[meteorite-list] Brisbane Floods

From: dean bessey <deanbessey_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Fri, 14 Jan 2011 02:37:05 -0800 (PST)
Message-ID: <759137.16520.qm_at_web56101.mail.re3.yahoo.com>

I have spent much of today and yesterday responding to emails from well wishers asking if I am OK in the floods so I will give my own first hand account twenty miles or so from ground zero.
I am happy to report that we are all fine and not a part of what your front page news is currently showing but we had a much to close for comfort close call.
Its been raining for weeks and 3 weeks or so ago the news was 5 or 6 hours north and inland where the news showed people being rescued from rooftops by helicopter but other than the news and lots of rain we werent really affected.
About two weeks ago here the rain picked up - a lot. Torrential rain kept coming but other than no access to outdoor activities we werent really affected. I pretty much have lived on ebay recently anyway. The roads have been closed regularly up north and sunday the road a few miles north of me was closed. Everywhere north of me was cut off except by helicopter.
Monday, in Toowoomba, a town a hundred miles inland from Brisbane is when the international news started showing you pictures of brisbane. A meters high wall of water and mud out of nowhere suddendly leveled Toowoomba's business district and left carnage in its wake. Towns downstream were devestated and thats when you got all that video footage of cars being swept everywhere and helicopters rescueing people. I started regularly hearing helicopters flying low as they search for people needing rescue. A local news channel made a video of a family on the top of a white van flowing down a raging river hundreds of meters wide. That video probably was the biggest most graphic image of the floods and the premiers office and news stations were all inundated with calls wondering how they were. Yesterday the premier reported at a news conference that the mom and 9 year old boy was rescued but when the helicopter returned for dad he was gone and is now listed as
 missing. If he ever turns up in one piece it will be the biggest rescue story of the floods and he will get rich being interviewed by oprah and similar people but it probably wont happen.
This is all nearby to me and in places that I am very familiar with but in reality its all just news to me.
Sunday night my chickens house got flooded and I moved them to a small unused shed for a temporary accomodation.
Tuesday morning my wife comes is saying that we have a pond in the back yard. Water has made it to the new chicken home and I piled up some pallets for them to live on. All eight of my usually very pampered chickens spends a couple of sad, soggy and miserable days with no roosts camped out on the top of a stack of pallets. They are not happy chickens.
There is a little creek that overflowed its banks a short distance from me and water is slowly coming up to a storage shed and in the extremily vicious thunder storm convinces us to pile things up in case it gets flooded. I still have hundreds of boxes unopened from the move from New Zealand last year so we decide to put the fragile and valuable stuff on top of the less valuable boxes and as we are done we get a standardized government text saying that there are flash floods near us and that we are advised to report to an evacuation centre nearby. A couple minutes later we lose both phone and internet (Our cell phone company apparantly had a building full of equipment flood and I never did find out why we lost internet).
Then, just before noon some lady from the preschool where my two kiddies are at knocks on the door saying they have been trying to call me and that I have to go pick up the kids quick as the police had ordered the schools
closed and any kids not picked up would be taken to an evacuation centre because they were not going to let the kids be there by one occlock which was high tide and they were worried about what would happen during high tide.
Back home the water slowly comes up my yard. Like the tide. Not a bit of wind and almost calm except for the buckets of water raining down. Water is getting very close to flooding us. My eight chickens are huddled together on top of the pallet all wet and miserable and the water is within inches of flooding us to. Its getting close to the 1PM high tide and we wonder if the water will keep coming after high tide. We are a good ten miles from the sea. I am 4 inches from getting flooded but luckily that 4 inches of concrete saved me. Just two streets down from me the streets just a bit lower and closer to the (Now not so little) creek have the police going down the street in boats looking for people who need help or evacuation.
The water goes down pretty fast after high tide and while still soggy by 3PM there is no longer a pond in my yard. The rain also stops for a while and over the next hour we hear low flying helicopters a few times.
4:30 I go into town (only a mile away) for pizza (Tuesday is cheap pizza day). Some roads are blocked and others are 4WD roads only. There is still massive amounts of water and even the opened roads still have lots of water and the closed areas has water that will go up past the wheels of my hilux.
There are a lot of people walking around very wet and soggy and the only business's open is the pizza place and a liquor store (Lifes essentials). I now live on an island with no way to go more than a few miles unless you had a helicopter. (I always dreamed of living on an island). I can only imagine how bad the town was flooded 3 hours earlier at high tide when there must have been a meter more water. Towns within 10 miles were still cut off the next day.
Next day the rains stopped and the residual water starts drying up nicely in the 30+ degree heat.
Wednesday we are back to normal. Its like nothing ever happened except for some leaves and sticks that still needed clearing up. There was no noticable evidence of the previous adys flood. Some people had soggy basements but my extra 4 inchs of concrete ment that I can get back to ebay rather than having a cleanup day. We hear a helicopter a couple times and some people from the city come to see how we are doing and if we had debries that needed removal. But for the most part it is just another news day. And of course what a news day it was. Thats when Brisbane started being front page news as you are all I am sure very aware off. Luckily I am over twenty miles from the river that runs through downtown brisbane and this massive carnage and destruction that you see on the news is not affecting me except that it is almost impossible to buy fruit and (Particularly) vegetables. It is strange going to a grocery store seeing empty space where the fruit
 section is normally at. We are told that vegetable prices will double.
Brisbane news hasnt been reporting crocodiles and venemous snakes swimming in the streets like they were reporting a couple weeks ago in Rockhampton but there have been reports of Bull Sharks swimming in the streets in Brisbane.
When you watch the news and see disasters which are so common in the news, wither it be floods in india, hurricanes in Louisiania, earthquakes in haiti etc you see so many natural disasters that you almost become numb to it all. Its always somewhere else and affecting somebody else far away that you watch the 6 oclock news for. Its borderline entertaining almost.
But when you are that close it feels a little different. When we moved from New Zealand last year we almost moved to Forest Hill. We didnt because the place we wanted got rented out a couple days before we arrived and the landlord didnt want to wait longer for us.
The entire town of Forest Hill yesterday was evacuated by helicopter - often by people clinging on the roof of their houses. We had a scare and a very close call but it could have been a lot worse. I wont ever live near any river here in Australia. Even little creeks are off limits from now on.
Meanwhile my eight chickens are back home but in a now fenced off open area where they have free access to my wifes compost heap that they seem to love and are now all very happy chickens again - except that they are complaining that they are being fed way to much proper chicken food and not enough table scraps.
A lot of people living along the Brisbane river will be a bit longer recovering from the flood than us.
Northern Brisbane area



Received on Fri 14 Jan 2011 05:37:05 AM PST

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