Saving the ‘brain’ of flooded post office

ABOVE: Paul Kelly and Steve Taylor are busy with the backlog of parcels at the Coraki Post Office. Photos: Susanna Freymark

Susanna Freymark

One of the sad fallouts from the floods  is the number of people who are unable to live in their homes.

Steve Taylor and Paul Kelly reopened the Coraki Post Office on Thursday, March 17.

The community is thrilled to have the post office open again, and parcels and letters are coming in.

“The saddest thing is doing all the redirections for mail,” Paul said.

Customers come in not only for mail and paying bills, but they also want to talk about their flood experience.

“People are up and down, much like myself,” Paul said.

As floodwaters rose in Coraki on Monday, February 28, Paul and Steve were watching the rising Richmond River on the post office CCTV.

It wasn’t looking good.

Paul and Steve live in the house attached to the post office. As water rose inside the post office, Steve put the hard drive, the “brain” of the post office onto the counter.

The river kept rising.

Paul and Steve had to leave their home.

Steve came back to the post office the next day to move the hard drive onto the highest shelf he could find.

“The current was too strong out the front,” Steve said.

He used a boat to get up close to the back fence and jumped over and made his way through the floodwaters to save the post office’s “brain.”

This act meant all the information was saved and the post office could open within two weeks rather than months.

Australia Post had to send a new “black box” Paul said, and the information was transferred and quickly things were up and running.

“It was like a brain transplant,” Steve said.

They had to move to a “cash economy” because the EFTPOS wasn’t working, Steve said.

On Monday, people were leaving the post office with parcels in their arms.

Coraki has its post office back.

Once floodwaters receded, the clean-up of the post office began.

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