18 January 2024

Tourism business becomes a safe haven for locals left homeless from flooding

| Matt Nicholls
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The team from Disaster Recovery has set up stretcher beds and mosquito nets so they can spend more time on the ground helping locals in the Bloomfield valley.

Cabins for tourists have turned into crisis accommodation for 14 people who were left homeless as a result of last month’s flooding, with a local business stepping up to help their neighbourhood.

Kat and Yogi from Bloomfield Cabins and Camping said it was a no-brainer to open their doors to the community members in need.

“We actually had people booked to stay with us when the floods hit but we sent them away when the cyclone was forecast to come,” said Kat.

“We didn’t want them to get stuck here if the creeks and rivers came up.”

Having the vacant cabins has allowed them to offer a safe haven for many who lost just about everything during the flooding.

“It’s the least we could do,” said Kat, who has taken on a Mother Hen-type role for the new tenants.

“We weren’t going to get any tourists for a while anyway, because the roads were closed and the wet season is just starting.”

But doing so does come at a cost to Kat and Yogi, who also have to worry about staying afloat themselves.

So far, they have taken no payment from the 14 new residents and have no intention of doing so.

“We’re hoping the government can get us registered as crisis accommodation for them, so that we can keep providing a roof over their heads without putting them under additional financial pressure,” said Kat.

“We’ve had conversations with Warren Entsch and the Department about that.”

Kat and Yogi from Bloomfield Cabins and Camping.

More recently, a swag of workers from Disaster Recovery lobbed up with stretcher beds and mosquito nets to make a base for their group.

“The irony about all of this is that we had worked really hard to build up a business in the wet season and had strong bookings for Christmas, New Year and the school holidays,” Kat said.

“But we can’t complain because we were so lucky through the cyclone and the floods.

“We were without power for a bit but had no major damage to the property.”

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