Wiped out.

Day two of helping Ipswich shovel mud. We returned to help the main guy we helped yesterday. Most of the water had evaporated or drained away.  Until I was called away to help Ipswich East Primary School. Where they are trying frantically to get the classrooms ready for school to start again Monday next week.

There were at least 7 or more classrooms flooded, and the entire groundsman’s shed.

Now I don’t know if you’ve ever been into a groundsman’s shed at all, I’ve been into maybe 3 in my lifetime and they are always filled with any left over school furniture, they have work benches, old lockers, sporting equipment, stuff for holding fetes, and the all important tractor with slasher.

ALL of it was submerged. Every last bit of it, floating around if it had the ability, and getting covered in the same sticky slippery slimy mud, and the stinky water.

Inventory had to be taken of anything to be thrown out. Now I wasn’t the woman with the pen and paper but judging by how f*d my arms and legs are, I would say there was easily 150-200 school desks, and maybe 100-150 chairs. The only things kept from in there was about 75 ergonomic plastic chairs.

I was overwhelmed. I hauled wood, bricks, paint, nuts, bolts, and concreted posts for benches. I have stacked, yanked, dragged, tossed and sorted so much stuff in the last 48 hours I am emotionally buggered.

We went to another street in Ipswich where there was apparently an elderly lady who’s 2 story house had gone under over the roof. The top of the road was clean air and green grass, but by the middle of the road, where there was a slight gully, it was like something out of an Armageddon movie but with a smell like I have NEVER and hope to not ever smell again.

I was so grateful that by the time we had parked and walked in ( there was less than enough room for a small hatchback down the street) there were about 20 people already half way through the job. I could NOT have stayed. I have a feeling I would have walked in and fallen in a  blubbering, gagging heap.

The horror story of the day was a woman who hasn’t got the time to clean houses, the money to donate, but has more clothing than she knows what to do with. She was turned away from lifeline, from the evacuation center and a few other charities. She told us Lifeline was separating clothing into flood victim clothing and ‘Lifeline’ clothing. HOW RUDE!

The thing I am noticing, and realizing, is fine, people have clothing on their backs, but if you have had to gut your house entirely you have to start over entirely.

Food is going to be of little use without a fridge, without a stove, without benches, tables, chairs, floors, walls, ceilings, and how are you going to get anywhere without a car?

If you have no cupboards, drawers, hangers, where are you going to store the clothes that Lifeline have decided aren’t going to make them any money?  

If you no longer have locking front and back doors how are you going to keep the meagre possessions you have left on this earth safe from the low lives who would rather relieve you of said items.

The clean up is only the start of recovery. It is only the beginning. There is a REALLY long road ahead of every one of those people.

My really small contribution feels so useless, and yet to one man it was such a help. It touched his life. It eased his burden and he is really considering paying the good deed forward. Which is one of the nicest things he could do to honor the help he received.

I need to sleep now, I’ll cry later.

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5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Cels
    Jan 15, 2011 @ 22:34:05

    I am so proud of all of you for what you have done now and the work you are planning to do xx

    Reply

  2. Wendy
    Jan 18, 2011 @ 04:17:51

    I third that. You rock, Belinda!

    Reply

    • Belinda's Baubles
      Jan 18, 2011 @ 06:12:28

      Ta Wendy.
      I’m really proud to say, I was only one of THOUSANDS of people helping out over the weekend. The focus now moves into New South Wales and Victoria. The entire East coast of Australia has been hit by some sort of flooding.

      Reply

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