Newspaper article Daily News (Warwick, Australia)

First the Flood, Now the Tears; Extent of Damage Hits Home Reports KELSIE IORIO

Newspaper article Daily News (Warwick, Australia)

First the Flood, Now the Tears; Extent of Damage Hits Home Reports KELSIE IORIO

Article excerpt

THE Premier has announced a $200,000 commitment to help North Queensland residents rebuild their lives after losing everything in unprecedented flash floods.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has launched the Queensland Floods Appeal, calling for people around the state to donate to the Australian Red Cross Society, UnitingCare, the Salvation Army, St Vincent de Paul Society Queensland and GIVIT.

Ms Palaszczuk launched the appeal in flood-affected Townsville, kicking it off with a $200,000 donation.

"Now is the time to dig deep and lend a helping hand to your fellow Queenslander," she said.

"In the days and weeks ahead, I ask all Queenslanders to put yourselves in the shoes of North Queenslanders who will be dealing with this heartbreaking situation for a long time to come.

"While the floodwaters recede, people are returning to their homes and the true extent of the damage is realised.

"First the flood, then the tears. North Queenslanders needs us now more than ever.

"We can rebuild these homes, but the emotional toll is going to take a long time to get over."

The Premier said more than 300 people were still in Townsville's evacuation centres, 9000 people remained without power, 369 damage assessments had been completed and more than 13,000 applications had been made for disaster relief assistance, with $1.2 million already paid out.

"We have got 250 staff working on this, but we need more staff," she said.

"There will be a second recovery hub opened today."

Premier Palaszczuk said a number of townships and communities around the state's north remained isolated, including Giru, Charters Towers, Halifax, Richmond, Hughenden and Julia Creek.

"We are doing everything we possibly can to get food supplies to you and make sure we are listening to your concerns," she said.

"The good news is we do expect there will be some easing of this monsoonal trough by Friday and into the weekend."

Police Deputy Commissioner Bob Gee said there was at least one more night to go of severe weather and it was important to remain vigilant even while water levels receded. …

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