As I write this I am concerned for a friend who lives right in the middle of the centre of a major flood centre in Queensland. Electricity and phone lines are not working, so that might be the reason we have not been able to contact her. Still, until we learn if she is safe, we will worry about her.
I’ve not been this close to such a major natural disaster before. This city, Brisbane, was devastated in a major flood in 1974, and our governments worked to build a big dam which was hoped would hold back the water in any future flood.
This time 12 months ago, the city was experiencing a dreadful drought. The dam was very low, the rainfall small, and water restrictions were such that we could not wash cars or water gardens. Then late in 2010, we started getting huge rainfall. The highest rainfalls in many years. The dams filled, and the rains kept coming. Some of the dams are 150% of capacity. Unheard of. Not only did the rains come here in the Brisbane area, but beforehand the high rainfall and floods came to cities north of Brisbane – so many people are still waiting for the flood waters to recede. The whole state, which is a huge area, is suffering from the flooding rains.
In the past few weeks cities to the north of Brisbane have been flooded – homes, farms, businesses, properties – all destroyed in the floods. People have lost everything. Sadly some lives have been lost as well.
Currently the heavy rain still falls, the creeks and rivers are still rising, lives are being lost and people are still missing. Nothing else is on our news – warnings, crisis information, stories of tragedies, lots of tears.
We are all touched in some way by this catastrophe. I reported above my friend who is missing, or at least we cannot contact her. I’ve just heard from my son that a friend of his is distressed. His business appears to be flooded out. It must be heart breaking for him.
Some of these videos capture the dramatic events as they unfolded in the last few days.
Some of the towns have been flooded several times in the last few weeks – one town has been flooded three times. Each time when the water wen t down, the people cleaned out their homes and moved back in. They’ve done it twice – and now do not want to go back to their homes. It is too distressing.
The rain still falls – in places some 100 to 200 in a few hours. No one has seen anything like this, and the disaster still continues as the rain falls and the creeks and rivers swell with all the rain.
We are a resilient lot, we Australians, and we will rebuild, and get back to ‘normal’ one day – but roads, bridges, properties, homes, farms etc will all need to be rebuilt. Some folk with need temporary housing for a long time. Others will be jobless, though there will be many employment opportunities in the construction industries.
Life goes on.