Brisbane Floods 2011 - Summer Storm - My Worst Fears by Neil Ross

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Brisbane Floods 2011 - Summer Storm - My Worst Fears by 

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!


amateur, brisbane, brisbane floods 2011, fear, home, queensland, queensland floods 2011, summer, storm

I love anything that is unusual, unique, or just plain odd, and that’s the sort of image I try to capture. I’m so far from being the world’s best photographer it’s not funny, but I do have the photographer’s ‘eye’ and am more than proficient at capturing the images I see in my world. Thanks for taking the time to view my portfolio. Feel free to leave a message and say G’day.

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  • Ryan Davison Crisp
    Ryan Davison C...over 3 years ago

    excellent processing on this

  • Cheers Ryan. Thanks for having a look :D

    – Neil Ross

  • Shulie1
    Shulie1over 3 years ago


  • Many thanks Shulie. The storm itself was a real tooth rattler. I hope I’ve captured some of its raw power. So glad you like it :D

    – Neil Ross

  • AndreaEL
    AndreaELover 3 years ago

    Great capture and work Neil.

  • Thanks very much Andrea. This was a pretty good storm :D

    – Neil Ross

  • Ginny York
    Ginny Yorkover 3 years ago

    I hope you don’t get any flooding Neil. It’s a shame that Nature can be so beautiful and brutal all at the same time. Beautiful skies! I see a beast in the purple one….coming across the sky with ferosity. Stay safe.

  • Sorry for the late reply Ginny. Sadly I got flooded out. Lost most of my stuff, but then… it’s only stuff. I’m ok and so are my critters, so it’s not all bad. Yeah nature can be brutal, but then that’s what Australia is like sometimes. It’s never dull :D

    – Neil Ross

  • Jupiter Queen
    Jupiter Queenover 3 years ago

    Neil, my sweet artist friend! Sorry about the crazy wheather!
    It is Sommer over your way! I hope you have someplace safe to be with your precious animals!
    The same thing is happening in my country Hungary, and it is about minus 8-10 Celcius cold, which is about good minus 50-60 degrees, they can’t even take away or pump the water out, the pipes are frozen, and the houses are just completely falling down, no place to live but a shelter for these poor people!

  • Hey Jupiter. Sorry for my tardy reply. I got flooded. Not back home yet and it’s going to take ages to get things back to normal. Haven’t been online for weeks either. Hmmm what next I wonder? Otherwise, all is good with me :D PS: my B&W pussycat Leo was killed by a dog back in late January. 2011 is turning out to be quite a challenging year. I miss him dearly and the pain from that is far worse than the floods could ever have been.

    – Neil Ross

  • Cherubtree
    Cherubtreeover 3 years ago

    Gorgeous shot! You are very talented! xo

  • Thanks very much Valerie. It was a pretty good storm, and one of many during our summer.

    – Neil Ross

  • Ginny York
    Ginny Yorkover 3 years ago

    Oh my goodness Neil….I am so sorry to hear about you getting flooded out. Thank God you are ok. I’m so sorry to hear about Leo. I hope things will start going better for you and your loved ones. I have missed seeing you on RB. I will say lots of prayers for you.

  • Thanks for your prayers Ginny. I’ve missed being here too and when the repairs start soon I’ll miss it again. All is ok and I like so many others around the world are doing one day at a time :D

    – Neil Ross

  • Vanessa Barklay
    Vanessa Barklayover 3 years ago

    Your work is FEATURED in Australia! You’re Standing In It…

  • Many thanks for the feature Vanessa. Much appreciated :D

    – Neil Ross

  • Jupiter Queen
    Jupiter Queenover 3 years ago

    Neil my sweet artist friend, I feel your pain all the way from Australia. I can’t even imagine the pain, sorry for your loss my friend. I will pray for you to feel better, and maybe God will send you another cat angel friend :-) ♥♥♥

  • I’m sure there’s another little one out there who needs a good home. When I finally get back into my home, then I’ll make room for it as well. Thanks for your wishes. I like that… cat angel friend. I’m sure that’s what they are :D

    – Neil Ross

  • rocamiadesign
    rocamiadesignover 3 years ago

    Awesome image!

  • Thanks very much. In hindsight, this is a very powerful photo for me. Didn’t know what was heading our way until it was on our doorstep. This photo signifies the beginning of it all.

    – Neil Ross

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