BISHOP Brian Heenan of Rockhampton has spoken about the natural disaster affecting Queensland in the aftermath of Cyclone Oswald, which left much of the diocese devastated.
“Flooding began around Rockhampton after up to 500-600mls of rain fell and caused the closure of the Bruce Highway south and the Capricorn Highway to the west of the city,” he said.
“While the city of Rockhampton, at this present time, has not been inundated as in previous floods, smaller communities like Jambin, Goovigen, Stanwell and Neerkol were evacuated or surrounded by water.
“Our hearts go out to Bundaberg where unprecedented rainfall, mini-tornadoes and extensive flooding caused huge heartbreak to many families throughout the city and surrounds.
“Fr John Daly was fortunate to survive the tornado that struck Bargara and the Holy Rosary Church and parish offices are presently in danger of inundation.”
Bishop Heenan said the greatest concern was for families who have had to be evacuated from their homes and many have lost everything due to the sudden rising of the river and waterways.
“Gladstone was also inundated, especially in the Boyne Island area but fortunately not to the worst level that was feared,” he said.
“Catholic schools have also been affected.
“We in the Diocese of Rockhampton, are very conscious of our brothers and sisters suffering so much and of course, aware of the suffering further south, and the south-east.
“We are grateful for any enquiries and offers of support coming from throughout Australia and especially the promise of prayer.
“We ask our provident Lord to surround those suffering with comfort and protection and to bless those Emergency Services staff and volunteers who are doing so much to address the disaster.”