Redcliffe Pier

Thursday, January 13, 2011

THE DAY BRISBANE SHUT DOWN

This morning there was good and bad news. The good news is that the river didn't  rise as high as was predicted, so hundreds of houses and businesses were not damaged. However, the 4.5 metre flood was enough to completely shut own the city. Thousands of homes and businesses were inundated. The power is off in over 100,000 homes and businesses. Hundreds of roads are blocked, there is no public transport. The city is closed. The river reached its peak at 4:00am this morning, now in the evening the water is going down but high tides will slow the process. Many people are trying to get home to clean up. Thousands are in evacuation centres and thousands are with friends and relatives.

There are many,many stories of tragedy and heroism coming to light. The tragic tales are too sad to repeat but there is one of a tug boat hero I would like to tell. He was listening to the radio and heard that a 300 m section of the River Walk had been dislodged and was zooming down the river heading for the twin Gateway Bridges. There was a real danger that the bridge could have a pylon knocked out by this piece of concrete walkway weighing tons.

He took it upon himself to jump into his tug and drive upstream to meet the floating walkway on its way to the bridge. With remarkable skills and no ropes he managed to keep this monster under control and he kept it away from marinas and other boats and finally guided it masterfully between the pylons of the bridge, which had been closed due to the immanent danger.

Bill and I have enjoyed walking along this floating walkway a few times. It was quite a long walk.

The Brisbane River floating walkway.

Bill and I enjoyed walking on it.
Early this morning before light it was washed down stream by floodwaters. This is what one man did to save our biggest bridge.


28 comments:

  1. I spoke to my Mom on Skype this morning and she'd mentioned the tug boat hero as well! What sheer bravery and selflessness! A truly remarkable man if ever there was!

    We'd also walked along the river boardwalk during our short visit to Brisbane 2 years ago. Unbelievable to think of it as simply swept away.

    Everyone must be anxiously waiting for the flood waters to recede so a full assessment of what needs to be done can be made and then the really hard work starts.

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  2. You are doing a great job with your flood coverage Diane. I appreciate it.

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  3. What a selfless man, the tug boat hero is, Diane. I'm grateful you and Bill are OK and still continue to pray for your country and especially Brisbane at this time. Greetings from Jo

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  4. There are many heroes in situations like this. I remember Ice Storm '98, we were 10 days without power, in -5 C. temperatures. Sump stopped, basement flooded. Trees cracking in the cold, covered in ice, falling with the sheer weight of it all.
    Our volunteer firefighters were tireless, as well as hydro crews. Best of luck. I have sent a donation through your gov'ts website. Only a token considering the damage, but it was something I could do from Canada, and Perth, Ontario!

    Keep those photos and narrative coming. We are with you in spirit. Thank you for visiting My World ! I love reading about other wildlife, like your wallabies!

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  5. I see your header and that gaves me the creeps...

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  6. Thank heaven for heroes.
    My thoughts are with you.
    ☼ Sunny

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  7. Oh, Diane. I am thinking about you constantly.

    What a great story about the tugboat driver that you included. As we continue to get coverage of the flooding in and around Brisbane and as we learn more about our own tragic happenings in Arizona occurring at the same time, what sticks out in all of it for me is that capacity we all have in our hearts and souls to be heroes..without giving it much second thought. Some people just are bound to use their talent and skills to save the day, as it were.

    One would hope that one would do the same in similar circumstances. Stay dry, sweetie. And know that here in America, we are thinking of you and your fellow countrymen and women.

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  8. What an amazing story about this man.The picture on your header says it all...

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  9. We have been seeing more and more on the news here about your flood disaster and I always think of you at that moment, and your beautiful city. This is so heartening to see how people rise to the heights of bravery and care in moments like these. An amazing video...a huge "thank you" for that tugboat pilot and others like him.

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  10. Oh My Gosh.... I am sick about that floating walkway --but that tug boat driver deserves a metal for his bravery... WOW!!!! Where did the floating sidewalk finally end up???

    I am praying hard for your country and city and its people --especially all of those who have been effected by the flooding... What a horrible shame...

    Prayers and Love and Lots of HUGS to you,
    Betsy

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  11. I guess these extreme situations bring out both the best and worst in people. What a lot of clearing up there will be. I imagine it will be a long time before you can go about your business normally again in Brisbane. I gather your own home has been spared - thank God for that.

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  12. Thank you for sharing Dianne. Again, your blog really brings home this tragedy. A few lines in this morning's paper about Brisbane -- not much (but it's not much of a newspaper here).

    We listen to BBC or NPR better coverage there. Amazing story of heroism -- the will and the skill combined in that guy!

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  13. I watch the news every day to see how things are working out for you. You are right - there are some truly heartbreaking stories. I wish it would all just stop now and get back to normal for you. xxxx

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  14. That tugboat captain is amazing. Getting that debris safely passed the bridge was incredible seamanship.
    Since the river is receding, I hope the worst is over.

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  15. Diane, knowing you and Bill there and seeing what is happening through your eyes is amazing. Thank you for taking the time to share this.

    Is your home okay still? I sure hope so. I was telling Phillip about your newly renovated kitchen.

    Is there anything we can do to help? Let us know if there is please. Please take care, and be careful. I worry about the snake issue especially.

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  16. I hope you and Bill escaped any damage form this terrible flooding, Diane. That tugboat captian was so brave!

    The company my husband works for is international and they have an office in Brisbane. He told me how they got many updates during the day about their Autralian counterparts, and that luckily they were all safe.

    We hope and pray that this disater will be over soon and that there will be no more loss of life and property.

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  17. Diane, that is quite a video! Yes, indeed, the tugboat skipper is a hero. I am seeing alot about the flooding and devastation and my heart goes out to all of you there. Take care..praying there are no mudslides where you are.

    Blessings!
    CottonLady

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  18. Thank you again everyone for thoughts and offers of help. We are safe here as we live 20k south of Brisbane and nowhere near the river. The pelting rain did some garden damage and patches of erosion but nothing serious thank goodness. We are sadden and sickened from what has happened to our city and all the people who have been affected all over our state.

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  19. Diana, Thanks for highlighting that mans iniative, and we have heard of many more people who are going above and beyond the call of duty. On the news it was stated that all of this debris is landing up on a beach at the entrance to the river and is going to have to be removed before the river is once again open to shipping. Yachts that have sunk, etc, are goign to be hazards. It is going to be a long time until Brisbane is back up and running as usual. The Queensland spirit is shining brightly though, through it all. Bless you, everyone that is helping.

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  20. Hope you stay safe and dry..

    Amazing, isn't it, what people will do, unbidden and for the sheer joy of doing a job that needs doing! Thank God there are people like this in our world!

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  21. When Hurricane Katrina flooded New Orleans, it was a Blogger who kept the world informed. You a serving the same way for your situation. I was in Houston TX when it went under water and the good people who helped heroically were many. So sorry "Down Under" is going under so much water. It seems impossible that so much flooding is happening...and so little can really be done about it save pray and hope for mercy.

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  22. Saw on the news about the guy in the tug boat there are some truly amazing people out there, willing to do what has to be done just because it is the right thing to do.

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  23. Amazing..there is a special place in Heaven for people like that :-)

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  24. Amazing..there is a special place in Heaven for people like that :-)

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  25. This video is just amazing, it looks like an ant directing a matchstick ! Incredible.
    It's a terrible disaster. We also have floods and only 20 km from us a little town 2 m under water. Small or big places, people suffer the same way and have lost everything.

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  26. I wondered what that walkway had been like. Watching that little tug nudge part of it down the river was amazing.

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  27. Hi Diane, I was barely online last week so I am going back and catching up on your posts about the flood. I saw some footage on tv but your stories make it seem far more real.

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