A mum-of-two took in 60 desperate people – as well as their pets – on Sunday night, in a touching moment amid a devastating crisis across North Queensland.
‘We had dogs, we had cats, I think a guinea pig – I think we ended up with about 16 families here,’ Ms Populin, who lives in Idalia in the city’s south, told the ABC.
Those who arrived at her home had called the SES for help as water inundated their homes, but there were simply too many to evacuate at one time.
‘So they started walking in… Because we had generators… I think people just realised, ”OK, they’ve got light” and headed towards the light,’ Ms Populin said.
‘We had a neighbour who had some sort of boat… and he was going out just around the street… Every time he’d say, ”I’ve got another family – is that OK?” and I said: ”Of course, bring them in”.’
The children of the neighbourhood sat in the theatre room of Ms Populin’s home, playing video games and watching movies, while the adults waited nervously and did their best to ‘ride it out’.
The Army arrived at the property several hours later – taking the 60 or so people by boat to the Lavarack Barracks.
Ms Populin has since returned to her home, which avoided any extensive damage.
Her neighbours, have dubbed Ms Populin and her family as ‘true heroes’.
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