Helping Townsville Rebuild After The 2019 Floods

Category: In the Community, News
Date: July 11, 2019

In February 2019, Townsville was unprepared for the devastating flooding, which inundated thousands of homes, leaving many people scrambling to find somewhere to live, and wondering how they would go on.

Residents were caught off guard, when the convergence of a monsoon and slow moving tropical low, brought an unprecedented amount of rainfall, causing the area to flood. The rising flood waters forced people out of their homes, most of them having to leave everything behind.

Along with SES and other emergency services, insurers and adjusters were quickly on scene to assess damage and get people the help they needed.

Ben Campbell, owner of Ben Campbell Building Group (BCBG), recalls arriving in Townsville, “It was very daunting, homes still full of mud and all of the owner’s contents damaged by the flood waters. Piles of damaged items in every street in the affected areas, it was very sad.”

Since February, Ben and his team have been on scene undertaking major and minor insurance jobs and working hard to get people back into their homes.

“We have been working on approximately 400 jobs and counting. We are still receiving request through insurers,” says Ben. The work has been steady and everyone has been putting in long hours and days to get Townsville back to normal as fast as we can. The town is a buzz with hundreds of tradespeople, builders, adjusters and insurers.

We quickly began on jobs like; stripping out the gyprock, kitchens, bathrooms and tiled areas damaged by the flood water. We are now working on all types of repair work, ranging from the replacement of a front door to complete rebuilds of homes that were completely inundated with flood water.

We are happy to announce that our first home rebuild has just been completed. Ben had this to say about the experience:

“It’s always a great feeling too hand a home back over to the owners, but after such a traumatic event for the owners of these homes, it makes what we do even more special. We had an owner, only the other day, walk back into their home and they broke down crying. She was so grateful to see what we had done with her home. When she had left it months ago, it was a huge mess and she commented that it was better now than she had ever remembered. This makes me feel like we are doing a great job.”

Mr Wiblin at the handover of his rebuild in Townsville.

At handover, the owner of the rebuild, Mr. Wiblin wrote this for the team, “If everything was as easy and professional as dealing with the Ben Campbell Group.”

The work is ongoing and we will stay working here, helping, as long as we are needed. The community spirit has been great. People have been coming together and taking care of each other. Everyone seems to be making the best out of a terrible situation. It’s been a heart-warming experience.

We are trying to help out in every way we can, we have increased our local work force and we are employing a large number of local trades as well as purchasing as many materials from the local area as possible,” Ben said.

When asked about the overall experience of helping to rebuild Townsville, Ben had this to say:

“It is a very hard job as you are dealing with people at their worst possible time, they have just had a very traumatic event occur in their life. Sometimes they need someone to talk to and sometimes someone to vent their frustrations on why has this happened to them. When we are building a new home or completing a reno, our client has decided to carry out these works, but with insurance works the client was happy going about their life and then something has gone wrong, and they have had this forced on them, which can sometimes be very hard for them to deal with. But overall, once you see the smiles on their faces at the end of the job when all repairs are complete it makes it all worth it.”

While up in Townsville, we have partnered with a local charity to continue our help and support for the town. On June 28, a sportsman’s dinner was held to help raise much needed funds for the Cowboy’s Community Foundation. The NRL team foundation is a community-owned charity improving employment, health and social outcomes for young North Queenslanders through education-based programs.

Read more about the charity dinner, here, from the Cowboy’s Foundation, and see our write up of the event here.

To see more about the Townsville floods and the work we are doing with the QBE, click here.

Have you been left with damage to your home from a natural disaster? Contact us today to discuss insurance, repairs and rebuilds.

*Featured image source: The New York Times.