And the clean-up begins … Katie Shields hard at work in the main pool yesterday (Photos: Goomeri Pool)
Water tears past the Goomeri Pool on the Australia Day weekend

February 14, 2013

Despite a massive post-flood clean-up by Gympie council staff and operators Katie and Mark Shields, Goomeri Swimming Pool will remain closed for the rest of the season.

The pool complex, located in Moore Street, has suffered extensive damage to its canteen, fences and grounds.

Katie told today she received a call at midnight on Australia Day warning her the pool might soon be flooded.

She went down and managed to the turn the pumps off before the floodwaters hit.

By Sunday morning, the water was rising quickly and it was simply too dangerous to try to save anything from the canteen.

Katie said the water was flowing so strongly the fences around the pool complex were flattened.

The 25m main pool and the small wading pool were left filled with debris and mud.

Because of damage to drains in Goomeri, the pools could not be emptied until yesterday to allow the main clean-up to begin.

“Gympie Council have been very good, doing what they can to help,” Katie said.

“They sent down a crew to shovel the silt and scrub the pools out.”

But unfortunately for Katie – and an employee who has lost his job – the damage is so severe that the pool cannot re-open now until September.

“There is still stacks and stacks of mud,” Katie said.

Normally the summer season runs until April 30 which means she has lost more than two months of income.

And because Katie does not own the business – and did not pay for the clean-up – she does not qualify for the small business flood recovery payments available under the Federal/State natural disaster arrangements, although she believes she may qualify for a small payment from Centrelink.

The power of the floodwaters pushed over fences which will now have to be replaced

A layer of mud and silt was deposited throughout the complex
BEFORE: The wading pool and the main 25m pool were both left filled with mud and debris
AFTER: Council workers used acid and high-pressure cleaners to clean the walls of the pools but the damage to the rest of the complex is too severe to allow it to be re-opened

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