A former Aberdeen teacher has praised the official response to heavy flooding in her new Australian home.
Liz O’Mara, 65, worked as a teacher at Cornhill School in the 1970s before emigrating with husband Robert – a native Aussie.
Liz has been caught up in the flooding in the Queensland city of Townsville, which has seen a year’s worth of rain fall in the space of just 10 days.
So much rain has deluged the city that authorities have been forced to open up the nearby dam to prevent it from bursting, flooding nearby homes.
Hundreds of people have been evacuated to rescue centres and around 10,000 homes are reportedly without power.
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Despite the unfolding chaos, Liz says she feels safe in the knowledge the government and other local authorities are doing all they can to help.
She said: “Townsville is an army town, so the army boys and some of the local people have been helping people out by moving them to higher ground, or even giving them somewhere they can stay in the meantime.
“The rescuers have been fantastic. I was speaking to a woman today who said that her husband has been working on the rescue effort and hasn’t been able to sleep for five days. He’s absolutely exhausted.
“These people haven’t been able to see their families because they’ve been out helping people. It’s fantastic what they’ve done.
“We’re really lucky to have the army and all the other agencies around us.”
Liz’s son Wayne, 39, is also affected.
She said his home has been “flooded in”, but thankfully the water hasn’t penetrated the property.
She said: “I’m not worried, I think he’ll be absolutely fine. He has enough food in there with him.
“If he was in trouble, all he would have to do is call the State Emergency Service, who would tell the army and they would send one of their boats to pick him up and bring him over here to us.”
Throughout the city, there have also been sightings of several crocodiles roaming the streets.
Liz hopes she won’t ever have a chance encounter with the sharp-toothed creatures – despite some saying they are the “non-aggressive” freshwater variety.
She said: “I really hope I never meet any of them.
“I don’t care if they are the freshwater ones – I never want to encounter one.”
The retired teacher, who used to live on Union Grove until 1977, said it’s not the same as the weather in her homeland.
She said: “It’s very different from that constant light drizzle you get in Aberdeen, that’s for sure!”