Kylie Beard of Logan Central SES (second from left), with Ipswich SES members Darren Laing, Pamela Burrows and Mark Smith, were part of a larger south-east Queensland group that helped flood-affected areas in western Queensland.
Kylie Beard of Logan Central SES (second from left), with Ipswich SES members Darren Laing, Pamela Burrows and Mark Smith, were part of a larger south-east Queensland group that helped flood-affected areas in western Queensland. Sarah Harvey

SES crews help out Mitchell

IPSWICH SES crews have returned from a five-day deployment to the flood-ravaged town of Mitchell.

Thirty SES volunteers and three vehicles made the trip home after Mitchell residents began to return to their homes on Friday.

The 30-strong team, made up of crews from Logan, Gold Coast, Scenic Rim, Somerset and Ipswich SES regions, packed up their gear early Saturday morning.

Ipswich SES member Pamela Burrows said the team's main task had been to disinfect homes after the mud and debris had been hosed out, and before residents arrived back.

"We washed and scrubbed all the furniture," she said.

"One of the ladies, an 85-year-old, just didn't know what to do with herself."

The little things the volunteers could do made a difference for lifting the morale of the flood victims.

Mrs Burrows said a volunteer found a $20 note amongst the mud of one home, cleaned it up and gave it to the grateful occupants when they returned home.

It was a small gesture, but one which was appreciated.

"The first day they weren't coping at all. They were just walking around saying it was too much.

"The people that weren't affected, they would just show up with their buckets and mops and say, 'What can we do?'

"From when we went in and they were just absolutely waiting around, a day later they had just regenerated."

For team leader Mark Smith it was his third deployment to a flood-affected area as an SES volunteer.

"It was the same reaction from the residents in the area. Because of the mud they were pretty happy to see us, and are always happy with the jobs that we did for them," he said.

"The assistance we provided out there was of benefit for the residents and now, hopefully, they can move on from this tragedy."