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Friday, January 14, 2011

THE CLEAN - UP

Usually our little community is quite self -sufficient.
We have a primary school,
4 churches,
an olympic swimming pool,
a sports oval,
a shopping centre with supermarket, hair dresser, newsagent, butcher, fruit & veg shop, chemist, florist
doctors and vets,
a petrol station,
Thai restaurant and pizza take-away.

Of these facilities the churches and school are the only ones not affected by the floods.
75 homes in the low lying areas near the river were flooded to varying degrees. This is probably not a large percentage of the homes in the area so, although we have been isolated and without power for 4 days, a large number of us are fine.
Our freezers and fridges have defrosted in the heat ( 28 -30 C now that the rain has stopped ) so what food we had stored has gone. There has been much sharing and neighbourly barbeque-ing but families with small children ( and there are lots of them, our school has 600+ pupils and climbing rapidly) were beginning to do it tough.

 Finally, yesterday, authorities realised that we were isolated out here and running out of some types of food and now bread, milk, nappies and other essentials are being handed out at the Flood Evacuation Centre to those who need it. There is no fresh fruit and vegetables and there won't be for quite a while as the markets that control distribution of fruit and vegies was completely flooded.

The road towards the city finally emerged from the water around midday yesterday. It's a 20 minute drive through rural acreages to the next suburb and all the facilities it provides ( such as supermarkets and petrol stations ) but when we drove in yesterday the supermarkets were empty and so were the petrol stations. (There were people in cafes drinking coffee and eating cake !!!)

Diminishing petrol supplies (we have half a tank ) mean that we will not make the drive again until we know for sure they have supplies available. There are heaps of people working to clean up our flooded shopping centre and every flooded house has a large band of workers. These workers are being supplied with cold water and sandwiches by the CWA ladies.



The piles of rubbish outside houses is a sorry sight. The awful smell ! Rotting , spoiled food as well as mud containing heaven knows what.

So even though we are no longer isolated by floods, our community continues to cling together. Lack of fuel means we are staying close to home and doing what we can to help our neighbours and progress is pretty rapid there.

The next hurdle is the removal of all the rubbish but our Lord Mayor says he has it under control. Helpers must wear gum boots ( who on earth has those except horsey people ?) or work boots and gloves and in some places masks as airborn bacteria of some kind is causing a type of pnemonia. Our former Prime Minister , Kevin Rudd (a Brisbane resident), was hospitalised after contracting a foot infection from wading in the floodwaters so it is very important to be careful.

 I am sorry this post is lacking photos but it seemed such bad taste to be photographing people's misery.

Cheers.

17 comments:

  1. What a mess. I guess most of us dont have a clue about the logistics of the aftermath and how every day life has been affected. Thanks for letting us know you're OK even if you are doing it tough.

    Hopefully supplies of fresh foods wont be long in getting organised.

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  2. Hopefully your community will get additional resources now that it's been recognized how hard it's been hit. Wishing you a very speedy recovery.

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  3. Helen that sounds absolutely awful. There are thousands of volunteers turning up to help in all the flood affected areas of Brisbane so hopefully help won't be too far away. They were expecting 6,000 today and 7,000 turned up, just at the registration centres and that's not including everyone that was helping to clean up their neighbours and friends yards.
    Unfortunately there seems to be a shortage of petrol and food all over SE Qld, like I said in my previous comment, because of all the selfish people panic buying and stripping the shelves without thinking of others.
    The Rocklea Markets are temporarily being moved up to the Sunshine Coast as of today or tomorrow to allow for quick distribution of fresh fruit and vegetables, so it should be much better very soon. The milk factory that went under should be up and running again by Monday.

    After this I am going back to always having a supply on hand of essentials, UHT milk, flour, yeast etc canned food so that I am always prepared for being flooded in. I think we have all become complacent over the last 10 years of drought, I know I have, and now we are back to temperamental Qld weather I am going to have to be more prepared.
    Hope you are back to normal as soon as possible, wish I could help out from here.

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  4. Sorry about the essay!!!!! Got a bit carried away! ;)

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  5. I don't think many of us can really comprehend how awful it must be and especially in such damp hot weather. The threat of disease must be ever present. People have become so used to being able to get out and about in their carsd and to being able to buy what they want when they want in the supermarkets that it is hard to imagine not being able to do so. I hope that supplies will arrive before too long and that the clean up will not take too long to achieve but my heart goes out to those whose homes have been ruined - it takes months/years to get a house dried out properly and it's not been clean water that filled them either! It is interesting to hear first hand what it's like as now our TV news has switched to more on the Brazilian floods and we are not seeing so much of yours! Take care and am so glad you are at least dry even if not as well fed as you might wish - but then you wanted to lose weight didn't you?!!

    Jane

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  6. Lord Helen, it all sounds so dreadful.I hope you get back to normality before too long.

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  7. Helen...I'm praying that food and petrol supplies are on their way to you and the families in your community. Thank you for sharing how it really is. I'm so far removed from it all, I truly have no idea unless a bloggy friend can relay the information. You seem to be in good spirits. It's nice to know your community is pulling together. Stay safe.

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  8. Thank you for reporting so well about what is happening on the ground where you are. The internet is frustrating at times, but it does keep us all connected. Prayers for your community....

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  9. Thank goodnes you are ok, but I feel so sorry for the devastating effect the flood has had on your community. It is wonderful to know your friends and neighbours are all pulling together. I hope fresh supplies and fuel are available soon. Love Kim xx

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  10. Helen, I can only try and imagine what it must be like for you, but know I'm no where close.

    We have had some floods around different parts of the UK in the past few years, but a)they are much smaller in scale and b)its never hot when they happen.

    I'm just glad you are safe and hope supplies start getting sorted out soon x

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  11. Helen,
    I've been watching videos on the TV, it surely is a mess.
    Keep safe, and your friends all around the world are thinking of you and your country.
    Hugs Suex

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  12. Totally agree about the photos Helen. I have not had the TV on very much lately as that is all that is on. I feel so much for those who are affected and I hate that they are "On Show" because of it.
    There are other ways to help.
    So glad though that your lovely home and family and friends are safe and sound

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  13. You all have been in both our thoughts and prayers this weekend. It's amazing how real your reporting in makes the whole mess seem to us. Appreciations for keeping us all posted when you can.

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  14. Helsie, I've been watching events unfold in Brisbane on the TV. Its terrible, and now other parts of the world are suffering with floods too. The after-effects of such an event can be so devastating. I have some friends living in Bellbowrie and we haven't heard anything from them. A worrying time.

    Thank goodness you are safe. I hope the rubbish gets cleared and supplies start coming in very soon.

    Jeanne
    x

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  15. Helen
    You say that your four churches were not affected by the flood! This is surely a miracle! The Good Lord God Almighty vented his wrath but spared his own most holy houses. A miracle I tell you! Praise Him! Praise The Lord!
    Where can I make a contribution to Australian Famine Relief?
    Best wishes,
    Y.Pudding B.A.(Hons), Dip. Ed..

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  16. Glad you were ok Helen. It must be awful to see how your community has been affected. I can't begin to imagine how terrible it has been for all of you. Keep strong. xx

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  17. What a mess! I understand now why people rush and buy as much as they can. They might be marooned and not be able to shop again for ages. Well, round here there are few people who DON'T have wellie boots! I suppose we just get more rain. I like to hear the positive things about disasters, such as how people all help each other.

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