Brisbane Floods 2011 - Clean Up - Limbo vs Patience

Neil Ross

Brisbane, Australia

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Artist's Description

These photos have not been posted for their artistic merit; far from it. 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 they are of interest to you.

Saturday, May 21, 2011.

These are the final photos in my flood documentation series. There’s not much point going any further until things start to proceed; there’s little happening. Like myself, my neighbours and the neighbourhood as a whole are in a state of Limbo, waiting for insurance companies and the state government to make decisions, and they have been moving at a glacial pace!

Since the flood back in January, the house in this photo has been left untouched, abandoned if you will. Where are it’s occupants? What has happened to them? The place is overgrown, the rubbish is piling up, there are no signs of activity whatsoever. As this is an older house that appears to have had little maintenance over the years, I can only assume it’s owners were elderly, and if so, the flood would have hit them especially hard.

This suburb like so many inner-city suburbs is undergoing a generational change. As the older residents pass away or move on, younger folks are moving in. The older folks who were caught up in this ordeal probably had no insurance and no means nor strength to start over again. How very sad for them to be placed in such a situation. I wonder what has happened to them since then?

Even though the flood is no longer front-page news, it’s legacy lingers on. In fact I think most have forgotten about it because it didn’t touch them personally. However, to walk through these streets at night is an eerie experience. Most houses are dark, there are no people or cars, and the place it deathly quiet. It’s an empty stillness that chills one to the bone. I wonder where everbody has gone? Some of these people have families to care for, children to educate, mortgages to pay, and probably rent to find on top of all this while living in the limbo state. These people are living the flood legacy and I can guarantee they have not forgotten about it.

This whole experience has been (and still is) an exercise in Patience. However, as the saying goes “Patience is the reward of patience”, and we have been exercising all our patience. In fact, we have redefined what it is to be patient.

I wish to thank everybody who has been following this photo series. Your kind words and well wishes have carried me such a long way through a very trying period. I am so grateful to you all. Blessings always. xoxo

PS: Friday, July 15, 2011 (6 months since the flood)

Well… finally… at last… word has been received that all repairs on (my) house are to commence next week. After thorough investigations and appraisals, the insurance company has given the green light. Thank you, thank you :D The house in the main image has also been demolished. All that remains now is the stone fence. Hopefully the owners are rebuilding.

Photos taken with Canon IXUS 80 IS and edited with Lightzone. SIMPLICITY is my niche!

The children’s play area in the park directly opposite my home is still closed! I like the symbolism of the light in this photo though, because it represents hope of a brighter future.


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