The Salvation Army in Australia Assesses Flood Damage

January 21, 2011 - 1:07 PM EST
Esther Pinn
jeff_jellets@uss.salvationarmy.org
(404) 728-6711
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AUSTRALIA - While The Salvation Army in Queensland, Australia, continues to provide assistance to people affected by the region's catastrophic floods it is also having to assess and clean up its own buildings.

The Salvation Army is working in 13 relief centers across Queensland and New South Wales, providing hundreds of people each day with meals and emotional support. To date, it has released AUS$500,000 to assist affected communities during the initial relief effort and through to recovery, which is expected to take many months.

The Army has launched a flood appeal and is asking that people donate money rather than goods. 'What people need are funds,' says Australia Eastern Territorial Emergency Services Director Norm Archer. 'We want to let them rebuild their lives with dignity.'

The full extent of damage to The Salvation Army's Bundaberg Community Welfare Center, where water reached the roof, is still being determined but Central and North Queensland Divisional Public Relations Secretary Captain Meaghan Gallagher says, 'The waters have now gone down and the welfare center has been cleaned out. It has been operating from the corps (Salvation Army church) for the past few weeks.'

Water almost three meters deep flowed through the Bundamba Corps building, damaging most of the property, including church seating, the platform, pianos and a small library.

'They were able to save the files and minor items, but everything else is a total write-off,' says Trevor Trollis, South Queensland Divisional Property Administrator. 'They also have a commercial-style kitchen but the only thing saved was an oven.'

Riverview Farm at the Canaan School for Training and Development was heavily flooded, with up to 70 per cent of the farm’s 460 acres covered with water. Trevor Trollis explains: 'We lost a shed with the training kitchen, the training shed with all the saws and the storage shed with all the play equipment.'

Laidley Outpost suffered significant structural damage to its building as a result of fast-moving water, and Employment Plus centers at both Ipswich and Goodna experienced considerable damage.

The Salvation Army's Riverview Aged Care Center was forced to evacuate more than 150 residents at the height of the floods crisis.

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