should not move back until gas, electricity, water and sewerage treatment plants are back up and running.

Deputy Mayor David Batt says crews are assessing the damage at night and are working to fix the area as soon as possible.

"There is no power in there - at the moment it's dark, it's pretty dangerous still," he said.

"There are lots of areas that people can injure themselves and people are in there working on the roads and electricity and water during the night time.

"We have some water back in there now - if they need to use it to drink it they need to boil it first, but we'd prefer no traffic and people through there just so we can get that job done."

Seventy-five new State Emergency Service workers arrived in North Bundaberg on Sunday to help clean up flood devastated areas.

The Australian Army will also stay until it is longer needed.

Councillor Batt says the emergency workers have prevented deaths in the floods.

"We wouldn't have got through this without all the assistance we've had," he said.

"It's been fantastic, the Army, the Black Hawk helicopters came and if those guys weren't here last Monday I don't believe we would have had a fatality-free day that day," he said.

"So it was just worked well that they were on their way to give us assistance when everything started happening very quickly."

Volunteers needed

The council says it still needs volunteers to help with the North Bundaberg clean-up.

Buses will be running from the Bundaberg Racecourse every hour from 7:30am (AEST) today, to take registered volunteers to help in flood affected areas.

More than 1,300 registered volunteers helped out over the weekend but Cr Batt says the clean-up still has a long way to go.

"If everyone gets into it, we still get a few hundred people in there, I think with the Army's help as well we should get a fair way through it by the end of today," he said.

"I know a lot of people have had their livelihoods taken away from them - their homes, their property but the vibe here in town is fantastic.

"There are so many people out there helping their friends and family and neighbours.

"You can't get in the streets for all the people helping clean up."

Sunken vessels

Meanwhile, the corporation operating the Port of Bundaberg says it has begun surveying the city's harbour to determine the damage caused by last weeks record flood.

The harbour is managed by the Gladstone Ports Corporation.

Chief executive Leo Zussino says loading and navigation facilities have not been damaged but he says significant work will be needed to restore the harbour for large commercial vessels.

"You have to see where the silt has been deposited and what it takes to get it out and what other things have ended up in the harbour, because there is a number of vessels that have been lost in all of this," he said.

"We really don't know where they are, where they're submerged."


© ABC 2013

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