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Floods

1. xymonau8 January 2011, 11:39 GMT +01:00

The town I'm in is the next to flood. I don't think it will affect me directly - apart from the incessant rain, which is maddening - but both bridges in town have been inundated and are closed, which means there is only one way out to the Bruce Highway, the major link through Queensland. However, if too much rain occurs, my workplace is across the road from houses that back onto the river, and it's possible, I think, that we might be affected. The whole town is pretty flat, so I don't really know where the water is likely to lie.

This has been such a dreadful time for so many people in this state. We've had rain for months, unseasonal for winter, and then the rainy season - summer - brought downpours. Ten people have died. And although some of the worst crises have passed or are passing gradually, the rotten rain just won't go away. I've started to grow webbed feet! LOL Of course, the river levels are from the catchment areas that feed into them, so it doesn't have to be raining much locally for a flood to occur. However, nature has obliged with plenty of local rain so we wouldn't feel left out.

I'm reminded of a line from a very old Australian poem, "droughts and flooding rains". I'm going to indulge myself and post it here, for those who haven't read it. It was written in the early 1900s, I think, and it can always bring on the tears for me. Don't read it if you're easily bored! :)

My Country

By Dorothea Mackellar


THE LOVE of field and coppice,
Of green and shaded lanes,
Of ordered woods and gardens
Is running in your veins;
Strong love of grey-blue distance,
Brown streams and soft, dim skies—
I know but cannot share it,
My love is otherwise.

I love a sunburnt country,
A land of sweeping plains,
Of ragged mountain ranges,
Of droughts and flooding rains.
I love her far horizons,
I love her jewel-sea,
Her beauty and her terror—
The wide brown land for me!

The stark white ring-barked forests,
All tragic to the moon,
The sapphire-misted mountains,
The hot gold hush of noon.
Green tangle of the brushes,
Where lithe lianas coil,
And orchids deck the tree-tops
And ferns the warm dark soil.

Core of my heart, my country!
Her pitiless blue sky,
When sick at heart, around us,
We see the cattle die—
But then the grey clouds gather,
And we can bless again
The drumming of an army,
The steady, soaking rain.

Core of my heart, my country!
Land of the Rainbow Gold,
For flood and fire and famine,
She pays us back threefold;
Over the thirsty paddocks,
Watch, after many days,
The filmy veil of greenness
That thickens as we gaze.

An opal-hearted country,
A wilful, lavish land—
All you who have not loved her,
You will not understand—
Though earth holds many splendours,
Wherever I may die,
I know to what brown country
My homing thoughts will fly.

2. micromoth8 January 2011, 13:52 GMT +01:00

A beautiful poem, encapsulating that country so well.
I am of course aware from the media of the terrible flooding problems currently affecting Australia, and my sincerest sympathies go to those affected. But it all comes into prominence in a new way when I hear that someone I actually correspond with could likewise be affected. I'm so sorry, Dez, to read that you too might be on the waterline imminently, but let's hope it doesn't get quite that far - that's certainly what I'll be praying. Meantime, keep your spirits up!

3. xymonau9 January 2011, 0:07 GMT +01:00

Thank you, Kevin. I phoned work this morning, but the river level is still fine and at this point is unlikely to cause a problem for my workplace. I do have one worker who lives on the other side of the closed bridge, so I may have to deal with that later. There's quite a bit of grumbling thunder about, leaden skies, RAIN, RAIN, RAIN, and I don't feel like doing anything constructive, like cleaning my house. LOL

I just had a call from a friend who is travelling by train to Brisbane today. He's not sure if there are problems with the rail, but I don't think there will be. However, he said the local Woolworths carpark is flooded up to the ceiling, and that's not all that far from me. I'm blowin' up the rubber dinghy as we speak! LOL (I'm not seriously worried. Just joking.)

4. Ayla879 January 2011, 8:47 GMT +01:00

I've got the feeling that you won't have to be seriously worried, but keep us informed
--Michael

5. xymonau10 January 2011, 3:12 GMT +01:00

http://www.abc.net.au/news/video/2011/01/09/3109203.htm

This is it. I was horrified at the water levels of the river when I came to work. There is to be another flood peak today. There have been hundreds of cars driving slowly past to look at the river. I wish I had brought my camera, but then, it's raining sporadically, and I don't want to get it wet! LOL

6. jazza11 January 2011, 9:52 GMT +01:00

The situation is getting worse as far as I understood. I hope you will keep dry feet.

7. xymonau11 January 2011, 10:53 GMT +01:00

I'm okay, but I cried when I saw the images of Toowoomba and little Grantham. I grew up in Toowoomba, and it is on a steep escarpment about a hundred miles from the coast and Brisbane. It has no river, and it gets soggy, but doesn't really flood. A wall of water that they're calling an inland tsunami hit it, ran through its city centre, killed two people, and swept away dozens of cars, took the sides off buildings, and generally wrecked the place. No-one would have even expected it.

Then the water travelled down the escarpment to the small country towns in farming areas below, in the Lockyer Valley - one of the food baskets of Queensland - and a wave of about 7 metres hit a town called Grantham. It swept houses off their stumps, and they were afloat and smashing into other buildings. The lucky ones got on to their rooves and spent the night there to stay out of the water. Rescuers couldn't get to them until this morning.

There have been 11 confirmed deaths so far, but about 56 people are missing. Many were swept away in their cars, others in houses that smashed to pieces, and no-one knows if they're perhaps clinging to trees somewhere or dead.

The waters are now hitting Ipswich, an inland city, and Brisbane, the capital, and several suburbs - inner city ones - are inundated, but the water won't peak until Thursday. They think it will be a record flood.

Now the waters here in my town are receding, although more rain is coming (hasn't really gone), and it could rise again. But I went in to the supermarket to buy some bread today, and there wasn't any. A few scabby bits of fruit, two bags of potatoes and almost nothing else in the fresh food section. Nothing can be shipped as the highway is cut off everywhere. They think maybe there might be something on Friday. But crops in the Lockyer Valley will all be destroyed. Someone suggested I should buy petrol, so I filled my tank. No petrol shipments can get through, either. I needed some scripts filled, and thought I'd better get those before they ran out. Too late. One of my medications is out. Fortunately they had a generic brand, but it sounds like not much of that, either.

So I'm fine. My son lives in Brisbane, and he thinks they are okay for now. My grandchildren live in Ipswich, but they are away on holidays right now, so they are safe, hopefully. My heart goes out to the poor, poor people who have lost their lives and their families in this terrible time. Three quarters of the state - and it's a big state - is a declared disaster area. There has been nothing like it in recent history. You get bad floods, but in one local area. This encompasses a vast area.

8. Ayla8711 January 2011, 12:22 GMT +01:00

Good to hear you are fine, Dez. While power supplies last (and I hope they will never fail!) use your great new monitor to create some additional sunshine:
http://www.rgbstock.com/photo/mFCFmzg/morning+sun

I've never experienced empty supermarkets as you describe them. Not even when the wall came down here in Germany (Bananas were out first, as far as I remenber)...

I hope there will be no more deads and injured - water can be extremely powerful.
--Michael

9. jazza11 January 2011, 13:05 GMT +01:00

Sounds all terrible. I wonder how our friend Michael B. (charcoal) is doing. He is from Brisbane, right?

10. xymonau11 January 2011, 14:01 GMT +01:00

Yes, he is, and Debsch is from somewhere north, and I don't know if she has been affected. There are a few - Jadey, and some I can't remember. All live in Queensland.

Michael, that is really a blazing sun! We have had a bit of sun today. The mosquitoes will be the next plague. I don't know how long it takes them to breed, but they have lots of water to be doing it in.

11. lennie12 January 2011, 0:43 GMT +01:00

I found this video about the flooding of today:

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/breaking-news/desperate-and-grim-situation-facing-qld-premier-anna-bligh-warns/story-fn7il3q4-1225985275828

12. gesinek12 January 2011, 12:15 GMT +01:00

Hello Dez
my thoughts are with you. We often speak about that disaster which happens in your country and we admire the people how were affected and interviewed in TV. They appear so calm and hopeful. Today newspapers tells in Hamburg electricity is cut of in a lot of regions and I was happy seeing you writing in the forum today.

13. weirdvis12 January 2011, 23:36 GMT +01:00

The news footage of the floods is terrible. Keep your tootsies dry, Dez. That goes for all the other RGBers caught up in this disaster.

14. xymonau13 January 2011, 10:18 GMT +01:00

Poor Brazil has just had 50 (?) people killed in mudslides after heavy rains. Just shocking. And today is the anniversary of the Haiti earthquake. The planet is getting harder to live on.

15. crisderaud13 January 2011, 15:13 GMT +01:00

This video was brought to us via Craig Jewell on Facebook. It is of a boat ride through the streets of Brisbane with a reporter and her camera man. It looks surprisingly bad and the water is still rising. Reminds me of New Orleans when the hurricane hit 5 yrs ago.

http://video.couriermail.com.au/1738539943/Floating-in-the-flood

16. xymonau14 January 2011, 11:15 GMT +01:00

Brazil has had 500, not fifty, killed. How devastating!

17. GerbenVanErkelens14 January 2011, 11:30 GMT +01:00

Here in NL water is giving problems too, luckily not like Brasil and Australia

18. xymonau14 January 2011, 11:40 GMT +01:00

Cris, that site has a lot of flood videos. It's all a bit overwhelming. And now Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania are copping the floods.

19. decar6615 January 2011, 14:41 GMT +01:00

I am following the news updates every day on the TV and on-line media, it's terrible. Hope this will end up soon, everytime I watch the news I think about you Dez. I hope you will be safe. My thoughts are with you and the rest of Australian friends in Queensland.

20. xymonau15 January 2011, 23:43 GMT +01:00

Thank you, Salva. Our river has dropped rapidly, so we are okay. The highways are damaged by all the water, and because of our large distances, that will be an issue for a while. Food is getting through. I believe one supermarket is receiving fresh food today, and they will open. (In this awful town, just about everything is usually closed on Sundays.) Even Brisbane's water has dropped rapidly, and whole streets are cleaning up. Mud and foul water everywhere. Naturally, all carpets have to be ripped up. In Queensland we have a lot of timber houses. A lot of those have warping and will not get back to normal. All flooded homes have to be checked electrically before they can get the electricity reconnected. It's such a huge task - and that's in so many towns.

Gerben, what has been happening there? Is it from rain?

21. decar6616 January 2011, 1:08 GMT +01:00

Also Frankfurt in Germany. I was there last week-end and I could see with my own eyes that river Rhin has overflowed. Some areas near the airport are suffering floods and roads and motorways are cut.

22. xymonau16 January 2011, 9:30 GMT +01:00

La Nina is having a huge effect all over the planet this time.

23. weirdvis16 January 2011, 11:41 GMT +01:00

Hopefully the worst of the flooding is over. The clean up is going to take a long time though. All those lives and livelihoods ruined.

24. xymonau16 January 2011, 13:38 GMT +01:00

The wonderful side to this is the way people have rallied to help. Complete strangers are walking up to houses and offering to help clean. I saw one woman interviewed about her ruined house. The reporter asked who the elderly couple were who were helping to sweep out the muddy water. She said she didn't actually know. The couple said they felt almost guilty because they were fine during the floods, and they just wanted to help. Hundereds - possibly thousands - of people are doing the same. It's heartening.

25. Ayla8717 January 2011, 8:27 GMT +01:00

This is really great, indeed :)

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