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Getting on top of things

Jim Fabish stands on the balcony of his dream home after it was raised 2.7m in June.
Jim Fabish stands on the balcony of his dream home after it was raised 2.7m in June.

AFTER a summer of disasters and news of another wet season on the way, families are living in hope the town won't be inundated with floodwater for the third time.

But for some, dealing with the stress and financial burden of having a flooded home twice in as many years was enough, and the only way they could look was up.

Jim and Teresa Fabish had their Gray St home raised 2.7m off the ground in June, and said it was the best decision they had ever made.

"It's the best thing we have ever done. It's been a hell of a year," Mr Fabish said.

"The financial cost is huge, but it is a lot of pressure and relief taken off us now.

"We procrastinated about it for four months thinking it was too dear, but we're so glad we did it."

Nine months down the track, the Fabish family is yet to move back into their dream home but Mr Fabish said they should be back in within two weeks.

"It is a relief knowing there is another wet season on the way, because we're right now, we don't really have anything to worry about now."

Mr Fabish said he had noticed plenty of other houses going up around the area.

"It's like a sunflower field, they're popping up everywhere," he said.

"I'd say there are about seven in the area that have gone up."

Busby Group House Removal site supervisor Ray Whittingham has been in the house removal/lifting business for 30 years, and while based in Rockhampton, he has been in Emerald every couple of weeks lifting and quoting homes.

"We've raised three so far, with two more scheduled," Mr Whittingham said.

"Most of them are going up about two metres, which is at least 600mm above the floodwaters."

Mr Whittingham said there had been numerous inquiries about lifting homes in Emerald and that he had also quoted houses in Rolleston.

"A lot of people have been waiting that long to get them lifted after waiting to see if their insurance would cover it... so they are pretty happy to see them up in the air," he said.

"It's a bit of a shock for them at first after having a lowset home, but a relief at the same time."

Central Highlands residents who were impacted by the floods and had contact with private insurers as a result, are urged to contact the Flood Inquiry Commission about their experiences, either good or bad.

The Commission will be in Emerald for a public hearing on September 29. The Commission can be contacted on 1300 309 634 or email at info@floodcommission.qld.gov.au.


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