Rockhampton two years on from Cyclone Marcia
TODAY marks two years since Cyclone Marcia wreaked havoc on Rockhampton and the Capricorn Coast, turning lives upside down.
Its effects are still being felt, but progress has been made in rebuilding the region.
Rockhampton Region mayor Margaret Strelow shared her thoughts on the devastation and where Rocky would go from here.
"To many of us it feels longer than two years since Marcia came knocking," Cr Strelow said.
"I've sometimes wondered if (the) council and the community did too good a job in cleaning up so quickly - by the time the southern politicians came visiting there wasn't a lot to see," she said.
"But of course the scars were deep.
"We lost an estimated 25% of our green canopy and the cyclone was a major hit to an economy already reeling from the mining downturn.
"Although Ergon Energy did an amazing job restoring power as quickly as they did, the impact of that seven or nine days without power took $1000 disposable income out of every wallet in lost cold goods and additional expenses."
Cr Strelow stressed the progress made since the clean-up, but said Rockhampton's healing journey was not over.
"In terms of damaged homes and infrastructure there is still work to do," she said.
"Last report I received was that there were around 200 properties awaiting repairs.
"Pilbeam Drive is now open. The work being done there now is a new pedestrian path.
"Kershaw Gardens had been cleaned up enough for public use but is about to close again for its big makeover.
"And of course our beloved Botanic Gardens, although changed forever, have bounced back and are once again a much-loved community meeting place.
"I know that it's patchy but there are definitely green shoots now and a new sense of optimism in the community.
"I'm very very excited for the opportunities ahead of us."