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Woman survives TC Debbie cowering in bath for 36 hours

Proserpine local Helen Muller with her dog Poppa after spending 24 hours in the bath tub during Cyclone Debbie.
Proserpine local Helen Muller with her dog Poppa after spending 24 hours in the bath tub during Cyclone Debbie. Peter Carruthers

SHE survived the worst cyclone in living memory to hit Proserpine in the bath tub with only her Jack Russell for company.

Helen Muller and Poppa spent more than 36 hours in the bath at her Ruge St home as Cyclone Debbie unleashed her fury on everything in her path.

Winds reaching speeds of more than 250km/h bore down on what Ms Muller described as an old house - her only option being to shelter in the safest room in the house in the safest part of the room: the bath.

"We were in the bedroom and we heard it coming and I just picked him up with my wireless and my mobile phone and came down to the bathroom,"she said.

 

Proserpine local Helen Muller with her dog Poppa after spending 24 hours in the bath tub during Cyclone Debbie.
Proserpine local Helen Muller with her dog Poppa after spending 24 hours in the bath tub during Cyclone Debbie. Peter Carruthers

"The day before I put a big mattress in there and we stayed (in the bathroom) for two days, we didn't move.

"I even took a bucket in there to pee in."

Ms Muller heard the destruction raging outside her back door.

"The noise that was coming through that window was unbelievable," she said.

That was when she took a call form her neighbour who said "I think I got your shed roof in my yard, and I said' buls**'t and couldn't even have a look because I didn't want to go near the windows".

The next morning, sure enough, the shed was in the neighbour's yard.

 

Proserpine local Helen Muller with her dog Poppa after spending 24 hours in the bath tub during Cyclone Debbie.
Proserpine local Helen Muller with her dog Poppa after spending 24 hours in the bath tub during Cyclone Debbie. Peter Carruthers

A concrete footing for a back yard awning was ripped form the ground, the shed gone and in its place the bare and shambolic contents remained.

Ms Muller said it had only been seven years since she lost her last shed during Cyclone Ului in 2010.

She survived Cyclones Ului and Yasi but during Debbie she was convinced that "everyone was going to die".

"I didn't have a clue what was happening outside and I heard the back door cracking. I rang my sister and said 'I don't think you are going to see me and the dog any more'."

"It has been a scary few days, every noise I hear now I just shudder. It is going to take a long time to(heal)."

On Friday the Governor General Sir Peter Cosgrove visited Ms Muller in Proserpine.

He pledged the support of the Australian Army to help her rebuild her shed and repair damage to the roof.

The shed formed part of the fence which kept little Poppa in the yard and Ms Muller said she was concerned that the dog at the moment didn't have a place to run around in.

Topics:  cyclone debbie editors picks proserpine tc debbie whitsundays

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