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Floods in Australia

Updated on December 26, 2014

Environment Out of Control

There is nothing more dramatic than cars and homes being driven downstream in a flood. This photo is from the Toowoomba flood which hit the inland city at around 10pm on 10 January, 2011.

Many are dead or missing in the early morning light and homes, businesses and agricultural properties are devastated. To add to the country's woes fish kills are evident along the southern beaches of New South Wales due to enormous algae blooms in the oceans. With the huge amount of rain in recent days the oceans are being altered as the salt content declines and toxic chemicals, pesticides, herbicides and nitrogen based fertilisers are washed into the sea. God help us from here on in.

UPDATE: Queensland is drying out with some 4000 or more homes affected, many now unliveable and many more unrestorable. It is doubtful if homes destroyed can be rebuilt on the same ground because of liquifaction (earth turns to liquid under pressure). Now parts of Victoria is under water in the north-west regions

UPDATE:17th January. The waters have receeded in Qld and the scenes there are devatating. More bodies have been found in the Lokyer Valley and houses have been so badly damaged that they have to be removed and lives restarted. Many are not going to stay in the areas where they were most affected. One man said he just could not face staying on there where there are so many bad memories. It was heartbreaking hearing of the sad loss of life and of children swept out of parents arms or those of their rescuers.

The good news is that the CBD is coming back to life and the produce markets, which were under water 2 days ago, have reopened with stock from Victoria and elsewhere.

Now floods are in Victoria and Tasmania and the scenes there are not encouraging although nowhere near as bad.

UPDATE January 23rd, 2011: It is 2 weeks since the tsunami hit Toowoomba and now the heartbreak continues. Bodies are still being found in the Lockyer valley with another likely human remains found today. The death toll has now reached 33 with still 9 or so missing. One old lady, who was watching TV at the time, had no chance as the waters hit with horrific force washing her away. The body of a small 4 old boy, who was lost while being rescued, having fallen from a boat, has also been recovered. Yesterday a mother and her 13 year old son were buried. The boy had told rescuers to take his younger brother first and they could not get back to them to save their lives.

This tragedy will be playing out for years to come as whole towns have been destroyed. Homes are no longer there and many will never return. But it gets worse.

One week after Brisbane was flooded the story is still playing out. The floodwaters have remained in great ponds of infested polluted water which is full of ecoli bacteria and reeks to high heaven. Mud of the same description is being hosed and shovelled from homes all over the previously flooded areas. Sights one would never want to see are being revealed on the news media as households are entered for the first time. Furniture is a sodden rotting mess and cupboards, already caked and reeking, are opend to reveal putrifying food and stores. It is nothing but heartbreak.

The weather is humid, hot, sticky and at the best uncomfortable.

In Victoria the waters continue to rise with the death toll mounting there as well. Today a man drowned while swimming in the flooded Murray river. A few days ago an 8 year old boy was drowned in a swollen billabong. Tasmania has also seen floods around the north of that state, Food prices are soaring and the government is in a flap wondering how to pay for the rebuilding of billions of dollars worth of infrastructure and support for those left with nothing. Many of the victims were uninsured against river floods. Some never had a policy at all.

Many coal mines are under water and Qld supplies most of the world's coal. No coal means no electricy and no heating for the Northern Hemisphere. It also means less income for the already struggling governments.

Thousands of kilometers of railway line, roads, sewerage and other infrastructure is in urgent need of urgent repair before the state gets moving again. Harvests in other areas are unable to go anywhere because of flooded roads, unsafe bridges and railway lines out of action. In a word it's a mess

We need your help. The Aussies are battling and we could use a hand. Usually the first to give generously to overseas causes it is now our turn to say HELP. But you won't just be helping those affected by the floods but yourself and the rest of the world as well.

The cost of the flood damaged Qld infrastructure repair alone is a conservative $5 billion. The Federal gov't is giving large sums to busineses to help them recover and also to people who have lost everything, a generous $25,000. This link works well from my end but some are saying they cannot access it. If that is the case for you just google Queensland Flood Appeal and I am sure you will come to the right place.

UPDATE ; Januaury, February and March 2012. One year on and the floods are back. Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia, that's five states covering more than half the continent, has been underwater in some parts. A massive rain event has kept downpours of up to 300 ml, that's an enormous amount (OVER THREE FEET), belting many regions, Where I live in Canberra we had 260 ml in just 4 days. Now that water has moved down the Murrumbidgee River to major inland cities. Wagga Wagga, Griffiths, Gundagai, and so on are evacuating thousands of people. Cooma has been devastated in the Snowy Mountains and Bathurst and Orange as well. Crops, livestock and wildlife have seen heavy losses. This is Climate Change and it will only get worse.

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A Biblical size Flood

typical Queensland home
typical Queensland home

After the Drought

Ten years of devastating and unrelenting drought took its toll on Australian food production as water was restricted, rivers dried up and many desperate farmers committed suicide. The government coffers were stretched to the limits a compensation was paid out to keep people on their land. Everyone was praying for rain.

And then the rain CAME and CAME and CAME: The water pouring into Qieensland was unrelenting. Animals washed away, farms ruined, cities and towns underwater. Massive evacuations taking place all over the state. Then it went further.

Areas that were drought sticken before were now flooded with an ocean of water that spread out as far as the eyes can see. Queensland homes are usually built on stilts to give them more air from underneath as this is in a rather warm area while in the North of the state is the tropics. That's why you see homes above the water line while the clothes line peeps out above the water just below.

News Broadcast

New South Wales was next

This is the adjoining state to Queensand and the rivers drain into it. So the floods arrived here as well. Towns were submerged as the waters passed through.

This from the State Emergency Services Website:- "Approximately 5,000 people remain isolated across parts of inland NSW. The townships of Wee Waa, Warren, Carinda, Wollar, Smiths Road and areas of the Pilliga and large numbers of rural properties are isolated with some areas remaining so for up to three weeks. The SES continues to monitor this situation and are conducting resupply of essential items, stock fodder, medications and organising the transport of school children returning home for the Christmas holidays to isolated rural properties. "

It is hard to imagine the conditions when flood waters surround you on all sides and you are stranded in your home. Panic sets in as rain continues to fall. Will you be the next casualty? Will someone come and rescue you? What do you do with all your photos, essential records, videos, computer and things that are hard or impossible to reokace?

With those questions flooding your brain the SES turns up in a boat and orders you out immediately. No time to collect anything. Only your life is worth saving. This from the SES

"The State Emergency Service (SES) says heavy rain in northern New South Wales is worsening current flooding in the area.

A further 200 millimetres of rain is expected within the next 36 hours as the risk of major flooding increases on the north and mid-north coasts.

Around 1,400 people remain cut off by floodwaters west of Coffs Harbour and Bonalbo."

UPDATE:- towns in the north east of the state have been inundated but levees were not breached in Grafton or Goondiwindi. Many properties destroyed and stock losses but final tally not yet known.

Crops Devastated

Floods have hit a vast area of Australia including Victoria, NSW, South Australia (SA) and Western Australia (WA). The land includes the highly productive agricultural areas with stock losses high but the ground crops were the worst hit, Australia supplies most of the world's wheat and cereal crops at this time of the year. This year it won't happen.

Channel Nine News: "Farmers are counting the cost after more than 100mm of rain was dumped in some areas last weekend, destroying grain crops and affecting yields at the crucial harvest time.

Loddon Shire chief executive John McLinden said tens of thousands of hectares of cereal crops had been wiped out and thousands of hectares of hay had been lost" Read the rest of the article . . .

"Farming lobby group AgForce estimates 50 per cent of the state's crops have been affected by heavy rain, causing a significantly reduced yield - with up to 20 per cent of crops lost.

And the problems of getting food to markets have been exacerbated by roads cut by flood waters. Read more here . . . "

All States Affected

a wheat crop ready for harvest before the rains
a wheat crop ready for harvest before the rains

The Harvest was Not to Be

There are many crops that Australia supplies to the rest of the world which will just not be happening this year, and maybe for at least another year or two to come.

Wheat is one of the main staples on which most of the world depends. It is the main source of flour used in much of what we consume, But so too is sugar and the video below is a great reminder of how devastating floods may see a rise in famine throughout the world. While the Northern Hemisphere suffered extreme heat, drought, floods, fires and so on during its last growing season Australian harvested food was to be the salvation. But it isn't going to be so great after all.

Sugar crops devastated

Australian Flood Appeal

Still images from Dreamstime - click here

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© 2011 norma-holt

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    • profile image

      TanoCalvenoa 3 years ago

      An amazing account of this natural disaster. Thanks for making this.

    • norma-holt profile image

      norma-holt 4 years ago

      @RawBill1: Glad to see you are OK and may you never experience that kind of thing again, Hugs

    • RawBill1 profile image

      Bill 4 years ago from Gold Coast, Australia

      This was a horrible event to live through. Luckily for myself, only a couple of hours drive away from Toowoomba and less than an hour from the Brisbane floods, we escaped pretty unharmed from all that rain in 2011. We got more in the early 2012 floods where we were trapped at home for a couple of days due to creeks flowing across the roads. The wet season is approaching once more after an extended dry period. Lets see what it brings us this year!

    • Gypzeerose profile image

      Rose Jones 5 years ago

      How distressing. Thanks for the real journalism that you provide us.

    • Blackspaniel1 profile image

      Blackspaniel1 6 years ago

      Great lens about an unfortunate situation. We have people in Australia that we do business with.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Devastated with the tragic loss of life and crops, there is a long way to heal from the trauma that the families have undergone. Our prayers are with them.

    • katiecolette profile image

      katiecolette 6 years ago

      Thank you for taking the time to write this lens. What a terrible tragedy. So sorry...

    • KeemaWolf profile image

      Fiona Findlay 6 years ago from Queensland, Australia

      It's going to be a long road to recovery, but we're on it, and we'll get there in the end.

      Glad someone made a decent lens about it; do you know if anyone's approached the Powers about having the Flood Fund added as a Squidoo Charity?

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I've heard on news and I'm really sorry about it...I hope people will recover soon

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      We have seen this on television. The American news doesn't cover much that is international but they did this.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I figured it out ok, but the link above for the QUEENSLAND GOV'T FLOOD APPEAL . . . isn't working, it needs to have one of the slashes removed.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Just terrible, I couldn't even imagine going through anything even close to this, my heart, thoughts and prayers go out to all Australians. I'll be sure to make a donation.

    • Brite-Ideas profile image

      Barbara Tremblay Cipak 6 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      This is so horrible, a worthy lens to keep the light shining on the topic - you made the lens easy to follow and read as well.

    • profile image

      scar4 6 years ago

      I learned the flooding when listening to the radio, it's terrible! I have tweeted it and hope all the people safe and sound.

    • Gloriousconfusion profile image

      Diana Grant 6 years ago from United Kingdom

      I am crying as I read this - well done for getting this out to people. Here in the UK we are updated every 2 or 3 hours on TV news with the current situation - it's horrific. Angel Blessings for your constant work on this lens over the last few days and for your local take on what is happening.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      here's hoping the weather gets better for you

    • EuroSquid LM profile image

      EuroSquid LM 6 years ago

      Blessed by an Angel

    • Brookelorren LM profile image

      Brookelorren LM 6 years ago

      I love Australia. I'm so sad about the terrible tragedy in the past few weeks.

    • ajgodinho profile image

      Anthony Godinho 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      It's sad to see the devastation these floods have caused and the whole magnitude of it. Let's do whatever we can to help restore lives back to normal. Hope you and your family are doing well and my thoughts and prayers are with everyone affected!

    • GonnaFly profile image

      Jeanette 6 years ago from Australia

      Tasmania is affected now too. These are truly devastating floods. We've just come back from a holiday in Queensland. We were on Moreton Island at the time the floods hit Brisbane and our car was parked right next to the Brisbane River. We were blessed that where we parked our car, the river was wide and could allow the excess waters down and so the flood waters did not reach our car. But we did lose landline phones on the island and mobile phones were restricted to emergency calls only.

    • LissaKlar LM profile image

      LissaKlar LM 6 years ago

      Hi. Had to come back and bless this lens. Thanks for getting the story out.

    • hayleylou lm profile image

      hayleylou lm 6 years ago

      I live on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland and we personally were not affected, but so many around us were. The images of what happened in Toowoomba will remain in mine and many others memories for a long time to come. It was a very sad day for everyone. Our hearts are with the families who are affected. Blessed by a Squid Angel and will be featured in My Time as a Squid Angel.

    • deyanis profile image

      deyanis 6 years ago from Oz

      @norma-holt: Back to sprinkle angel blessing here. Thank you for creating this lens, to raise awareness and hopefully give support to all Queenslanders, and everyone who's affected with this horrible mother nature. I've heard the news that Australia will experience the worst drought and the worst flood. :( That breaks my heart.

    • RhondaAlbom profile image

      Rhonda Albom 6 years ago from New Zealand

      We have been following this story as it unfolds. Australia is in our thoughts.

    • Jack2205 profile image

      Jack 6 years ago

      Blessed by a Squid Angel.

    • norma-holt profile image

      norma-holt 6 years ago

      @SusanDeppner: Thank you Susan, the effect of this tragedy will be years in the healing. It is already going to take months for some people to return to their homes, that is if their homes are there to return to. Hugs and blessing

    • norma-holt profile image

      norma-holt 6 years ago

      @Bellezza-Decor: Thank you so much dear friend. Hugs and blessing

    • norma-holt profile image

      norma-holt 6 years ago

      @anonymous: Many Kiwi's have a strong feeling for Australia and we have so many of your ex-pats here, especially in Qld. Thank you so much for the blessing as it is so much appeciated. Hugs and blessing

    • norma-holt profile image

      norma-holt 6 years ago

      @Philippians468: Thanks so much, we are grateful for the comfort that our overseas friends are giving at the time. Hugs and blessing

    • norma-holt profile image

      norma-holt 6 years ago

      @deyanis: Hi deyani, yes Australia is taking quite a battering over the last few years but we are not the only ones suffering. So pleased that your friends and family are safe from the floods. Hugs and blessing

    • norma-holt profile image

      norma-holt 6 years ago

      @RhondaAlbom: Thanks Rhonda, I know your heart is with Queensland as you have recently been there and now the same area, Maroochydore, is one of those affected. Hugs and blessing.

    • norma-holt profile image

      norma-holt 6 years ago

      @ChrisDay LM: Thanks Chris, your thought are appreciated and many who are suffering right now will probably be aware of how our friends overseas are supporting them.

    • norma-holt profile image

      norma-holt 6 years ago

      @LissaKlar LM: Thank you for your prayers, Lisa, bless you and hugs

    • norma-holt profile image

      norma-holt 6 years ago

      @Virginia Allain: Yes, it is both frightful and frightening. Its happening all over the world as climate change happens.

    • norma-holt profile image

      norma-holt 6 years ago

      @MargoPArrowsmith: Thank you Margo. I know many are touched by this tragedy. Hugs

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 6 years ago from Arkansas USA

      This is just horrible for so many people, but I'm sure they will rebuild and be stronger than ever as time passes. My prayers are with them.

    • Bellezza-Decor profile image

      Bellezza-Decor 6 years ago from Canada

      Have been watching the news everyday about Australia and I hope these floods recede soon.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Although I am now in the USA, being a Kiwi, naturally I am concerned and saddened for the terrible things going on in Australia. This lens is Blessed by a SquidAngel

    • Philippians468 profile image

      Philippians468 6 years ago

      my heart aches at the sight of this. God be with the affected.

    • deyanis profile image

      deyanis 6 years ago from Oz

      My hearts goes to everyone in QLD areas, they've survived the drought couple years ago and now they have to go through this terrible floods. :( I lived in Brisbane for few years so it's devastating to see my favorite hangout places & my workplace went underwater. Thankfully all my friends & families are safe because they live in higher grounds. Hope the worst will be over soon and the recovery & clean-up can start.

    • ChrisDay LM profile image

      ChrisDay LM 6 years ago

      My heart goes out to these people and to the Australian nation. You are a wonderfully resilient people but this has hit very hard. You will prevail.

    • LissaKlar LM profile image

      LissaKlar LM 6 years ago

      Wow, this is devastating. I will be praying that they can see relief soon.

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 6 years ago from Central Florida

      This is frightful. I hope it subsides soon and recovery can begin.

    • MargoPArrowsmith profile image

      MargoPArrowsmith 6 years ago

      How awful, in our prayers