Post office owner lived in tent in boxing ring after flood

Anika Stevenson is operating the post office at 109 River St, Woodburn.

Susanna Freymark

Anika Stevenson is operating the Woodburn Post Office at a temporary shop in River St.

The 1903 post office building up the road is in a state of disrepair.

She has a photo of the timber building during the February-March floods last year.

Woodburn Post Office during the 2022 floods. Photo: Anika Stevenson

Anika and her sister had to be rescued by an SES boat as floodwaters reached the eaves of the veranda.

For seven years, Anika has been running the post office and living out the back.

After the floods, she moved the post office to the boxing club shed behind the 1903 building.

She lived in a tent in the middle of the boxing ring for three months with her sister.

“As soon as we got out of the tent we gave it away,” Anika said.

The sisters never want to go camping or live in a tent again.

Anika now lives behind the temporary post office and is keen to get back to her real home.

The damaged post office.

She has been fighting with the insurance company who sent engineers who removed some of the red cedar wall panels and were not sensitive to the requirements of a heritage building.

She thinks that is sorted now and hopes it will only be a matter of months before she can go back home.

Anika said after the floods she saw examples of people scamming addresses to get flood recovery grants. One property had 40 letters addressed to it – all with different names.

People are grateful to have a post office and for now that is at 109 River St until Woodburn has its original post office back.

Woodburn Post Office. Photos: Susanna Freymark

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