New Farm Park, Brisbane

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

FLOODS GET CLOSE TO HOME

It has been a shocking 24 hours for us Queenslanders. The low weather system that flooded many towns and cities in Central Queensland has  now hit South East Queensland, the most densely populated part of the state. The first city to suffer down here was Toowoomba. It is a beautiful town situated on the top of a mountain range. It is unimaginable that it could suffer flooding up there. However, a most severe and prolonged storm hit and hundreds of mls fell in an hour and a half. The small creeks that run through the city turned into a widespread raging torrent taking everything in its path with it. It was so sudden and severe that people had no warning.  The water found Lockyer Creek and rushed down the mountain into the Lockyer Valley. A seven metre high wall of water smashed into small towns in the valley. Cars were washed away, houses were washed away, people climbed onto their roofs and were rescued by helicopter when the weather cleared enough for the rescues. 8 people have died, 70 are missing and 43 were rescued.
The following 6 pics are from the Courier Mail website.
Toowoomba

Toowoomba

A woman climbs onto the roof of her car.

This family were being washed away on top of their car. (While the news helicopter was trying to get help for these people they saw the car and family disappear.) Yesterday was a very sad day for the people of Toowoomba and the Lockyer Valley.

After the water went down hundreds of cars were found smashed up and full of water and debris.

Today the water is heading for the Brisbane River and Brisbane.  The Wyvenhoe Dam was built after the 1974 floods to protect the city. However, the dam is already over full by 70%, the gates are open but the dam is filling faster than water can be released. The water being released is rushing towards the city and other towns on the way. People living in 32 suburbs along the river banks have been warned to go home from work and move to higher ground. To make things worse the Brisbane River is a tidal river so when the high tide meets the flooding river it will be the worst time. This is expected to happen tomorrow.

A woman leaves her abandoned 4 wheel drive car and wades to safety in Oxley, a suburb of Brisbane. People are warned not to drive through flood waters.

We are lucky that we do not live near the river and in fact we live on the side of a high hill. As long as the hill and the houses behind us (in the pic above) don't slide down on top of us we'll be okay.

This has been our view on and off for the past two months and continually for the past two days. I can't believe the sky could hold so much water.

Bill has some amazing video footage on his blog

37 comments:

  1. Glad to hear you're safe. My eldest son and my grandchildren have voluntarily left their home near Strathpine. Apparently Strathpine residents were warned there might be severe flooding in low lying areas there. My son's house is in Bray Park, but he decided to head off to his wife's relatives on the south side just to be safe. This disaster just doesn't stop!

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  2. I don't know what to say, that's such a disaster. How little we are against nature. I am happy that at least you and Bill are safe and hopefully it will last !
    It's just unbelievable what I saw so far on TV.

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  3. Thank you for this. It is salutory to read something from someone there in the midst of it.

    I, too, believe that mother and boy drowned. The next time I saw that close-up footage, it had one of those blotchy-circles over them. But they were way out in the middle of acres of water. Just devastating.

    I am thinking of all of youse ...

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  4. Great coverage Diane.
    I hope viewers will read and see what you have covered.
    Now 5.05pm here and I have not heard a train go by. The situation is catastrophic and looks like getting worse. I have heard that trains to some areas are no more.
    As I write this, it is coming down in torrents from above. The Toowoomba situation is really just unbelievable - all day TV coverage.
    They were telling people who were in the CBD of Brisbane this morning to get out and employers were sending staff home.
    Australia needs help - we give generously to overseas disasters, so far except from "The Vatican" - zilch! Come on World, give assistance please.
    Colin (HB)

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  5. Oh Diane;) my heart just breaks for the people of Queensland and I have just said a sincere prayer for you and Bill against that hill in Brisbane. Grant keeps me up to date (with the news on the Internet) as we don't have telly but it's good you show us the real deal. Sad and horrifying but we need to pray for the Queenslanders and I am right now. Big cyber (((hugs))) Jo

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  6. I don't think I agree with Colin, here. Not totally. I think the USA has offered, as has the UN. And if you think back to the Pakistan floods earlier in 2010, they were harder on many more people than what is happening in QLD. Not that I want to downgrade the peril people are facing, but there is a broader perspective that may get lost in the centre.

    Take care, please.

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  7. Yes, I heard Julia's press conference. Other countries have offered assistance. US, EU, UN, Indonesia, East Timor, NZ, New Caledonia are some that I can remember.

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  8. We are getting the coverage daily on our news and I was wondering if you were affected. Its heartbreaking and seems to be never ending. When we had this in 2007 I too couldnt believe that the sky could hold so much water. It takes so long to recover. A lady at my WI had to move out of her house in 2007 as it was flooded, and she still hasnt moved back. I pray that it soon stops for you. xxxx

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  9. Glad to hear you are safe, Diane. Michelle says the feeling in Brisbane is quite eerie; almost like the end of the world.

    Russell and family are due to return home from Belgium in 10 days (after 4 and a half years there) to move into their home in Toowoomba. Their house is surrounded by water, but fortunately not flooded yet.

    If only we could send all this rain across country to Perth to put out those raging bushfires!!

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  10. glad you are safe and hope you continue to be. my heart goes out to those poor people who have lost their homes and more. it's truly a tragedy

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  11. Glad to know you are safe. What's happening up there is like something out of a bad dream. Its heartbreaking.

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  12. Diane my thanks for your personal update. Have you in my thoughts and will be looking for regular updates. You certainly need the rain to stop. My sister is in Brisbane so will be checking regularly with her to ensure they are safe. Our news suggests we do not tie up phone lines though. Looks like it will be moving south.

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  13. Glad to hear your are safe ... it is a very tense time for Brisbane. We have checked with our immediate family in Brisbane, Ipswich and Gympie and all are OK as well. Talking with my sister the rain does seem quite dreadful.

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  14. A very good overview, Diane. Yes it was horrendous news today.
    Hugs, Jan

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  15. This looks so horrible, like the tsunami in Thailand a few years ago. What can you do against this furious nature. Hope you will stay safe in your home. It is on the radio here every hour.
    All the best, Marianne

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  16. Hi Diane, the situation in Queensland is really very sad, serious and horrifying. I am glad you are safe but I am very sorry for all those who are suffering. I’ve heard about evacuation of the people from Brisbane; many people lost their lives in floods, lots of people are missing… I don’t have an idea where the Heritage Park is located, but there was a blogging friend who lived there but who abandoned blogging some time ago. Do you happen to know what the situation is in this part of Brisbane?
    All the best to all of you there!

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  17. Keep safe Diane....Been watching 24 ABC. Feel so sorry for all caught in the floods.

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  18. MedaM, heritage park is south of Brisbane and not near the Brisbane River, so your friend should be safe.

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  19. Oh my gosh! Before I clicked onto your blog I was looking at a newspaper from Brisbane online and seeing the pics. Incredible. That water! I can't imagine. Sometimes I wonder if I'm just getting old and can't remember or if things are actually getting worse. Nothing like what is happening today. Seems like there's so much more now that there was when I was young(er). I just think back to little Rigby, Idaho in the early 50's and it was all such peaceful living. Maybe it wasn't. These photos are just not to be believed. I wish I could do something to help. Wave a magic wand or something. Anything. :(

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  20. Goodness, Diane! This is really frightening - my folks sent a link to us earlier today, but I've been away from home most of today and hadn't had a chance to check till now. I'd come to do that, but then thought I'd quickly see if any of the blogs I follow had been updated! Yours came up first, with this...I had no idea things have become this bad!!!

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  21. These images are so frightening. The force of the water is beyond scary.
    I'm so glad that you're on high ground.
    My thoughts are with you, be safe.
    ☼ Sunny

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  22. Thank you for the update, Diane. We've seen some of this on the news here. It is truly awful and our prayers are with you and with everyone being affected by this.

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  23. This is so frightening; I am glad you are in a relatively safe place, but I weep for those who are not.

    There has of course been coverage of the flood here, but your pictures really bring it home to me. (That phenomonen of something being worse when you know someone involved. I guess that is the good thing of blogging, we now have "personal" friends all over the world.)

    Thank you for sharing your pain as well as your joy. (It was much more fun to feel as if I were at your daughter's beautiful wedding than to feel as if I were in the middle of the Queensland flood, but I'm grateful that you shared both.)

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  24. It has gotten to the point where I hate to watch the news---everything from Australia is so awful. I am so sorry for you all. The flooding is horrific and the cost in unimaginable. I'm relieved to know that you are (probably) safe at home.

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  25. Hi Diane, I am so very very sorry for everything which is happening in your beautiful country.. I am glad you all are safe so far...

    I looked at Bill's videos --and almost cried.. That is just horrible....

    I also looked at Bill's video on Sonya.. I did cry seeing that one. What a fabulous job he did... I loved it.

    Stay SAFE.

    Hugs and Prayers,
    Betsy

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  26. I was just watching our UK News and saw the horrifying footage of the torrent in Toowoomba - unbelievable. I'm glad to know you are not near the Brisbane river but I pray you will be safe on your hillside. Thinking of you both - and of all those affected. I am praying the rain will stop and the waters quickly recede. There will still be lots of heartache and hard work to do but at least people will be safe then.

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  27. Oh my heart just aches for you all! That photo of the family just kicked me in the stomach - I saw footage on the news and almost couldn't believe the force of that water..soo very sad and terrifying. My prayers will be with you and all of your countrymen..
    I pray for safety and peace for you all - please keep us posted ;-(

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  28. Oh my...how terrible this must be. You are in my prayers.

    Kay

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  29. These floods are devastating. The videos on YouTube and the news are almost surreal. I'm not old enough to remember the 1974 Brisbane flood but they say this one will be even higher. Glad you and Bill are okay and hope the rest of the city will be too.

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  30. I have been away from the blog for several days, and had to check in today to see if you were OK after hearing the news stories on tv. I'm so glad to hear you are still safe. The loss of lives in this flood is just tragic.

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  31. Diane
    I was watching the news this morning and was thinking of you and Bill. I don't know anyone else in QLD - please stay safe and dry.

    All the best, Evelyn

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  32. I've seen videos of the floods in Toowoomba on our news. The amount of water in the streets is unbelievable. I hope you and your family continue to be safe.

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  33. So sorry I haven't stopped by for a while Diane. I thought of you this afternoon and wanted to check that you and Bill were safe. I cannot believe what is happening, just heartbreaking. Stay safe♥ Linda, Gold Coast xxx

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  34. Thank you everyone for your thoughts and prayers. It has stopped raining but the water is still rising in the river suburbs.

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  35. Diane, I remember the floods in 1974, as you mentioned Goodna, People we knew had just bought a house there and the water went over their roof. I have experienced a few floods along the Clarence river, but luckily it never entered our buildings, just all around us was water. i was thinking about you and I am glad you are in a flood free zone.

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