Liam Johnstone, 16 cleaning up after the floods.
Liam Johnstone, 16 cleaning up after the floods. Christopher Chan GLA280113BOYN

Strangers pitch in to help as Boyne flood clean-up begins

THE two burly blokes lug a saturated armchair out on to the front lawn.

Martin Ridgway rents the one-storey home on Alexander St in Boyne Island.

He invites The Observer inside. The carpet's soaked through.

"Keep your shoes on," Martin jokes.

A mark about a metre up the lounge room wall shows how high the water went.

"It came up just under the beds. (We) haven't had a good time to assess the damage," Martin says.

Still, he has no doubt the fridge and freezer are gone, as are the power tools out in the shed.

But Martin's partner Lisa reckons some positives have come from all this flooding.

So many people, some strangers, have been over to lend a hand. The bloke who was helping Martin move the lounge is just one.

It looks like he's a family friend. But when he goes to leave Martin runs to the front door.

"I don't even know your name!" he yells out.

"It's been great," Lisa adds.

She speaks of another neighbour who baked muffins for the street, and nother who put on a barbecue.

Most of the houses in the street are two-storey.

Jamie and Gail Johnstone live next door to the Ridgways. The downstairs of their home is completely sodden.

"It's pretty much what you'd expect when you get a foot of water through," Jamie says. "It's all toast."

"My car's full of water," his wife adds.

But she goes on to say that their family is pretty lucky.

"There are people worse off than us," she says, pointing over the fence.

Inside, it's a clean-up blitz.

"Even people you don't know are coming to help," Gail says.