After an unprecedented catastrophic hail storm hit thousands of homes in Springfield, Springfield Lakes, Rosewood, Willowbank and Thagoona on Halloween, Mayor Teresa Harding has thanked residents for their patience while recovery efforts continue to ramp up.
The significant event triggered the Local Disaster Management Group (LDMG) to stand-up and Ipswich City Council has been working with all agencies to support communities in storm-hit areas.
Mayor Teresa Harding, who chairs the LDMG, said council was about to start its kerbside collection of building waste and roll-out of bins for spoiled food as the mop-up gathered pace in the worst impacted areas of Springfield, Springfield Lakes, Rosewood, Willowbank and Thagoona.
Residents had been asked to put waste on the kerbside, including storm event-related building material debris (tiles, bricks, broken glass), and water damaged debris (damaged furniture and whitegoods).
“Please be patient: council crews, SES volunteers and the emergency services will get to you as quickly as possible,” she said.
“There has been extensive damage caused to over 1,700 properties, including roofs, ceilings and windows, across a large area. The clean-up operation is much bigger than anyone anticipated and this means it may take extra time to get to everyone.”
“We have requested additional feet on-the-ground and QFES are sourcing additional resources through the National Resource Sharing Centre which we expect to be arriving over the coming days to provide additional support.”
Mayor Harding said the recovery effort meant difficult work for authorities, in some areas that might not be safe or easy to traverse due to the damage from the huge hail on Saturday.
“The crews are carrying out very complex work at height, which does take time. We urge you not to risk your own personal safety and to either lodge a request with SES or engage a professional contractor,” she said.
A shortage of volunteers with the appropriate skills and qualifications to work on rooftops meant it was slow going in some zones.
Mayor Harding said residents should liaise with their insurers about employing professional tradespersons to get the repair work started as soon as possible. That could include hiring or buying tarps from specialist outlets.
Insurance company representatives were on site throughout the day at the YMCA Springfield Lakes Community Centre to help storm-affected residents make their claims promptly and would be in place for the rest of the week.
Mayor said insurance companies would play a vital role in coming days and urged affected residents to get in touch quickly.
“Apart from damage to homes, many people will have cars written off by the hail and won’t be able to drive to work or school,” she said.
“We encourage those affected to contact their insurers as soon as possible to start the claims process.”
Various insurance companies, including Suncorp, RACQ, Youi and Budget Direct, under the coordination of the Insurance Council of Australia, were on site at Springfield Lakes to assist.
In addition to insurance organisations, Lifeline, Energex and Department of Housing and Public Works are also onsite for community members to access.
Council staff have been, and will continue to be, onsite at the YMCA between 8am and 10pm daily to answer queries, including providing information on the upcoming kerbside collection and food waste bins being made available; as well as supplying tea, coffee, breakfast, lunch and dinner, school lunches, phone and laptop charging services.
The YMCA centre has provided help for more than 600 people since Saturday’s storm and will continue to do so through this week.
Emergency Services, including RFS and QFES, will continue damage assessments in Springfield/Springfield Lakes area throughout this week.
Health authorities have again warned people to be vigilant about food safety with power only just returning to some properties, and also to be aware of any mould developing in hail and water damaged properties.
Mayor Harding urged people to use the two food waste bins at Summit Oval and Spring Lake Park, Springfield Lakes this week.
She also encouraged residents to pay attention to weather warnings issued by the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) this week in case there was follow-up rain or strong wind.