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SES heroes face Debbie's destruction

Proserpine SES controller Mark Connors and Proserpine group leader Sue Connors.
Proserpine SES controller Mark Connors and Proserpine group leader Sue Connors. Peter Carruthers

THEY are being hailed among the Whitsunday heroes post Cyclone Debbie.

Proserpine SES controller Mark Connors and his wife SES group leader Sue Connors have been working like Trojans since before Debbie touched down and in her aftermath.

Mr Connors took on the role of Whitsunday Divisional Commander once the clean up operation begun - the first time a volunteer has been appointed to the role.

Waking at 5am and at times working through the night, the Connors' team has come close to working miracles for cyclone-affected residents of the Whitsundays.

A humble Mr Connors was quick to praise Proserpine SES stalwarts such as Tony Hinschen, Greg Yuskin and Andrew Sander who also worked tirelessly during the recovery effort.

Mr Connors said in his 35-year experience Cyclone Debbie had not been rivalled.

"None of us have experienced a cyclone that hung around for so long," he said.

"That is what did the damage, the amount of time it stood on top of us, it just kept hammering away."

Yet even before the wind had entirely died down Mr Connors and the SES team were answering calls from locals in need.

From the clearing of Shute Harbour Rd to gain access to a couple trapped in the home that was breaking up around them, to the delivery of medication to another couple at Conway who were not prepared to venture out after the cyclone - these were just some of the tasks they accomplished.

"Our guys cut their way through to Shute Harbour and it took them an hour and a half to get them out of their house," Mr Connors said.

It was from the SES headquarters in Proserpine that Mr Connors co-ordinated the Whitsunday area which is made up of 44 divisions.

He delegated jobs daily to 120 members of the Queensland Rural Fire Brigade, the Queensland Fire and Rescue Service and visiting SES volunteers through out the Whitsundays.

Topics:  emergency response mark connors proserpine ses tc debbie

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