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Debbie damage still unraveling at Midge Point

CLOSING SHOP: The owners of Midge Point General Store, Lesley and Doug Evans, have to sell up; business hasn't been the same since Cyclone Debbie.
CLOSING SHOP: The owners of Midge Point General Store, Lesley and Doug Evans, have to sell up; business hasn't been the same since Cyclone Debbie. Tara Cassidy

MANY Midge Point residents and business owners are still struggling to regroup from Cyclone Debbie, despite the storm passing almost two months ago.

Midge Point General Store owners Lesley and Doug Evans purchased the shop in 2014, but said since the cyclone they had struggled to stay afloat.

"Business was fine before the cyclone, not great but we were covering costs. Ever since it hit, we're not even able to even do that," Mr Evans said.

"Lesley's having to work two jobs at the moment to get the money and I can't do it all the time as I work at the mines sometimes. We've had to place the shop up for sale to see what offers we get, we just don't feel like it's going to pick up again.

"People are struggling themselves to fix their places, some people have left altogether, there's just not enough here at the moment to support the idea."

On top of lack of business following Cyclone Debbie, the store is still waiting on insurance claim payouts for large amounts of stock lost when power was cut. Mrs Evans said the cost came close to $2000; a large figure for a small town shop with minimal stock to begin with.

"We were lucky and got away with just a small amount of damage to the store," she said. "But we weren't able to save everything in the fridges - same as the fish shop next door.

"It was a fair bit, and we're still waiting to receive our claim back, but because there's other people in situations much worse than us, we're likely to still be waiting a while."

Mrs Evans, who previously has managed several cafes and shops, said the couple wouldn't attempt to own another business after selling the Midge Point store.

"We started it as a bit of a hobby, I've done this kind of thing for a while at a few cafes in Proserpine," she said.

"The only thing that would maybe keep us open is if Laguna Quays got back up and running sometime soon, but we can't see that happening.

"That might have brought us just that little bit more business, with tourists and workers, but without that we'll definitely have to sell."

The couple remain optimistic about their situation and said they would look to move to Bloomsbury once they managed to sell the store.

Topics:  business cyclone debbie cyclone debbie aftermath cyclone debbie damage general store midge point midge point general store

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