Hervey Bay's Lionel Buxton loading sandbags into a trailer to prepare for possible flooding.
Hervey Bay's Lionel Buxton loading sandbags into a trailer to prepare for possible flooding. Eliza Wheeler

Residents commended on their preparations

OSWALD-affected locals have learned their lesson from 2013 and are now being commended on their preparedness.

Over the past three days, members of the Fraser Coast Regional Council, SES operators and Fraser Coast disaster planning co-ordinator Mal Churchill have all commented on how well prepared the Fraser Coast has become for Cyclone Marcia.

Fraser Coast regional Mayor Gerard O'Connell said he couldn't be more proud of the community.

"This doesn't happen by accident," he said.

"If you track back over the last two years you'll see that we've learned a lot about preparation plans and have improved.

"Now we're seeing far better preparation, more modern innovative data and better public awareness."

Cr James Hansen said the people in his division, including Howard and Pacific Haven, had never been so prepared for possible flooding.

"Everyone who lived in this area during the 2013 floods now keeps a close eye on the weather because that was a real eye-opener for us," he said.

"I think this time people have been the most prepared I've seen them in forever."

Pacific Haven couple Jen and Gary Booth have been packing up their belongings since Tuesday.

They said they felt confident enough to stay in their house during the probable flood.

"We feel safe and secure because we got ready as soon as we heard the warning," Mrs Booth said.

"Most of us have decided to stay in our homes until it's all over but there are some houses lower down that have probably decided to move to higher ground."

Mr Churchill said the more prepared a place is, the more resilience it showed.

"I think it's really significant that people have prepared themselves," he said.

"All of the early food buying and sandbagging has shown a level of resilience that probably has not existed in the past."