Filling sandbags near Hervey Bay Aquatic Centre on March 30 - Dyllon, 13, Chelsea, 9, and Kiarna Browne, 10.
Filling sandbags near Hervey Bay Aquatic Centre on March 30 - Dyllon, 13, Chelsea, 9, and Kiarna Browne, 10. Annie Perets

Region was prepared: sandbagging before storm hit

ELAINE Johns had to transfer about 200kg of sand to her home in preparation for the storm triggered by ex-tropical cyclone Debbie.

The 71-year-old laid 11 sandbags at her Urangan address to stop rising waters from getting through into her home.

Urangan resident Elaine Johns has lined up 11 sandbags for the incoming storm, to keep water from flowing in past the drains.
Urangan resident Elaine Johns has lined up 11 sandbags for the incoming storm, to keep water from flowing in past the drains. Annie Perets

"Previously, the water had reached as close as the doorsteps,” she said.

"The drains just can't handle it.”

She brought a little shopping trolley with her to help fill the bags at Hervey Bay Aquatic Centre. She also got help from SES crews and young schoolchildren.

Ms Johns was one of dozens who attended the site yesterday morning.

With school cancelled for the day on the Fraser Coast, many students came along to help their families prepare.

That included Dyllon, 13, Kiarna, 10, and Chelsea Browne, 9, who live in Scarness.

"We (were) worried our place is going to flood,” Dyllon said.

Just two weeks ago a downpour resulted in water getting close to their doorstep. "If there was more rain then it would have got into the house,” Kiarna said.

For the siblings, it was their first time helping to fill sandbags before a storm.

"It's a bit crazy and lots of people are here,” Dyllon said.

For Peter Michail, the sandbag process was a standard storm routine.

"Whenever there's a storm event, water comes straight into my property and I get flooded,” he said.

"It's been going on since 1995.”

His property consists of an acre of land in Wondunna.

"The whole front yard gets up to 20-30cm of water,” Mr Michail said.

"One year there was an inch of water coming through the front door.”

Sandbags will again be available today at the Hervey Bay Aquatic Centre, 10.30-11.30am.

Jonathon Winston of Hervey Bay SES said volunteers would be available to help where they could.



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