Popular rugby coach caught up in flooding

By Myles Edwards.  Published in the Evening Express 17th January 2011

A former north-east rugby coach has been stranded at his Brisbane home for days after severe flooding.

Damien Reidy and his family – wife Alison and 3 children, Annabelle, Bridget and Callum – were today trapped in their home.

And the family were running so low on food supplies that an emergency helicopter has been called in to drop off essentials in their area.

Mr Reidy (above) was a hugely popular figure during his six-year spell with the Aberdeen club, bringing a great deal of success during that time.

His brother-in-law John McCormack today said the family, like most other Queenslanders, faced the situation with a positive spirit.

John, 31, of Kenmore, Brisbane, said: “The whole family is fine, although they have been cut off and the road has still not been opened.  They are running very low on food and supplies are being dropped by helicopter.”

As the flood tore through the city, John and his pals went out to protect a friend’s motor dealership with sandbags and to move stock to higher ground. 

They fought the floodwaters until the early hours of Wednesday but as levels rose more than 8ft (2.4m), the business was wiped out.

John, his brother Steve and their friends have put all their efforts into helping those worst hit.

He said: “We took a drive around the streets of Kenmore helping where we could until the water peaked on Thursday morning.  We went to our friend Mick’s parents place who live right on the Brisbane River, moving belongings to higher ground. 

“Luckily the water stopped about 1 metre short of the house.  Wednesday night saw us take in 2 guys that had been stranded from the Mount Crosby area.  They stayed here for the night and joined us for a BBQ and a few beers.  We had a generator running at our place for fridges and TV, with most of the neighbours bringing down their perishables. 

“Some houses that are two hundred metres down the street from us are completely underwater.  Everyone who can help is putting in a massive effort but the cleanup will take months.  We will do it.”

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