New beginning for Caravan Park
WITH a year of rebuilding and starting over behind them, Esk Caravan Park residents are finally enjoying the park as it used to be.
In January last year Redbank Creek broke its banks, sweeping through the main streets of Esk and filling up the caravan park.
Residents gathered in the few higher set verandas to watch as their home went underwater.
Owner Mick Newman said the park was changed completely in the few hours the water flowed through the park.
"I have been there nearly six years and nothing came through before this," he said.
"The creek filled up a few times but didn't flood until the day the water came across town."
Mr Newman said the clean up was a long process, with most of his assistance coming from volunteers from outside the area and local church groups.
"We got a small grant for some clean up by hand and we employed an excavator for the clean up for all the debris beside the creek from the bridge down," he said.
"All of the houses in the park had to have new floors and new walls because the water just went into them and filled them up.
"It really is one of the most beautiful parks in Australia and home to a lot of good people, but all the permanent residents have been able to stay at the park.
"For a while I was giving people free accommodation in the cabins because there was nowhere else for them to go, but everyone banded together and our little community has come back."
Mr Newman said it had been a tough year financially, fixing and cleaning up damage.
"We didn't get any insurance at all because it was considered a surge event not a flood event but the park is now back into full swing and we didn't lose any trade," he said.
"It's a very friendly park to live in and it's a testament to the people who live there to see how they have come back."