Down and out, Fitzpatrick Transport begins recovery task

Ravaged by floods twice in five months, Fitzpatrick's Transport Services is slowly beginning the task of recovering

By Ruza Zivkusic | April 1, 2011

A family-run transport business in Victoria’s flood-devastated Charlton is slowly getting back to business.

Fitzpatrick’s Transport Services, located in north-central Victoria, was flooded twice in five months – in September last year and in January.

Bill Fitzpatrick, who has been a truck driver and operator for over 50 years and who owns the family business, still believes the floods were nothing but a bad dream.

After losing two trucks and thousands of dollars in tools and fuel at his Charlton store, Fitzpatrick says it will be years before the livestock, bulk and grain transport business fully recovers.

"Before the floods we were really busy because it was the first time we had a really good harvest," he says.

"Now, the impact is huge, it’s almost a life change."

The flood, which was more than a metre high, destroyed his business and home, which he is still trying to clean and repair.

Due to a decade of drought, Fitzpatrick never thought of taking up flood insurance on his house and business.

"I wish it was still the drought. We need to get new trucks but we can only buy second-hand.

"It all happens at once, it’s like a dream."

His 200 customers are supportive and business is slowly returning, Fitzpatrick says.

"We thought the water would stop but it kept on rising and rising. It has never been that high in a lifetime we’d known it."

Read the full story in the May edition of ATN magazine.

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