Oswald puts dampener on family holiday

HAMISH CARDWELL
Last updated 15:06 30/01/2013

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A Blenheim family are looking forward to being home after getting caught in the extreme weather that has lashed Queensland and is now heading down the coast towards New South Wales.

Four people were killed and thousands had to be evacuated as the tail of tropical cyclone Oswald brought high winds and heavy rain, flooding homes and businesses on Australia's east coast.

Jodie Keen said it was still raining and windy when she went to bed on Monday night but she woke to a clear blue sky and sunshine yesterday.

Mrs Keen, her husband and four children had been hunkered down in their holiday apartment in the suburb of Labrador in Surfers Paradise since Sunday. She said she had checked the airport website which said the airport was open and their flight was due to depart at 5.15pm yesterday. They would just have to wait and see if the roads to the airport would open in time for them to make the flight, she said. "It is mother nature; you can't predict it - stuff happens. We are pretty lucky really. In Brisbane, they have lost their houses and they have only just moved back in after the 2011 floods."

There was a break in the weather on Monday afternoon so the family ventured out to the local mall, only to have the weather turn again and the rain come back in earnest.

"The rain started pelting down and flooded the bottom floor of the mall. It took about 15 minutes."

Their four children aged 11, 9, 8, and 4 had dealt with the dramatic weather well, and the family hoped to be back in Blenheim in the early hours of this morning, Mrs Keen said.

The cleanup had already begun in Surfers Paradise, with business owners and residents out at 5am yesterday putting the place back in order, she said.

The Keen family were in Australia to holiday and visit family.

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- The Mirror

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