IN ONE PIECE: Mark Garside was happy to find his Townsville home undamaged by Cyclone Yasi. cont
IN ONE PIECE: Mark Garside was happy to find his Townsville home undamaged by Cyclone Yasi. cont

Former Emerald resident unscathed

CYCLONE CASUALTY: A tree toppled on to this car in a Townsville street. cont

“IT survived mate, it’s standing up!”

The mix of joy and relief in the voice of former Emerald man Mark Garside was palpable as he stood inside his 100-year-old miner’s cottage which withstood the might of Cyclone Yasi’s assault on Townsville.

After a few hours sleep yesterday, the 31-year-old returned to his Railway Estate home fearful of what he might find.

“No power, but no damage, lost half the mailbox and a fence paling and that’s why I’m laughing,” he said.

“We were supposed to get nine metres (of storm surge) through here and that was going to destroy everything, but it didn’t happen.

“The yard got a bit flooded with the storm surge, but that’s it.”

Mark, who works at Queensland Nickel for billionaire Clive Palmer, evacuated the property he shares with another ex-Emerald mate, Dylan Rushby, on Wednesday to head for higher ground.

His brush with the most lethal weather system to cross the Queensland coast was “pretty scary”.

“I went through the storm in Emerald in 2007 and she was a wild little show, but this one was a touch worse,” he said.

“It got windy about 2am on Thursday and then it got pretty scary.

“On the street there’s a lot of fig trees and they catch the wind so it kind of roars through.”

Mark said the mood in Townsville was upbeat now that the damage was nowhere near as bad as towns further north like Innisfail, Tully and Cardwell.

“To be honest with you, everyone is relieved,” he said.

“I went for a bit of a drive around and it’s decimated vegetation, but structurally things look pretty sound,” he said.

“There’s plenty of trees down, but everyone’s still got roofs.”

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