LANCE Corporal Daniel Hyman of the 2nd Cavalry Regiment is one of the many Townsville based personnel who helped residents evacuate as their own homes were inundated.
Displaced Defence families were being housed in evacuation centres as their loved ones worked.
LCpl Hyman said the ordeal has been physically and mentally taxing but was proud of the Army’s efforts.
“I put it to the back of my mind and tried not to think about what was happening … there were people who needed our assistance more, so we had to put our stuff aside so we could help the community,” he said.
“I was very happy that we were out there to help our community, we put the community first.”
Despite LCpl Hyman’s own Oonoonba home being affected, he considers himself lucky.
“I’m thankful, and very sympathetic to all other people who did lose everything,” he said.
“I’m relatively new to Townsville and thinks it’s amazing how everybody bands together, and everybody has the same aim.
“It’s been a great example of community spirit, it’s really good to see.”
Prime Minister Scott Morrison praised the some 5,500 men and women who continued to help, despite many being inundated themselves.
The Australian Defence Force was unable to provide an accurate number for damage to personal property and housing.
“As flood waters are still receding and most members have not returned to their homes it is too early to assess this,” a spokeswoman said.
“At this time there are approximately 100 Defence families utilising Family Evacuation Centres on Base.
“Defence Force families were offered assistance in preventive measures and evacuating in advance of the flood event.
“Defence families were monitored during the event and assisted in accordance with priority of tasking. Units have established Family Evacuation Centres and are providing bedding, clothing, food etc in the immediate term and will work with families for longer term solutions if these are needed.”
“Defence Housing Australia has activated a response to assist members living in service residences.
“Defence Housing Australia will assess all homes affected and in a triage method commence remediation of issues.
“Where a house is unliveable due to emergency maintenance DHA will cover costs of and assist with temporary housing.”
Personnel will assist while they are requested to do so by the civil authorities.
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