As Townsville reels from a historic flood crisis, a heroic local business owner has stepped up to assist evacuees, despite facing her own set of challenges.
Local resident Lillian Robinson took to Facebook in the early hours of Monday morning to praise her mother, Tracie Davis Nieass, who opened her beauty salon for evacuees to get dry and warm.
“Not all super hero’s [sic] wear capes,” Ms Robinson’s post began.
“I am very fortunate tonight to be sleeping in a warm bed with dry clothes on my back. My condolences are with all the families that [sic] houses have been affected by the floods.
“Tonight I witnessed my community coming together, where strangers lent a helping hand to those in need.”
The post went on to describe how Ms Davis Nieass stayed up all night to serve tea, coffee, towels and a loan of her dryer to those evacuating to the shopping centre.
“I’m laying in bed writing this at 3am while you’re still out there giving all you can,” she wrote.
Ms Davis Nieass operates Tracie’s Hair and Beauty at a shopping centre in Annandale, a riverfront suburb in Townsville’s south.
According to the ABC, Ms Davis Nieass and her partner, Gavin Beckman, spent most of the night supporting families and their pets who had sought shelter in the centre, as it became an unofficial evacuation centre at the peak of the week-long flood crisis.
All the more remarkable is that Ms Davis Nieass is reportedly undergoing treatment for cancer, which is likely to be impacted as the hospital and its staff grapple with the flooding.
My Business attempted to contact Ms Davis Nieass, but was not surprised to discover there was no immediate response – we assumed that was because she was either continuing to support evacuees or taking a well-deserved break in preparation for another potential all-nighter.
Ms Davis Nieass subsequently responded several just after 6pm on Monday (4 February), confirming our assumption.
“I have just finished down there as I've officially been awake for over 24hrs,” she said.
Adam Zuchetti is the editor of My Business, and has steered the publication’s editorial direction since early 2016.