People of LoganMarch 22, 2024 / 3 minute read

Storm recovery – behind the scenes

As destructive wind and lightning hit the City of Logan on Christmas night, Holmview dad Trent Becker knew he had no time left to relax with his wife and 2 children.

After 15 years as a State Emergency Service volunteer and now Deputy Local Controller for Logan SES, Trent sensed this particular storm’s severity would mean a massive recovery operation.

December 2023 storms impact

  • 571 streets impacted
  • 2,600 people attended recovery hubs
  • 201 parks impact
  • Council employees collectively walked more than 70 km for door-knocking/welfare checks
  • More than 200 tonnes of general storm waste taken to waste transfer stations by residents
  • More than 600 residents requested assistance on private properties

Likewise, Crestmead husband Paul Marks knew there’d be no sleeping in for him on Boxing Day, as Leading Hand in Road Construction and Maintenance with Logan City Council, where he’s worked for 35 years.

Both men were ‘on-call’ as part of the teamwork between Logan City Council, Queensland Government emergency services and volunteer organisations, which come together when the Local Disaster Coordination Centre is activated.

The pair’s combined 50 years’ experience helped Logan get back on its feet.

Trent and his operations team coordinated up to 80 volunteers each day in teams for 12-hour shifts.

He also personally helped with roof repairs in Eagleby, Beenleigh, Daisy Hill, Slacks Creek and Park Ridge.

‘Christmas night from 9 pm we had 60 jobs come into the SES from around Logan, which is usually unheard of, so I was coordinating until 2 am, then opened up the Park Ridge SES depot for an operations centre there from 5 am Boxing Day,’ Trent says.

Also volunteering was Trent’s son Cooper, 15, with the Wolffdene Emergency Services Cadets, who did sandbagging for residents on New Year’s Day.

‘If we need support, like with equipment or sandbags, Council assists us in coordinating that,’ Trent explains.

‘It’s long days and nights but it’s pretty rewarding to be honest … that sense of community spirit. It’s about helping your neighbours.’

Paul Marks also makes a difference in his Council role.

At 6:30 am Boxing Day, his team headed to Spring Mountain to begin clearing 9 trees blocking roads, while other crews were scattered to multiple suburbs.

Entire streets of trees were down, power lines were twisted through branches and multiple roads needed closing.

Extensive damage meant 2 months later, Paul and his crew were still clearing hundreds of fallen branches at Cedar Grove.

‘Trees were down everywhere, roads had washouts, we had drainage work … it was a bad one,’ Paul says.

‘It’s a hard slog but we’ve got a really good crew and achievement is a good thing.’

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