Tully: Community spirit is silver lining
2011 was a year of triumph and courage according to Tully woman Sarah Jones, who says Yasi gave her an inner strength she will carry with her for the rest of her life.
The storm wrecked Sarah's house, leaving her to live in one leaky room while she battled with the insurance company and waited to hear if and when the building would be demolished.
She moved into a caravan on the section when construction work finally started and 12 months on is still not in her home, but she is smiling because "opening night" is in sight.
"My house is almost finished and I am planning a party," she told The Cairns Post last week.
"With a live band on the lawn to help celebrate, it is going to be huge."
Looking around her freshly painted home she says she doesn't wish Yasi never happened because the positives outweigh the scars the storm left.
"There is a bright side to the storm and that is the sense of community that Tully has now," she said.
"Everyone knows their neighbours, you know their insurance issues, you know how their house is coming along – everyone talks.
"And it is not just a quick hello anymore; it is a genuine: ‘How are you doing, is there any way we can help?’
"I feel like people really know each other and if that is something Yasi left behind, I am not going to wish it away even though things did go pear-shaped for awhile there."
The 30-year-old said the knowledge that she and her community can survive a Category 5 makes her feel like there is nothing she can't accomplish and that is another reason to be thankful.
"I feel like if I can get through Yasi and the last year whatever else life throws at me will be nothing," she said.
"I feel strong and capable because I know I can pull myself up and carry on despite everything, and that is something to feel thankful for discovering as I go through life."
Share this article
Sarah Jones is in the process of rebuilding her home, which was destroyed by cyclone Yasi. Picture: TOM LEE