SES volunteers Mary Stark from Sarina, Bob Gould from Mackay and Whitsunday SES controller Mark Connors at the Yeppen flood plain in Rockhampton on Tuesday.
SES volunteers Mary Stark from Sarina, Bob Gould from Mackay and Whitsunday SES controller Mark Connors at the Yeppen flood plain in Rockhampton on Tuesday.

Whitsunday volunteers lend a hand

AS MANY Whitsunday residents sit by their radios, televisions and computers in shock of the devastating news coming from flood affected areas, some Whitsunday residents have taken it upon themselves to lend a helping hand to those in need.

Despite the Whitsundays remaining free from floods, eight Whitsunday SES volunteers headed from their safe surroundings to help others.

On New Years Day, the Whitsunday crew headed to Rockhampton, one of the first and northern most affected towns in the recent Queensland floods.

Whitsunday SES controller Mark Connors spearheaded the local response and remains in the flood stricken township days after it was hit by rising waters.

In the past Mr Connors has offered his services in the wake of both Cyclone Larry and Ului, but he said the latest natural disaster was simply mind-blowing.

“This has got to be the worst disaster Australia has ever had,” he said. “It's a disaster.”

Mr Connors described his time in Rockhampton as being like nothing he has ever seen before.

“The sun is shining and there is blue skies and then there is this flood devouring the town,” he said.

Since the town was first hit close to two weeks ago, Mr Connors believes the situation has deteriorated, despite desperate efforts of emergency services and volunteers.

“The water has been here for so long now, all the mozzies and everything are starting to come about,” he said.

“The sadness and misery is starting to set in.

"The worry is the wet season hasn't really even started yet.”

He also said that he and his fellow Whitsunday comrades have helped many people to safety from their decaying homes, in particularly the elderly.

“It's quite an emotional thing having to help people from their own homes.”

More Whitsunday SES volunteers are expected to head to the affected region in coming days to help with recovery efforts.


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