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Storm-hit shire getting back on its feet

Thursday January 17, 2013 - 13:25 EDT

The mayor of a central western Queensland shire, which was badly affected by storms on Tuesday, says authorities are focused on the task of restoration.

Acting Deputy Premier Tim Nicholls yesterday visited Jundah to asses the damage and announced hardship funds would be available for the town.

Barcoo Mayor Julie Groves says everyone is grateful nobody was hurt.

"The resilience of people out here and everybody supporting each other, it shouldn't take long, the school will probably take the longest to get back together," she said.

"Some of the council contractors' camps that were stored in town over the Christmas holiday break, one [is] on its roof, there are several trailers that are on their side but nobody was in them, nobody was hurt."

She says assessors feel confident they can isolate the larger problems and open the main school building when school returns later this month.

"I think too [it] is very important for the community, especially our children, because those children were all in town and it just returns their life to normality, they can talk about going back to school, seeing everything put back to a safe condition and I think that would be a way to help those children cope with the after-effects of going through a storm like that as well," she said.

Ergon Energy says about 100 customers are still affected by power outages due to the storm.

He says field staff and equipment will be flown in by helicopter today to restore the supply.

Stonehenge community centre worker Ishter Baldry says the storm that passed through on Tuesday was the worst she had ever experienced.

She says the situation was made harder when power outages caused all phone lines to fail.

"The worrying thing is we are a small community but everyone is quite close-knit and you don't want anyone getting hurt or getting sick because what's going to happen, how are we going to get the flying doctor here, how are we going to communicate with the flying doctor to say this is what's wrong with the patient?" she said.

"It was quite scary in that fact the rest of the world is fine and then we're very isolated and it's concerning."


- ABC

© ABC 2013

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