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Neighbourhoods joining forces in recovery effort from hail storms

Ipswich Mayor Teresa Harding has praised storm recovery efforts as she toured some of the worst hit parts of the region today after devastating weekend storms.

Wild weather, including large hail, tore through parts of Springfield and Springfield Lakes, Rosewood, Willowbank and Thagoona. Hundreds of homes had their roofs and windows severely damaged by the impact of the Saturday afternoon storm.

Mayor Harding, chair of the Local Disaster Management Group and her LDMC Deputy Chair Cr Kate Kunzelmann visited homes, providing support to affected residents. They were joined by Cr Nicole Jonic and freshly re-elected Member for Jordan Charis Mullen at the YMCA Springfield Lakes Community Centre.

“There was devastation in some areas. It was hard to comprehend how much damage the hail had caused to homes, cars and other property,” Mayor Harding said.

“We heard some harrowing tales from residents and my heart goes out to them all. I wanted to speak to as many people as possible and assure them that Ipswich City Council, SES, Queensland Fire and Emergency Services and Queensland Police have been out there trying to do whatever they could and to ease their concerns.”

Mayor Harding said it was an extremely hot day in Ipswich, with temperatures reaching the mid-30s, and this had not made it easy for people trying to patch up smashed roofs, windows, doors and solar panels, while crews conducted recovery efforts.

“It was hot and hard work out there today. But it was comforting to see family and friends in various neighbourhoods coming together and making the load lighter. People were relying on the goodwill and generosity of others to help them get through today and it was great to see,” she said.

The Mayor highlighted some of the good work being done, including:

o             Rural Fire Service conducting welfare checks on the Springfield Lakes community

o             19 crews in the field, consisting of 47 volunteers

o             QFES chaplains are on the ground providing additional support to residents

o             About 40 SES teams in the field, with over 180 members working across Rosewood and Springfield Lakes.

o             Support has been provided from SES groups in Brisbane, Moreton Bay, Redlands, Toowoomba, Stanthorpe, Warwick, Scenic Rim and the Gold Coast.

o             SES are encouraging anyone who no longer requires assistance to ensure they call and close the job. SES also encouraging people to contact their insurance and tradespeople for permanent repairs.

o             SES appreciates the community’s patience as they respond.

o             Energex have set up a community response team on site at the YMCA Springfield Lakes Community Centre and are supporting individuals as required

o             Council has also had staff on support at the centre, providing phone charging services and advice

o             Domino’s, IGA and Tivoli Miracle Centre have all generously donated food to the centre

o             YMCA have provided extensive assistance and hospitality to all, and have distributed food vouchers donated by IGA

Mayor Harding said insurance companies would play a vital role in coming days and urged affected residents to get in touch quickly.

“Many people will have cars written off by the hail and won’t be able to drive to work or school. This is another compelling factor that has come out of the storms and is worrying,” she said.

“We urge people to get their insurance sorted out as quickly as possible so repairs can be made and they can get back into their homes and their vehicles as soon as possible.”

Mayor Harding also encouraged people to contact ICC if there was damage to council property so crews could make it safe. She also said people should log any damage to wheelie bins so they could be replaced quickly.

“We know the damage and after-effects are going to be overwhelming for some people, particularly the elderly. It is important that everyone lends a hand where they can.

“And people need to know there are the appropriate support services available for their health and well-being as they struggle to deal with the days ahead when the reality hits home.”

Residents were also advised to be vigilant with food safety around fridges without power, mould due to moisture/heat, and people rubbernecking/getting in the way of services on the road as the clean-up continued in coming days.

On one positive note, the Bureau of Meteorology has confirmed there is no expected rainfall for the next five days.

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