Displaced flood victims face uncertainty as tally of destroyed homes climbs in remote Kimberley

As the floodwaters surged through his house, Robert Reid loaded his dog Nellie onto a small boat and pushed it outside. As he moved the one-eyed blue heeler through the

flooded front yard, he had a terrifying sensation. "I felt something brush across my foot and I thought, 'Jeez, was that a crocodile?'" he told 7.30.  "I like to think

it was a barramundi, but who knows." Soon, Robert's fridge was also bobbing along in the fast-moving floodwaters. As he ducked inside a bedroom to try to salvage some

more photographs and paperwork, another unexpected hazard emerged. "I didn't realise it, but a tin of paint was floating along but it started to leak," he said. "I

didn't know what was going on, but the water started stinging my skin, so I climbed out as quickly as possible." It's been a fortnight since the record-breaking floods

inundated hundreds of homes through the Fitzroy River valley in Western Australia's remote north. For residents like Robert, the initial shock has worn off, and the reality

of the recovery work ahead is sinking in. He's now stripping everything from the house to let it dry in the baking wet-season heat, as the next round of build-up clouds loom

ominously on the horizon. Robert's partner Pennie Gross is visiting the property for the first time since the waters receded. She tears up at the sight of the damp,

stained house, and the thought of what it used to be. "It's such a peaceful little town, but this has affected everyone," Pennie said. "We've got this devastation in

the back of our mind about what's happened, and what's going to have to happen now — it's really sad.