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Townsville residents angry at being locked out of their storage sheds before flood peak

By Josh Bavas, Thursday February 7, 2019 - 08:56 EDT
ABC image
National Storage customers are angry at missing out on a chance to empty their storage sheds. - ABC

A Townsville resident says she is furious at being locked out of a storage facility last week, saying she could have retrieved photos of her dead son, but instead lost almost everything to the flood.

Customers of a National Storage facility in the suburb of Fairfield were only allowed back in to check their belongings yesterday.

But Ms Martin said she was locked out of her shed at least a day before the peak of the floods.

"They locked us out Friday afternoon. They just sent us a text message and said nobody could come in for safety reasons," she said.

"We get that, but this place was still dry Saturday afternoon — we could have been given a chance to save our stuff and we didn't.

"We had a chance and they stole it from us."

Ms Martin said almost everything was destroyed, including precious family photos.

"My dead son's photos are there. We've been able to salvage some stuff but nearly everything that's precious to us is gone.

"Everything that was irreplaceable, stuff my mother and grandfather had given me and they've passed away — all our memories are here."

National Storage managing director Andrew Catsoulis told the ABC the centre was closed on Friday for safety reasons.

"In light of information from authorities and the danger that this extreme weather event presented, a decision was made to temporarily suspend access to National Storage centres in Townsville from Friday evening, 1 February 2019," he said.

"Like many other businesses in the area, National Storage has experienced water inundation.

"Following a number of assessments, including safety and property, access was reinstated this morning (Wednesday), as quickly as it was deemed safe to do so."

Bitter birthday for gymnasium

Business owner Kade Dunstone is assessing the damage to his gym in the same retail precinct.

He said retailers in the Fairfield Homemaker Centre were told the site was above the 100-year flood level.

"We've got endless amounts of statistics and reports of research into that as well," he said.

"The developers of this area did all that research before they built it.

"The flood swamped the centre, sending about half a metre of water throughout the shops.

"There's damage to everything, so all the equipment will have to be replaced, all the flooring will have to be replaced.

"Our reception counter and cafe bench will need to be replaced, the stock — gone."

Mr Dunstone had been preparing to celebrate the second birthday of his gym, but instead will be left cleaning out the mess left by the flood.


© ABC 2019

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