Rockhampton SES Coordinator Eddie Cowie.
Photo Allan Reinikka / The Morning Bulletin
Rockhampton SES Coordinator Eddie Cowie. Photo Allan Reinikka / The Morning Bulletin Allan Reinikka ROK280116ases1

SES urges home owners to fix up run-down houses

AFTER a week on the front-line fighting catastrophic bushfires last week, the Rockhampton SES were back in action again this week after a severe thunderstorm tore through the region on Tuesday.

With around 40 call outs during and after the storm, SES local controller for the Rockhampton unit, Eddie Cowie said they were prepared for more.

"We actually had eight SES teams that were operational and ready to respond between Rockhampton and Gracemere, so we certainly were prepared for more calls," he said.

"We had the opportunity to scale that up if required, but we certainly had enough teams with specific qualifications."

Assessing a number of homes with significant structural and water damage, Mr Cowie did say that some homes could have avoided damage had they been better maintained.

"There were quite a few homes that had significant water damage and with some of the properties we attended it probably wasn't 100 per cent the storm or the torrential rain, but just poor maintenance," he said.

"It's a bit of an issue with rental properties and rental agencies contacting the SES for issues relating to poor maintenance."


House damaged by falling tree on Elphinstone St.
The SES has urged Central Queenslander to be better prepared for storms during storm season after a number of homes suffered significant damage during a severe thunderstorm in Rockhampton. Allan Reinikka ROK051218aafterst

Mr Cowie estimates that one third of the jobs attended after the storm could have been prevented with better preparedness and maintenance.

"I think there would have been at least 10 jobs that were certainly avoidable, and a percentage of those were actually rentals," he said.

"I think that property owners and rental agencies need to put a little more emphasis on ensuring that their properties are better maintained."

With heavy falls predicted across the region over the next week, Mr Cowie wants residents to be aware of the risks to their homes.


December's violent storm brought this tree down onto both neighbours' roofs
This house was one of the homes in Wandal that was damaged in Tuesday's storm. Jann Houley

"It is storm season and there is an indication of more rain this week and more significant weather conditions as the ex-tropical cyclone moves through the region," he said.

"So we are going to see further rain move through the region and from an SES perspective we just ask that people plan and prepare their homes."

If you require SES assistance at any time dial 132 500.