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REAL STORIES | Evacuation Centre Update

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Image Credit: Tayla Larsen

Scott Braby, Coordinator for the J at Noosa Council, has provided an update on what it has been like since the Peregian fire forced evacuations.  

Q: A lot of evacuations in the past 12 hours. How many people can estimate have come to The J.
A: Well, late last night and early in the evening we had up to about 250 people register at The J. There was a fairly big rush with the fire naturally becoming quite strong and large, very quickly. Overnight we've opened up the Noosa Leisure Centre, another Council facility so we sent a few people across to there so at the moment we've got about a hundred people at The J. They've been in here all night, expecting to be here all day as well and possibly through until tonight as well.

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Sunshine Coast Disaster Communication Centre.  Image Credit: Hayley Pointon 

Q: I see there's a spread of food. People are definitely being looked after.
A: Absolutely. It's been absolutely amazing. The community's generous. The people coming in offering accommodation, equipment, food. Also the local businesses as well (restaurants). So there's been offers from a wide range of people. It's just quite humbling the fact that the generous, the support, the generosity that the public and the community to the people that have been evacuated.

Q: How many people can you cater for here?
A: Well generally 250 people last night was a bit much so probably about a hundred to 120 maximum depending on the people. There was quite a few animals that came in last night. Quite a lot of dogs as well and the odd cat and we even had a lizard as well... but generally around that 100 to 120 people maximum and then The Leisure Centre got up around that 150 mark.

Q: I am assuming you'll stay open as long as the community needs.
A: We've had a lot of community support too from the Red Cross, the Lions Club have been providing the food and Council staff, The J staff and a number of volunteers.. so a lot of support, a lot of positivity from the community and it's just amazing the warmth and the ... people are showing. It's amazing and hopefully we get it all sorted. The firies are doing an amazing job and the police as well. We've had ambulance, police, firies onsite as well so there's a lot of people here to support the evacuees.

Q: And if people are hearing us and they want to help out, what can they do?
A: Best to get onto the Council website also Queensland Fire and Emergency Service website - there's details there and people can either donate or be directed to various locations. We're getting a lot of enquiry here, which is great, but we can't offer too much