BRISBANE FLOODS 2011 – SUMMER STORM – MY WORST FEARS
Location: The inner-city Brisbane suburb of Fairfield, Queensland, Australia.
325 viewings – 04 features – 11 favourites – 17SEP 2011
The photos in this flood collection have not been posted for their artistic merit; far from it, although this is probably one of the few exceptions. They are simply my personal account of the Brisbane Floods 2011 and how it has impacted my life. All photos have been taken in my local neighbourhood no more than 500 metres from my home. I hope you find them interesting and informative.
Here’s a link of me on the news, and of my flooded suburb. Once the link is established to Ten News, simply scroll down the playlist to: Suburbs Hit Hard And Fast.
Well this photo seems quite appropriate to me at present. It’s Monday, January 10, 2011 and Queensland is in the midst of the worst flooding in living memory. It’s been the wettest summer on record and the rain just keeps falling. Over 90% of the state has been ravaged by floods and cyclones, the total land area affected equal in size to France and Germany combined, and that’s just in Queensland. This state is a natural disaster area! In Northern and Central Queensland, one community after another has fallen victim to massive flooding, and the devastation just keeps heading South. I thought we may be lucky here in the South-East corner, but my hope has turned to dread.
To our West lies the Wivenhoe Dam, Brisbane’s water catchment. It’s at absolute capacity (190%) and is currently releasing massive amounts of water each day. Further West, the mountain town of Toowoomba has experienced flash flooding, a one in three hundred and seventy year event described as an ‘inland tsunami’ Communities in the Lockyer Valley have flooded too, the townships of Murphy’s Creek and Grantham being hardest hit. The water flowing down the valley has come directly from the top of the ranges. Seventeen people have been confirmed dead as a direct result of this, others have yet to been found. Ipswich is next in line and has also been totally inundated. All this water has to go somewhere, and it’s now heading straight for us. To make things worse, we’re experiencing king tides at present and as the river is tidal, well… it’s not looking good. As I live no more than 300 meters from the Brisbane River, it is very possible that my neighbours and I may be flooded out in the next couple of days.
I must say that it’s a very sobering process going through all of one’s belongings, selecting what stays and what goes. An evacuation order may be issued, and then it’s time to exit; me, my cats, my car… and whatever else will fit into it. I guess this is one way to rate one’s priorities. I would have much preferred something less dramatic, but such is life!
Tuesday, January 11, 2011 and there’s absolutely no doubt now; we are to be inundated. As the river rises, the water is now backing up through the storm water drains so it’s only a matter of time before this street completely disappears, my home along with it. I have no idea how high the water is going to go. In the 1974 floods, this house was completely submerged so am I wasting my time trying to place things up high? It all seems so futile.
The local police are currently going from door to door, urging residents to move to higher ground, and that’s exactly what my neighbours and I have in mind. We know exactly what is heading our way so there’s no time to waste. Every second counts and there is a frenzy of activity. More than anything, I am worried about my cats. They know something is happening and are very skittish, trying to escape at every opportunity. Their pet cages are ready so I grab each animal and unceremoniously throw them in, then place each cage into the car. I don’t even know where we are going. All I know is that we have to leave… Now!
It’s now Wednesday, January 12, 2011 and my worst fears have come to pass. My home, along with approximately 20000 others in Brisbane has been flooded. I am currently homeless! Thank God for the charity and compassion of my friends who have given my pets and I shelter.
Note the high-water mark on the wall. The flood waters had already dropped a couple of feet by the time I took this photo. I felt numb!
The main photo is taken from my veranda, looking due North over the rooftops of my neighbour’s homes. This photo is taken from the road directly outside my place looking due South.
Photos taken with Canon IXUS 80 IS and edited with Lightzone. SIMPLICITY is my niche!