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Time heals raw wounds for flood victim

Ian James at the Postmans Ridge site where his mother Sylvia Baillie was killed during the 2011 flood disaster.
Ian James at the Postmans Ridge site where his mother Sylvia Baillie was killed during the 2011 flood disaster. Dave Noonan

IAN James hopes to one day rebuild a home at the spot his mother loved.

Sylvia Baillie was killed during the 2011 flood disaster when water engulfed her Postmans Ridge home within a manner of minutes.

All that remained was two concrete slabs, such was the force of the water that tore through her home.

Sylvia Baillie was killed during the 2011 flood disaster when water engulfed her Postmans Ridge home.
Sylvia Baillie was killed during the 2011 flood disaster when water engulfed her Postmans Ridge home.

Talking to The Chronicle yesterday at the site of where his mother's house once stood, Mr James said it had been a long, and at times painful, two years.

"It was a tough day that is for sure," Mr James said.

"It has been a full-on two years. I would have much rather come back to where there was a house and be greeted by mum, but that is not possible," he said.

The Chronicle first met Mr James and his family in the days after the 2011 disaster as they frantically searched the nearby creek for any signs of Ms Baillie.

"I was fortunate really. I got to speak with mum about an hour before the house was washed away," he said.

"That conversation I will always have.

"Some people did not even get that opportunity."

Ian James frantically searching the creek bed near his mother&squot;s home in the hope she may have survived the disaster.
Ian James frantically searching the creek bed near his mother&squot;s home in the hope she may have survived the disaster. Dave Noonan

Mr James said the events that occurred two years ago were still surreal and raw.

"We raced up from Brisbane but got stuck at Plainland for two days," he said.

"We knew before we got to mum's house that she was gone.

"For us, it was just about locating her remains."

Mr James said he had started to come to terms with the events of January 2011.

"We are getting along as best we can," he said.

"I have some wonderful friends and family who have helped enormously along the way.

"It took a while but I am okay with what happened now."

Several communities across the Lockyer Valley held events last night marking the second anniversary of the disaster which claimed 25 lives.

Topics:  disaster floods toowoomba


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