Top: Karalee resident Esme Sharpe sees a little bit or normality back in her life one year after the January 2011 flood. Below: Esme cleaning up after the flood.
Top: Karalee resident Esme Sharpe sees a little bit or normality back in her life one year after the January 2011 flood. Below: Esme cleaning up after the flood. Sarah Harvey

Karalee residents back home

LIFE has only recently returned to something resembling normal for Esme Sharpe, a resident of one of the worst-hit areas during the 2011 floods.

Two neighbouring houses Mrs Sharpe owns on Queensborough Pde disappeared under the slow-moving, filthy waters which backed up from the Bremer River last January.

Pictures taken from a few days after the flood show how the muddy invasion brought down ceilings and walls, bringing an endless splatter of insulation material to the floor.

The sight and smell of tonnes of mud-soaked belongings right along Mrs Sharpe's street after the floods is something that will never leave her.

If the clean-up wasn't soul destroying enough, then there would be more hardship in the year to come.

"It was a good six months before we started work on the rebuild," Mrs Sharpe said.

"We were covered but it took a long time to hear back from the insurance company."

While this was happening, Mr and Mrs Sharpe lived between a shed and a caravan in their front yard. She only moved back into her house about a month ago.

Mrs Sharpe said the stress of the year probably had a lot to do with her husband suffering two strokes.

"Living in a shed during winter time it was just so cold," she said.

Karalee Community Association president Christine Owen said the majority of the 233 Karalee and Barellan Point households affected by the floods were at various stages of moving back into their homes.

"However there are seven houses where work hasn't even started yet," Ms Owen said.

"The people who have slipped through the cracks the worst are those who owned their houses but had people renting them, and those that earned more than $150,000 combined."



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