Residents help repair Innisfail



GLADSTONE workers have been moved by the damage left in cyclone Larry's wake and are doing everything they can to help Innisfail residents out.

Ergon Energy linesman Travis Jacklin almost had to fight other employees off to go to Innisfail.

"I just want to help them out and relieve the blokes up there,'' Mr Jacklin said.

"I don't think I'd like to go through a category 5 cyclone.''

He and Troy Jackson are in a team of eight from the Gladstone region Ergon Energy is sending to Innisfail.

Mr Jackson said the team was expecting long days so locals could once again have electricity.

The team members all have experience dealing with the aftermath of storms but say it will be the sheer scale of the destruction that requires an enormous relief effort.

"The electrical network is practically all on the ground,'' Mr Jackson said.

"They say there's not a tree standing.''

The team will leave tomorrow for Innisfail and Ergon Energy hopes to have power restored within one week.

Since the cyclone hit north Queensland last Monday, power has been restored to 91 per cent of homes and businesses.

State emergency services (SES) from around the area arrived in Cairns last night and will hit the ground running this morning.

Gladstone group leader Les Gordon said six Gladstone, three Boyne Island and four Calliope volunteers made the drive up to Cairns yesterday.

"The Capricornia region was put on hold until we saw what was happening with cyclone Wati,'' Mr Gordon said.

"You don't take away resources from an area that could be in the line of fire.''

Mr Gordon said their crew included chainsaw specialists and much of their work would involve cleaning up trees and roof tarping. "We'll have a better idea after the briefing but there's still a lot to do,'' Mr Gordon said.

Paula Rowbotham and QRX Transport are organising to truck non-perishable food, toys and books, clothes, shoes and linen to those affected by cyclone Larry. People wishing to make a contribution can deliver goods to Stockland Gladstone's Target store, Centro Woolworths, Toolooa Street IGA Supermarket or ABSC Training at 41 Tank Street. For information phone Paula on 0422 145 225.



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