Major destruction at Sarina Range has left residents stranded.
Major destruction at Sarina Range has left residents stranded. Contributed

HUNDREDS STRANDED: 'Sarina Range is completely gone'

HUNDREDS of residents are stranded at the top of Sarina range with no power, little communication and running out of supplies.

Angie Hafner last had contact with her sister Thursday morning when her sister walked down to the first landslide along the range road to get mobile reception.

Ms Hafner said her sister had told her they had run out of toilet paper and dog food and were nearly out of fuel for the generators.

Yesterday, she had travelled into Sarina quickly to buy a few supplies and almost didn't make it home. She had left the dogs in the house, with the fireplace still going.

"They (her sister and her partner) only spent 10 minutes in town and by the time they raced back they were stranded," Ms Hafner said.

They waited six hours at Plane Creek for the water to go down so they could cross.

"They were desperate to get across so they walked up the range last night to get home and check on animals," she said.

Ms Hafner dropped them as far up the range as she could and they walked the rest of the way, which took them about an hour.

"I'm pretty worried, we have a few animals up there too," she said.

Before the storm, Ms Hafner transported her horses to a safer paddock up with her family as her horse paddock was full of fallen trees.

"They (the animals) are safe but I don't even know when I can get them back," she said.

She said residents on top of Sarina Range, including her family, were "boxed in from every direction".

"Sarina Range is completely gone, as you can see in the photos," she said.

 

Landslides on Sarina Range on Thursday.
Landslides on Sarina Range on Thursday. Contributed

"Eton Range has collapsed (from a landslide), it's flooded in from Koumala end and I can't access from Blue Mountain."

 

Sarina Range road is impassable after landslides in the wake of Tropical Cyclone Debbie.
Sarina Range road is impassable after landslides in the wake of Tropical Cyclone Debbie. Contributed

Ms Hafner said the only way to get to them would be to climb but it's not safe.

"But a lot of people are taking that risk at the moment because their families are up there," she said.

 

Sarina Range residents survey the badly damaged road.
Sarina Range residents survey the badly damaged road. Contributed

The damage done by Tropical Cyclone Debbie and the rain in its aftermath is something Ms Hafner has never seen before.

"There has been water on top of the range but it's never flooded before," she said.

She didn't know if the residents even knew they were flooded in until she posted it on social media.

"They (her family) only have an inverter to send out messages to let every know they're okay, that's about all they have at the moment," Ms Hafner said.

Right now, Ms Hafner is trying desperately to get supplies to them.

"We can't really get told anything about what's happening," she said.

"They're completed stranded until something can get sorted out."

She spoke to a council worker surveying the area Thursday morning.

"They think it's going to be a very long time before it (Sarina Range) opens again," Ms Hafner said.

"It will be up to five days until the Koumala Range creeks come down before anyone can get in."

A spokesperson from Mackay Regional Council confirmed there was significant infrastructure damage to the Sarina Range and encouraged motorists to use an alternative route where possible.

They also confirmed the Eton Range was still blocked after a landslide.

A Queensland Police Media spokeswoman confirmed they had received calls to check on people located on rural properties around Koumala and Sarina.



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