Saturday, February 11, 2012
Ebay Ford no reserve, tradespeople shortage: Mitchell Qld
Doug's workshop and shed complex was almost shoulder high in flood water, consequently damage has been substantial. The RACQ (Royal Automobile Club of Queensland) team pressure cleaned Doug's metal lathe but disappointingly (what a word!) the lathe doesn't work. Maybe Doug will be able to get it going, in time. Our friend and neighbour Richard has spent several days helping Doug organise and clean his vehicles, caravan and workshop tools. Thank you Richard for your invaluable help, cheerful attitude and expertise. What wonderful friends we have in Mitchell!
Our white 2001 AU Ford Falcon station wagon has been pressure cleaned and will go on Ebay in about one week. This car always ran well and has no rust; but flood water went halfway up the doors. Richard will organise its sale as a seven-day auction, starting at $.99. There will be no reserve.
A 1950 BSA motorcycle that Doug had worked on all year and was ready to reassemble was covered in 6 inches of stinking mud. This is now cleaned, as well as a couple of other motorcycles Doug's worked on -- also some of his special tools. Unfortunately his power tools appear wrecked.
A shortage of tradespeople and the immensity of the damage to Mitchell -- as well as to many other towns in Queensland and New South Wales -- will make the rebuilding of Mitchell a slow process. It's estimated that to do a rebuild of a home gutted of its internal lining will take up to one year. In the meantime, where will these people live?
Builders, plumbers and electricians -- many of these highly skilled tradespeople are currently working in the mining industry.
Stretched to breaking point, volunteers and emergency crews are combating stress, sand flies, mosquitoes and exhaustion. At least 30 per cent of houses in Mitchell are still unliveable.
But back to the situation in which Doug finds himself. Both refrigerators have been high-pressure water cleaned. One is making noises as if it may work, the other seems 'dead'. This morning is Doug's last day in Mitchell for some time, so he's busy finalising things in the house and sheds.
Bob and Heather will drive Doug to Roma, from where he'll catch a plane to Brisbane, then another plane to Melbourne. He'll spend the night with friends in Melbourne, and then catch a bus back to Phillip Island tomorrow morning. It will be wonderful to see him again!
Today's photos were taken prior to the flood. They include Doug's 1940 Plymouth, and the Mitchell road bridge that crosses the mighty Maranoa River. I'm left wondering whether any of the murals painted on the pylons will have survived the flood.
I've also included 2 photos of the bush orchids that Heather and Bob gave us five years ago. They survived!