Looters add to woes at New Brighton
By JANE GARDNER
AS THE floodwaters rose in her New Brighton shop Larissa Clorley kept working to help locals stock up on essentials, but when she returned yesterday morning to survey the damage she discovered the shop had been looted.
She had remained at the Trading Post on Wednesday until the water from Marshalls Creek rose to waist height.
Business was by no means slow as locals canoed into the store.
"We were serving customers until the SES boated past and helped us to get out," Ms Clorley said.
"When we came back, everything was destroyed.
"Half of our stock is on credit terms, so we haven't even paid for it yet."
The Trading Post sustained damage estimated at between $60,000 and $80,000, not counting water damage to the building.
Next door Colette Rieck was a little worried about the rain as she locked the doors on Pippi's Cafe on Wednesday night.
By Thursday morning she and her daughter found themselves swimming through neck-high water in a race to save thousands of dollars of equipment.
"We couldn't get access to the place from the road so we had to come from the beach and swim through the rising water," Ms Rieck said.
Forcing open a back door, Ms Rieck and her daughter were devastated to find they were too late.
"The water was already at the top of the tables, and the outside tables were floating down the street along with all of the saucepans."
The cafe, on the aptly named River Street, sustained more than $6000 damage in wasted stock and equipment alone.
Both businesses will not be covered by their insurance and are praying the area will be declared a natural disaster zone.
Landlord of the complex, Hayden Reece, said that if the council had prepared years ago it could have prevented the estimated $20,000 damage to his building.
"They need another seaway outlet because the water can't get out and goes west before it can go east out to the ocean," he said.
"There was talk about dredging the river years ago, but the greenies opposed it, and I just don't understand it."