TORN APART: Tessa Maskery talks to The Morning Bulletin about her ordeal during Cyclone Marcia. Her demolished house appeared on the front page of many Australian newspapers and in television news broadcasts.
TORN APART: Tessa Maskery talks to The Morning Bulletin about her ordeal during Cyclone Marcia. Her demolished house appeared on the front page of many Australian newspapers and in television news broadcasts. Chris Ison Rokchouse

Yeppoon couple's house of horrors after Marcia

AS Cyclone Marcia tore their house apart around them, Tessa and Karl Maskery didn't know if they were going to live to tell their story.

The couple's Yeppoon home, dubbed the Dollhouse by national media, has been splashed over newspaper covers and internet stories all week.

Missing walls and its roof, the exposed home looks eerily similar to a doll's house, with all rooms on display.

The terrified couple were inside the house when Cyclone Marcia stripped the home of its external features.

Tessa describes her floor boards moving "like a wave" before they decided to get a mattress to hide beneath.

"My husband stood up to get the mattress and the whole roof went up…it looked like it was five feet in the air," she said.

"We could hear the walls smashing in. Glass was smashing…the floorboards started to lift and rain was coming in…things were dropping all around us."

Tessa said although they knew that emergency services advised everyone to stay indoors, they had to flee the home.

"I thought I was going to die. I messaged my daughters that I loved them.

"By the time we got to the car it seemed a lot calmer...we went to the Woolworths car park and waited for it to finish," she said.

Once the storm had passed they went to survey the extent of the damage to the home.

"I was in shock. I just wanted to leave," she said.

"It's gone, I kept saying, it's gone,"

The displaced coupled stayed with relatives in Gracemere until Karl decided he wanted to be closer to the house.

He had just spent the past few months building a new roof on the home.

The couple, currently staying at Echelon apartments on the beachfront, were visited by Lifeline employees who are helping them through the long recovery.

"They were very good," said Tessa, praising the staff.

"They talked to us about post-traumatic stress, and to know the symptoms.

"We take it hour by hour, day by day. We do what we have to do…We will get through this."

The couple wanted to thank the communities of Goondiwindi and Moore for their continued support.

If you want to help support Tessa and Karl Maskery through the recovery process donations can be made through 0434672560.


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