A man helps total strangers to remove flood-damaged items from their home in the suburb of Rosslea in Townsville, Thursday, February 7, 2019. Residents have begun cleaning up after days of torrential rain and unprecedented water releases from the city's swollen dam, sending torrents of water down the Ross River and into the city, swamping roads, yards and homes.
A man helps total strangers to remove flood-damaged items from their home in the suburb of Rosslea in Townsville, Thursday, February 7, 2019. Residents have begun cleaning up after days of torrential rain and unprecedented water releases from the city's swollen dam, sending torrents of water down the Ross River and into the city, swamping roads, yards and homes. DAN PELED

Army of volunteers return after Townsville flood clean-up

A SMALL army of volunteers have returned to the Sunshine Coast having braved the aftermath of Townsville's 1-in-100-year flood.

Thirty two Queensland Fire and Emergency Services volunteers went back to their day jobs today after a week in the tropics as unassuming heroes.

Townsville was hit with a monsoon that saw more than 1000mm fall during a week of hell that continued long after the rain subsided.

All up, 200,000 residents were affected.

Caloundra Rural Fire officer Dan Sandeman spent the full seven days cleaning out homes, with many still caked in mud.

 

Thirty two Queensland Fire and Emergency Services volunteers went back to their
Thirty two Queensland Fire and Emergency Services volunteers went back to their "day jobs" today after a week in the tropics involved in flood clean-up. QFES Media

But if working 10-hour days in 41C heat and "wretched" humidity took its toll, they didn't show it.

"We worked pretty hard, but you can't show that, Townsville has been through a lot more than us, you just get stuck in," Mr Sandeman said.

"Without being harsh you just have to take the emotion out of it and just help them.

"The flood water might have receded but some areas were still full of mud lying around.

 

Thirty two Queensland Fire and Emergency Services volunteers went back to their
Thirty two Queensland Fire and Emergency Services volunteers went back to their "day jobs" today after a week in the tropics involved in flood clean-up. QFES Media

"Our job was to cart stuff in and out of homes, then help with the clean-up.

"So we battled the heat and temperatures, none of the homes had power. They were completely washed out."

Mr Sandeman, who was on his third flood relief mission after stints in Brisbane and Bundaberg, praised Townsville's resilience.

"Townsville residents are fantastic people, we had so many randoms come up to us offering food or drink," he said.

"Even if we weren't helping them. Their spirits were so high.

"It's what Queenslanders are known for, helping each other. That's why I do it, it's important to help."

 

Chris Mitchell removes flood damaged items out of his father in-law's house in the suburb of Rosslea in Townsville, Thursday, February 7, 2019. Residents have begun cleaning up after days of torrential rain and unprecedented water releases from the city's swollen dam, sending torrents of water down the Ross River and into the city, swamping roads, yards and homes.
Chris Mitchell removes flood damaged items out of his father in-law's house in the suburb of Rosslea in Townsville, Thursday, February 7, 2019. Residents have begun cleaning up after days of torrential rain and unprecedented water releases from the city's swollen dam, sending torrents of water down the Ross River and into the city, swamping roads, yards and homes. DAN PELED

Later this week, the Daily will be sending a truck full of supplies north with items donated by Coast residents.

Former Melbourne Storm rugby league player Scott Hill will drive the truck of goods north to be distributed to residents in need.

Goods can be dropped into the Daily's office at 2 Newspaper Place, Maroochydore between 9am and 5pm.

The truck will leave once the container is full.



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