Riviera staff volunteer for the flood clean up
Queensland, Australia: Nothing could prepare Riviera’s Jason Rix, Tom Oldfield and Kyle Davidson for the devastation and destruction they faced when they arrived at a flood damaged business in Brisbane.
On January 2 this year a wall of water devastated the Queensland towns of Toowoomba, the Lockyer Valley and Ipswich. On January 12, the Brisbane River had broken its banks and Brisbane residents braced themselves for the obliteration that was to follow. And now the clean up begins with about 40,000 Brisbane properties affected, more than 5,000 homes were flooded above the floorboards, and the floods have claimed 22 lives.
For Riviera’s spare parts supervisor, Jason Rix, the Brisbane floods are close to his heart as his parent’s business was among those that were flooded.
“There was more than enough effort going in to help residents so I decided to get a team together to help a local business,” Jason said.
“We were put in contact with Phil Rougon from Eco Farms in Rocklea, which is an organic food business.
“I thought the businesses, especially wholesale outlets or mass warehouses like Phil’s were vital to the supply of produce to Brisbane and the quicker we could get these businesses up and running again, the quicker we can get the produce back on the supermarket shelves, which will benefit the residents.”
Owner of Eco Farms in Rocklea, Phil Rougon said Jason, Tom and Kyle were a God send.
“We had insurance but it doesn’t cover flood damage. It was devastating, there were hundreds and hundreds of tonnes of toxic waste in the area from other businesses, such as meat produce, dairy, chickens – the whole street was a total bio-hazard,” Phil said.
“I just couldn’t believe the devastation, we had a massive cool room and it just collapsed and buckled under the water pressure.
“We are trying to rebuild so we can get staff re-employed and the cashflow coming back in again. We are expecting the total loss to be about $2 million.”
Jason said Phil looked shell-shocked when they first arrived on the scene.
“Phil looked devastated when we arrived. I think it was because of the amount of work that had to be done – just the sheer volume of work,” Jason said.
Jason, Tom and Kyle helped Phil clean, sterilise and re-build his cool room.
“It was good to see a smile on his face at the end of the day,” Jason said.
“It’s hard to imagine the devastation until you are actually there amongst it. There was meat from nearby businesses that had been sitting in cool rooms without power for two weeks, so the smell was so strong and intense it makes you want to be sick, and the stench just stays in your nostrils for days. There was also the smell of the mud that was swept in with all the flood waters. It’s hard to believe that water could cause so much damage.”
The floods ravaged suburbs as close as 60 kilometres away from Riviera’s Coomera based manufacturing facility, yet Riviera and the Gold Coast remained unafftected by the floods. In support of the flood appeal, Riviera donated new mattresses to help flood victims get back on their feet.
Eco Farms services about 400 customers including large supermarket chains such as Coles, Woolworths and IGA. Phil is in desperate need of equipment ranging from carpet and tiles through to office equipment such as tables, chairs and fridges so he can re-employ his 50 staff.
If anyone would like to volunteer to help Phil clean up or would like to donate equipment to help Eco Farms get operational again please email email@example.com
Click to enlarge image:
Flood damage at Eco Farms in Rocklea
It was a scene of destruction for Phil Rougon, owner of Eco Farms
Eco Farms after the Flood - marked A
Eco Farms after the Flood aerial - marked A
Eco Farms before the Flood - marked A
Eco Farms staff
Eco Farms clean up
Mattresses donated by Riviera to flood victims