GARAGE CRUSHED: Homeowner Sandra Robertson had a large tree that was blown over in the cyclone removed from her front yard. Photo: Mike Knott / NewsMail
GARAGE CRUSHED: Homeowner Sandra Robertson had a large tree that was blown over in the cyclone removed from her front yard. Photo: Mike Knott / NewsMail Mike Knott

Enormous tree lands on Bundaberg garage thanks to Marcia

MILLBANK resident Sandra Robertson seems to be the only Bundaberg victim of Tropical Cyclone Marcia as it made its way south through Queensland.

Mrs Robertson, who was not in the house at the time, said a tree on her property was blown over on Saturday morning in the high winds generated by the cyclone as it moved south inland of Bundaberg.

The large tree crashed on to the double garage of her home.

"It's only resting on the roof of the house," she said.

"The car inside the garage seems to be fine."

Mrs Robertson was yesterday sitting on a camp chair across the road from her house as she watched the tree loppers cut the tree up.

She said she was "definitely" insured.

"It was lucky there was no-one home," she said.

"Nobody's hurt, that's the main thing."

Mrs Robertson said an assessor from her insurers had already inspected the damage on Saturday.

"He was on his way up to Rockhampton to work there and thought he might as well stop off on the way and look at my house," she said.

Bundaberg's Volunteer Marine Rescue (VMR) was called out early yesterday morning to help a catamaran that was drifting in the flood current in the Town Reach of the Burnett River.

VMR public relations officer Graham Kingston said progress to the Town Reach was slow because of the heavy debris load and dark conditions.

"On arrival in the Town Reach we found the catamaran, with a lone sailor on board, had its anchor chain heavily fouled with debris," he said.

"This loading caused the drift problem."

Dr Kingston said the crew was able to dislodge the debris.

"By 4.23am the job was effectively done and the fatigued sailor was offered evacuation from the vessel," he said.

"He opted to stay and Bundy Rescue was tied up at base by 5.30am."

Dr Kingston said on the way back to Burnett Heads the VMR crew noted that most of the navigation buoys in the river were badly displaced.

Only one port lateral buoy remained near Kirby's Wall, a starboard lateral was against the bank closer to Millaquin Mill.

Other buoys downstream were also displaced or entangled.

Advice on damage to navigation aids was passed to Harbour Control for action by Maritime Safety Queensland.

"The Burnett River is still covered by a code red alert, which means the river is closed until further notice to all navigation, with an exception for emergency service vessels," Dr Kingston said.

Bundaberg Mayor Mal Forman said the region had been extremely lucky to escape major damage from the cyclone.

He said there was minor flooding expected that would peak tomorrow morning.

The flood level is expected to be about 3.5m.

"All properties will be safe, but there could be a couple of roads that get some water across them," he said.

Roads expected to be affected were the low-lying section of Walla St and the intersection of Targo and George Sts.

Kendalls Flat would also have some water, and the Lions Park in North Bundaberg was also expected to be affected.

Cr Forman said Bundaberg had been in the firing line for "quite a while" as Tropical Cyclone Marcia crossed the Queensland coast as a category five, before moving inland and heading south.

The only damage he knew of was some trees that had been knocked down.

"We got some lovely rain, it's great for farmers," he said.

Cr Forman said the Local Disaster Management Committee was still in Stand Up position, and would remain active until the flood peak tomorrow.

"You never know what might happen," he said.

"We need to be monitoring it."

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