The news about the horrific floods are being reported on not only nationally in Australia but over the world.
I visited my family in Corinda, in Brisbane’s south west just last week. It’d been raining every day for a while, and there was a predicted 3 months more ahead of them. Sure, the river and creek levels were rising, but it’s just the wet season. Everything was looking so lush and green. The ground was a bit slushie. But, no biggie.
That was until flash floods erupted through Toowoomba, which occured on the 10th of January. In mere moments, a simple creek burst its banks, sending powerful currents of water on a destructive path. Take a look at this youtube video to see it in action.
The rush of all this excess water has been named an ‘inland tsunami’, and rightly so. This forceable wave of water is destroying everything in its path, upturning cars and taking lives.
Only a day later and the reactions of this tsunami is having catastrophic affects on Brisbane. Unfortunately for me, my family live on the Oxley creek, down the lower part of a dead end road. The Brisbane River has already burst its banks, sending copious amounts of water through the other catchment areas, Oxley being one of them.
Reports from my Dad states that the creek is receiving water not only from the Brisbane River, but the tsunami’s water from Toowoomba. It’ll hit the Beaudesert catchment which feeds into – you guessed it – our creek. This is all expected to happen Thursday and Friday. Friday also marks the high tide, making sure the water levels will be at their highest.
My place is made up of three and a half tiers. The lowest level, which is the large grassy back yard which overlooks the creek and its mangroves. On an average day, there’s usually a 2 metre drop from our pad to the creek. In fact, if you fell, there were more chances you’d get stuck on the sharp mangroves and thick mud than actually hitting any water.
My house via Google Maps
The roof to the left – my house. The red A is the garage. To the right, Oxley Creek.
Right now, the water has not only overflowed from the creek completely covering the back yard and flooding the garage, but is over the other half tier which leads not only to the pool deck (which is completely consumed) but the lower level of the house.
Currently standing, the lower level is filling up, and not too slowly either. There are a few steps separating the office/lounge area from the bathroom/laundry and downstairs bedroom. Chances are these will go under too.
All the furniture has been moved upstairs. In the ’74 floods, the water levels reached 1.5 metres into the top level of the house. This flood is expected to be just as bad, if not worse than those floods. My parents remain hopeful. The main concern is my bedroom. It is only supported by thin wooden beams on soil ground. Should any sort of current make its way through the creek like the video above, it’s very likely that these beams will snap, and my bedroom, bathroom and possibly kitchen will completely collapse.
The worst part of all is that flood insurance is not often offered in Brisbane. The insurance agency my parents are with do not offer it, so we are not covered for any damages this flood will cause. If it is offered, it usually doubles the entire cost of insurance, so most people do not opt for it.
The general feel of Brisbane right now are mainly 2 things: Community – many people are opening hearts and homes to others less fortunate (the RSPCA in Fairfield had gone under but all the animals have been fostered out safely!) and of defeat. So many times I hear “What can you do”. When offering to fly up asap to help my Mum, that’s all she kept saying. What can you do.
I feel utterly helpless, powerless and overwhelmed, but not all of it in a negative way. Massive thanks has to go to Surf Dive ‘n’ Ski for donating a large care package made up of clothes, towels etc for my family and neighbours who are in a time of need.
Brisbane will be hit hard by this. The worst is not over.
Pics of the floods in Bris
In Milton – taken by Sally Schmidt
Images below courtesy of Pedestrian
Coronation Drive Bike path
Terneriffe walk way
View from above
If you’re wanting to help at all with these floods, and I urge you to with all my heart, please donate what you can.
The best way to do this is to visit http://www.qld.gov.au/floods/donate.html
Please spread the word!
More info to come on a fantastic charity event in Sydney – SAVE THE DATE – 25th JANUARY!