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Families who have experienced flooding are requesting that Mud Army volunteers contact homeowners before disposing of irreplaceable items or taking pictures for insurance purposes.Thank you for reading this post, don't forget to subscribe!
During the 2011 floods, precious items such as jewellery, photos, and family treasures were lost – not to the flood waters, but to well-meaning Mud Army volunteers who entered homes without permission and started throwing things away.
It also caused issues with insurance claims.
While many residents were grateful for the show of community spirit then, some are worried about salvageable belongings being thrown out again this time around, as the Mud Army 2.0 assembles to support clean-up efforts from the 2022 floods.
Councillor Nicole Johnston represents Brisbane’s Tennyson ward, which covers some of Brisbane’s worst-affected areas from both the 2022 and 2011 floods.
She remembers feeling grateful for the help of the Mud Army in 2011, which travelled house-to-house, scrubbing away the mud and silt left behind by floodwaters.
“The Mud Army help was amazing and we desperately needed it,” she said.
But Ms Johnston said some of the volunteers’ efforts were “just that little bit too ambitious”.
“What you will get is all these kinds of niche coffee plantations who develop a very unique flavour profile and then market in funky packaging and appeal to certain markets,” she said.
They went into people’s homes and threw everything out,” she said.
Ms Johnston said many salvageable possessions and family treasures were lost amongst the trash.
“I cried on many days when I watched elderly ladies peeking through all of their belongings on the side of the street trying to salvage, you know, cutlery that could have been washed up or Tupperware that could have been washed up,” she said.
Family photos, jewellery, clothes, passbooks and knick-knacks were among the items she saw thrown away.