Dot Birthisel, 68, was asked to evacuate her Benaraby home early Sunday morning.
Dot Birthisel, 68, was asked to evacuate her Benaraby home early Sunday morning. Chris Chan

Benaraby residents make middle of night dash to safety

WHEN Dot Birthisel heard loud banging at the front door of her Benaraby home at 1.30am yesterday, she knew exactly who it would be.

"It was the police," Dot said. "They were asking me to evacuate."

Taking only medication prescriptions and the clothes on her back, the 68-year old was taken to the Gladstone PCYC evacuation centre.

"There was about 80 or so people at the centre," she said.

"We were given hot drinks and some food. It's been a long night."

Dot has lived at the Benaraby Caravan Park for the past 30 years and said she had "never seen anything like this".

"I didn't think it was going to be a big deal. My son rang me telling me I needed to get out, but I decided to go back to bed," she said.

"I think I'm more in shock than worried about my home."

Neighbour Jack Roberts has been living at the caravan park for two years and said he wasn't too concerned about the state of his property.

"Why should I be worried? My house is on high ground," he said.

Jack and Dot are just two of the 80 people who spent the night at the Gladstone PCYC evacuation centre.

More than 130 people spent the night at the Tanyalla Community Centre in Tannum Sands and Boyne Island Community Centre on Saturday, with 110 remaining on Sunday morning.

Around 80 evacuated Benaraby residents spent Saturday night at Gladstone's PCYC.

Mayor Gail Sellers today reported there were at least under 20 people staying at the Tanyalla Caravan and Conference Centre at Tannum Sands.

The two other evacuation centres Boyne Island Community Centre and Gladstone PCYC had been closed after residents returned to their homes.

Most residents returned to their homes on Sunday afternoon and Monday morning.

Deputy Mayor Matt Burnett and Cr Maxine Brushe stayed with residents at the Tanyalla complex overnight Saturday, with Acting Deputy Premier Tim Nicholls and Minister for Local Government David Crisafulli visiting on Sunday afternoon.

Jack Roberts, 75, was asked to evacuate his Benaraby home on Sunday because of the flooding.
Jack Roberts, 75, was asked to evacuate his Benaraby home on Sunday because of the flooding. Chris Chan

Another refuge centre was set up at the Tanyalla Camping and Conference Centre, Tannum Sands.

The Observer asked flood evacuees, "What is the best thing about staying at the Tanyalla Evacuation Centre?"

The Observer asked flood evacuees,
The Observer asked flood evacuees, "What is the best thing about staying at the Tanyalla Evacuation Centre? Kara Irving


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