Dominique Bellonte's house at Wilkesdale is full of flood debris
Inside one of the bedrooms

February 11, 2013

Are there any volunteers in the South Burnett who could give Wilkesdale woman Dominique Bellonte a hand?

Dominique’s house had two metres of fast flowing water pass through it during the Australia Day weekend floods.

Her insurance company reckons it’s a write-off but Dominique hopes there could be some things that could be salvaged from the mess that is left.

Her neighbour, Graham Sutherland, told today that  some volunteers had put up their hands to help Dominique with the clean-up but he was hoping their may be more people out there – including some with specialist skills – who could lend a hand.

“Many hands do make light work,” he said.

Dominique is back at her Wilkesdale property living in a shack that had been flooded.

“She could use lots of help with cleaning up and salvaging what can be salvaged,” Graham said.

“Her disabled daughter Leana is staying in a respite house in Kingaroy until there is a place for her to stay on the property.”

Graham said Dominique had decided she would rebuild at Wilkesdale, but this time further away from the Stuart River.

“If you would like to help with the clean-up, we will start at her place at 211 McKenzie Rd, Wilkesdale on Tuesday morning,” Graham said.

“It will no doubt be an ongoing process so you could also come any time in the following days.”

Volunteers have been warned that there will be no insurance coverage while they are on site.

“If you come, be prepared to take responsibility for your own safety and don’t do anything you feel is dangerous,” Graham said.

“The insurance company considers entering the house as dangerous.

“So wear boots etc, gloves and any other protective gear you might require.

“You’ll need to bring everything you may want to use in the clean-up, for example  a bucket, cleaning agents and materials, a wheelbarrow, a pressure washer, extension leads etc.

“Marking or labelling your property would be a good idea so others don’t mistake it for theirs. There is a water tank on site and there should be a generator being delivered there as well.”

Here’s a list of some tasks that Graham hopes can be achieved:

  • Clearing debris,
  • Repairs to a shower and toilet in a disconnected building that should be useable once cleared of debris and cleaned etc,
  • Removing litter from the riverbank. Much will be dumped but some items will be salvageable,
  • The little shack that Dominique is staying in was shallowly flooded and hasn’t been cleaned; it is smelly and horrible,
  • Cleaning of stuff that is salvageable,
  • There are electric tools, a generator, mower, whipper snipper etc that could be cleaned and repaired,
  • An electrician may be able to make the switchboard useable,
  • There are fruit trees that need help to recover from being pushed over (mulch would be useful),
  • A skip bin for removal of the rubbish.

Graham said Dominique is also looking for a loan of a caravan so her daughter can come back to temporarily stay on the property.

For more information, contact Graham on (07) 4164-1182.

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