Some Views of the Brisbane River in Flood
Brisbane River and Floods
Brisbane Floods 2011
live in the city of Brisbane, but luckily I am above flood level, but like everyone here, we are affected in some way. Luckily I am not one of the thousands who are now homeless (although some will be able to return to their homes when the flood waters recede and their homes are deemed safe by authorities). I have not lost my home, my business, my treasured possessions, or my job.
The clean-up, when the waters recede, will take a long time, and it will be months before roads, railway, and other infrastructure is repaired.
2010 was the wettest year on record in Australia - but even so, some places are still in drought.
Australia is like that.
A famous poet,Dorothea MacKellar, once penned the words about Australia ' a land of drought and flooding plains'. So true. In December 2010 the rains came and kept coming. Places to the north of the city - the cities of Rockhampton, and Bundaberg flooded, and still the rains came, and many parts along the coast, and inland bore the brunt of the relenting rain.
Eventually it was the south east of Queensland's turn. The inland city of Toowoomba, was devastated by a wall of water called 'an inland tsunami' that carried away cars, homes and people. We all watched in awe at the footage and stories played out on our television. Some stations have given non-stop coverage of the disaster.
Yesterday (January 12th) the flooding came to the city of Brisbane with a vengeance. A massive flow of water came down the river from the Wivenhoe Dam, built after the last major flood in 1974, to help reduce the flooding problems in the city, was up to 200% of capacity and was releasing water when the could - trying to create a balance between saving the dam wall and flooding the areas downstream.
Some towns have been evacuated several times in recent weeks. Some small towns have been all but wiped out.
There are already some 14 deaths, and around 70 people still missing as searches go on for them or their bodies. Worse news is yet to come.
I am high and dry, and have kept safe. I've abided by the requests from police to stay home, stay off the roads. However, today I travelled down to the Brisbane River to get a close up look at the swirling river. It does affect me, as it affects all of us. Luckily I have not lost property or family members we are all safe. But supermarkets have little stock - certainly no fresh fruit and vegetables, bread or milk. I cannot go anywhere. Roads are blocked. The city is closed down. I am a little isolated. But very very lucky.
Around 2,500,000 people will be affected by this tragedy. Jobs, businesses, properties, crops and more have been lost. Livestock has floated away. Native animals have lost their lives. Poisonous snakes have invaded houses and properties above the flood level adding to the dangers. Topsoil is gone - so farmers will find it difficult to rebuild their shattered lives.
It will be a long time before recovery.