A ranger clears the road through Byfield on the Monday after Cyclone Marcia tore through the National Park. photo contributed
A ranger clears the road through Byfield on the Monday after Cyclone Marcia tore through the National Park. photo contributed Contributed

From rainforest to a Hiroshima look, Byfield is mending

AS EACH day passes, Rod Taylor says Byfield residents are slowly getting back on their feet.

But there's still a long way to go.

Rod, who owns the Byfield General Store with wife Ellen, said the devastation Cyclone Marcia had caused to the forest was like a bomb going off.

"People have just been in despair," Rod said.

"I'm looking around and there are still trees everywhere.

"I haven't had time to look into my place yet.

"The whole environment has been changed. It's gone from a nice lush rainforest to having a Hiroshima look about it.

"There's so much work that must be done," he said. "It comes down to a lot of heavy equipment and a lot of people.

"We're certainly on the recovery mode.

"It's a daunting task.

"We've had the army up here, which was fantastic, putting fire breaks in, which is our biggest worry at the moment now," he said.

"You don't really get an idea of the ferocity of it until you've seen it up here.

"All local businesses are working overtime trying to get things back in order."

But Rod said it was clear life would not return to normal for everyone.

"Some people won't recover," he said.

"Their farms have been growing for 40-odd years and they've been wiped out."

Rod said he would have liked to see emergency services and other agencies respond quicker to their neck of the woods, but understood the enormity of the situation.

"I know we don't deal with cyclones every day and when they review the cyclone, hopefully they can look at the strategies they have in place and see what could be improved," he said.



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