Queensland floods: One Family Loses Everything

January 18, 2011 by Henry Benjamin
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Journalist Anthony Marx was holidaying deep in the wilds of Tasmania with his wife and two sons when the flood warning alarms were raised in Brisbane…but his mobile was out of range and the Marx family was oblivious of the natural disaster which was to destroy their home.

 

Anthony Marx and the rubble that was his family home

 

 

When the Marx emerged from the Tasmanian wilderness after five days with his wife Elizabeth and sons Noah, 12 and Aaron 8, he was to learn that the home they had lived in for the last 16 years in the Brisbane suburb of Sherwood, had been destroyed.

 

Inside the Marx house

Elizabeth Marx told J-Wire: “When we got back to Brisbane we had difficulty accessing what was left of our house. We live at the bottom of the hill and it was a daunting task accessing the home. It was like a war zone. The military was there and a civilian army of helpers clearing up the mess. When we reached the house we learned that the water had risen to more than a meter above the second floor level. We have lost everything and could not get insurance. I suppose we believed that such a catastrop0phe could happen. The community has been fantastic…but for the moment my family has been split up. The boys are staying with a friend and we are trying to rent a flat…no easy task in Brisbane at the moment.”

 

Marx is not optimistic about the future. She said: “It seems that the house is all but gone…and how are we going to sell the land? No-one will want to buy in an area prone to natural disasters like this. We have effectively lost more than a million dollars.”  The Jewish community has been amazing. They salvaged what they could from the home….including my kiddush cups and Chanukeah and washed them clean for us. One member from our Shule set up a buffet at the house to feed all those trying to save what they could. We can’t complain about the support we received…except we no longer have a house. We may not be able to rebuild…we don’t know yet. We may have to rent a house until we know more. Yesterday there was one apartment available and thirty people after it.”

She told J-Wire that journalist colleagues of her husband had also rallied to the task and helped them in the salvage operation.

In the meantime, the Marx family may well appreciate all the help they can get from the community.

 

David Paratz, Immediate Past President of the Queensland Jewish Board of Deputies told J-Wire: “The Marx home is a 2 storey house which was inundated to waist height on the first floor. The image you see is after we stripped the walls and removed the contents. We have seven families to which this is happened but this is possibly the severest case. Generally, where the walls have had to be ripped out because of water damage, it means there is no power to the houses. For those whose homes can be repaired, that mean it could take up to three months before they can move back in.”

Paratz himself was among the evacuees. His house became an island but the received no water damage.He added: “We have daily telephone hook-ups with the Executive Council of Australian Jewry and  this allows us to meet our day to needs. Every victim is being monitored and mentored thanks to a spreadsheet controlled by Rabbi Chanoch Sufrin.”

 

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