Townsville floods: Hero towie throws lifeline to community
AT the peak of the Townsville floods, small fleet tow truck operator Steve Gurney was driving along Anderson Street in Railway Estate suburb as water was rising.
The 29-year-old Steve saw a car in 800ml of water with the occupant in danger.
Steve, whose company is All Hours Towing, hauled the car out of peril and soon had others screaming out to him for assistance.
"I pulled up next to a bloke whose car was sinking and he asked how much it would be to pull him out and then said he didn't think he could afford it. So I helped him out for free and ended up towing out nine vehicles and just wanted to help people,” Steve told Big Rigs.
Steve put a post on his Facebook page about what he had done and was overwhelmed by the response.
"I received about 30 enquiries a day during the nine days of the floods and the phone rang hot. It was overwhelming. I did about 15 tows and didn't charge,” he said.
Since displaying that he is a community-minded small business operator, New Zealand-born Steve has been inundated with calls for towing jobs.
"I am just a little tow business but am big on customer service. I started with nothing and the community has given me a fair go and that is what I am doing in return,” he said.
From his humble beginnings driving a Landcruiser and car trailer, Steve now has a 1426 Hino car carrier, a 2013 Nissan Condor, and employs two part-time drivers and an administrator named Jenny who is an integral part of his success.
Meanwhile, the massive clean up after the flood has started and army personnel and SES people are heavily involved.
Many homes had water inside, electricity was cut to 17,000 buildings and SES people from many areas converged on Townsville.
Thousands had to be evacuated and Townsville was declared a disaster zone.
Big Rigs did a tour of Rosslea which was one of the worst affected suburbs.
Most houses had furniture on the footpaths waiting to be dumped.
Soldiers who were assisting had masks on their faces to protect from disease after mosquitoes invaded some suburbs.