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Friday, January 14, 2011


Hello, hello all my blogland mates.
It's sooo nice to be back.
Many thanks for all your kind thoughts.
We've now come through the worst and I have lots to tell you about the terribble flood we have been through.

Where to start?

I guess the river is the best place.
This is the Brisbane River that flows right through the centre of Brisbane.
 It's a very windy river - it winds quite a torturous path as it moves towards the bay
and the suburb where I live is on the western outskirts of Brisbane where the river makes a big loop - almost a circle before it heads off towards the city centre.

After an enormous amount of rain our slow, lazy river turned into this raging torrent.
Although we have a dam especially constructed to control the amount of water that comes down the river in these situations more water was going into the dam from runoff than they could release and the dam was filling rapidly to a very dangerous level.
Add this to a raging torrent from another river which flows into it right here at our suburb and we have a recipe for disaster.
On top of all this we had a King Tide which stopped the water flowing out to sea and acted like a plug, causing the water to rise very rapidly.

So, the morning after the shelves at the local supermarket were emptied as I told you in my previous post,  we woke to find the supermarket looked like this.

The top of the dark line is the water level - nearly to the top of the roof !
The power went off at 4:00am as water compromised repeater stations and wires became dangerously close to the rising flood.
We became cut off from the city and neighbouring suburbs in all directions and the water continued to rise steadily.

All we could do was watch the water rise and help where we could as homes quickly were inundated with this creeping brown horror. At least the rain stopped.

Upstream  a huge wall of water had swept away several rural hamlets, whole houses swept away with their occupants peering out the windows in terror.
There are still some 50+ people missing with the death toll now numbering 10 confirmed.

To their horror these kayakists thought they had come across a dead body floating amongst the trees in a suburban street.

Imagine their delight when they found it was just the Flight Centre Man from outside a travel agent's shop !!

A welcome bit of fun at a terrible time.

So here we sat, luckily for us high and dry, but with many of our neighbours having to be evacuated from their homes clutching their treasures.
For some there was time to move valuables, take some clothes, photos but most had to leave furniture behind or moved it upstairs only to have the floodwaters rise so high it was in vain.

So we watched and waited.
The temperature was around 26 degrees C with
no power for refrigeration,
no power for charging mobile phones,
no power for powering computers or recharging laptops,
no power for radios
no power for lights.

We were completely cut off.
All we knew from snippets on the car radio was that everywhere along the river was badly flooded.

We tried to make the food in our freezers last as long as we could - didn't open the doors and used all the perishables first but milk and butter don't last long in the heat and cold drinks didn't stay cold for long either.
By this morning many of us were emptying out our freezers, cooking what we could and sharing with our neighbours. Lots of food had to be discarded  - no taking chances with spoiled food at times like these.
Most were doing OK but families with small children fared the worst without bread, butter and milk.
This morning I cooked up a big curry and we shared it tonight with friends from down the street who were out of meat and vegies. 
Tomorrow we were ready to start on tinned food, eggs, pasta - plenty of food we would not starve!!! 

Then power was restored!
Then the flood water went down as quickly as it rose and we were back in touch with the rest of the world and left with a legacy of stinking MUD and rubbish as well as sodden, muddy furnishings


So now the clean-up begins.

We have power but no shops so we'll start on the canned food.
Everyone is pitching in and helping eachother with this heartbreaking task.

I'll keep you posted.


PS. My Favourite Thing for FTF is   electricity !!


  1. OMG! What a 'to-do', Poor old Helen, but I'm glad you came through all that relatively unscathed.
    And thanks for the pictures, it somehow shows the real situation rather than the sensational pictures the press crave.

  2. Thank goodness you're ok......I sense the wartime spirit amongst you, the way you're all helping each other out and cooking meals for each other, let's hope the clean up operation swings into action quickly and pray that those poor people missing are found safe and well.

    take care, florrie x

  3. I am so glad to hear you made it through as well as you did. I was thinking about you all day yesterday and kept looking for postings here and on FB. So, glad you have check in. I know you have a busy weekend ahead. You will continue to be in our thoughts and prayers. Your pictures make it all seem so real to me.

  4. Poor you. I've been watching it on the BBC. I have to say I was wondering what had happen to you all and glad you are all OK.
    Julie xxxxxxxxxx

  5. I've been thinking about you and wondering how you were since your last post - so glad you have survived and that your home isn't ruined. It must be so horrible to have everything covered with that horrible mud but I must say that everyone seems to be very stoic and cheerful - or at least the ones we see on TV! Hope it won't be too long before you get some sort of normality back - hope too your friends will not find too much damage done to their homes. You will all continue to be in our thoughts and prayers and I am just so glad to hear from you again!

    Jane x

  6. Thank goodness you are ok, you are both so so lucky. What a mess though, I expect the clear up with take a very very long time.

    Take care x

  7. I'm glad to hear the two of you are okay. My thoughts are with those who did not fare as well.

    What a wonderful thing you are doing sharing whatever you have with your community.

    Fair play to you!

  8. So glad you are safe and sound. It's a funny thing, but even though we don't really know each other, you sprang to mind when I first heard about the floods on the TV. Hope the big clen-up is not too stressful. Ros

  9. Your account means so much more to me than anything I have seen on the TV news. Sounds as if you picked the location of your house very wisely indeed. Nice to read that people showed their best qualities - pulling together and helping the less fortunate in their hour of need. There's nothing religious at all about that - it's what good people do. I also reflected on how thin the veneer of "civilisation" is. It wouldn't take long for the lives we know to break down - take away the electricity and the supermarket, compromise fresh water supplies and then where are we?

  10. My heart goes out to you all in your part of the WORLD. HUGS MARY

  11. AS a matter of interest Helen did not mention that the badly flooded suburb of Goodna had a shark that was washed out of the river, swimming up and down the main street. Snakes are also a hazard at the moment as they have been washed from there habitat into suburban houses, so care is needed during the enormous cleanup.

  12. So glad to hear you have the electricity back on at home. Have been thinking of you these last few days. SO good to hear that everyone has all pulled together to help each other. I'm just watching the queues of thousands of people that are volunteering this morning to help out everyone who needs it. What a fabulous sight.
    Despite the selfish people who panic bought all the fuel and food rather than taking just what they need so that others would be able to have some too, it makes my heart swell and be proud to be Australian.

  13. lol..all this going on and you still manage to work FTF into your post.

    I am SO glad you have electricity back on - I have been thinking about you without it for days and wondering how you've been getting on.

    Im so happy you're both safe and your home has not been affected.

    Tony, the bull shark story hit the media here yesterday (finally!) and ugh I keep thinking about the snakes.

  14. I'm so glad to hear from you Helen and have been wondering how you've been faring. My thoughts are with you all.
    Anne xx

  15. Glad to hear you are OK and have power back on - have been thinking of you all. Hope you can re-stock supplies soon. Had to chuckle at the Flight Centre man photos - but not so keen on Tony's shark and snakes story - don't like snakes!!! Hope there isn't one in my storage locker! I'll be back in Brisbane next week - will be in touch - take care.Maria

  16. Very glad that you were apared the worst. Hope that things will return to at least near normal soon. Thanks for showing and telling the story.

    Electricity is a very good favorite thing.

  17. Thank you all my dear blogland pals. It is so nice to know you are all out there and your support is really appreciated.
    Lots of cheers