Lifelong Proserpine resident Helen Muller has been so devastated by Cyclone Debbie she hasn’t eaten since it tore through north Queensland on Tuesday.
The sheer intensity of the Category 4 system forced the 59-year-old to cower in her bathtub for two days just to survive.
Ms Muller said all she had with her was her dog Poppa, a mattress and a bucket to go to the toilet in.
“I had no food,” she told AAP on Thursday.
“I haven’t eaten since, I just cannot eat.”
Ms Muller said she thought she was going to die when the walls of her fibro house started to crack during the cyclonic winds.
“The house was rocking,” she said.
“I thought ‘this is going to be it, there is not going to be me here anymore’.
“If that back door had broken off I would have gone with it.”
Ms Muller’s two-door garage was completely destroyed by the cyclone.
The iron roof was flung into her neighbours’ yards, her car was written off and the blinds were stripped from the windows.
The contents of her shed, including cupboards and a ride-on mower, now lie strewn across her lawn.
Ms Muller, who has lived in the house her whole life, said she had to wait for the army to arrive to help with the clean-up.
“That shed’s got asbestos in it and they’re the only ones that can deal with it,” she said.
“It’s a huge job, it’s all heavy lifting too and I’m past all that.”
Proserpine, just inland of Airlie Beach, was one of the worst hit areas as Debbie unleashed 260km/h winds on the Whitsunday Coast.
Some buildings were untouched, but others were razed to the ground.
Proserpine Motor Lodge owner Kerry Campbell couldn’t help but laugh when she saw the roof had been torn off most of her rooms, the restaurant and the storage shed.
“I mean, what else could we do?” she told AAP on Thursday.
“It’s hilarious, it just cracked me right up.
“It’s just devastation everywhere.”
Ms Campbell and her partner Peter Stokes said they watched on from the safety of their adjoining home as the wind lifted the roof off the motel rooms.
“It just curled it over like a wave,” she said.
“I think most of Proserpine has most of my roof in their backyard.
“I’ve shared it all around, just in case anyone needed some tin.”
The pair have owned the business, located just off the Bruce Highway, for the past 16 years.
Ms Campbell said they wanted to continue on but would have to wait for their insurance company to assess the damage.
Proserpine and Airlie Beach have been largely cut off from emergency services in recent days, but subsiding floodwaters have enabled crews to start accessing the area to start the clean-up.
A lack of power has meant most businesses have remained closed, but some supermarkets used generators to open on Thursday to allow customers to stock up on supplies.
The Proserpine Woolworths did its bit to help the community by handing out free bags of ice to residents.