Posts Tagged ‘emergency’

Travellers Tales 1

January 11, 2011

Our plane landed into a torrential thunderstorm at Brisbane airport, too dangerous for workers to unload the baggage until the lightning eased up.  That was on Wednesday evening and since then it has continued raining heavily over south east Queensland with only occasional breaks into brighter weather.

The floods are out.  In Toowoomba a flash flood drowned several people yesterday and wrecked property.  The TV news is full of images of cars tumbling along the streets in the middle of vast crashing piles of yellow-brown water.  Today the Brisbane River has burst its banks and seems likely to inundate low-lying inner city suburbs.  The State Premier was on TV: a strong, serious woman with an impressive script.  Her short statement, clear and to the point, seemed deeply felt: she looked close to tears at one point.  There’s a primitive quality about this ferocious natural power which feels ill-assorted with a contemporary urban locale.  I can understand now that feeling that ‘it can’t happen to me’ – and indeed we are on high ground here at Moggill – but of course it can happen anywhere and to anyone.  I realise too how far I have deviated from my Australian origins as I see people here taking the dangers seriously (and that means personally), while I am still barely able to grasp that they are real, and happening just down the road.  My nephew believes that the electricity might be cut off, and was all for buying a small generator this morning.  I am sure he could have found one, too.  Others were talking about the possibility that the water supply might fail.  Perhaps we should be filling bottles with water now?  But this suggestion was defeated, not by confidence in the water supply, but by Ross’s comment that we have a large water tank filled with rain water.  Easy to boil that, at need.  At Coles supermarket in Bellbowrie just down the road, the checkout queues were reported to be two hours long, as people stocked up in case the suburb is cut off.  Ross and his family joined the crowd buying up on non-perishables: noodles and rice and so forth.

We drove down to look at the river at Moggill Ferry:

the picnic ground is totally under water and the river is running in spate

 

Still it rains.  Today it is heavier and more persistent than before, and the thunder is rolling louder.  We are told that there is to be a king tide tonight which will hold the floodwaters back from flowing into the sea, and so raise the water level upstream, in the city.  People are being evacuatedfrom parts of Brisbane and Ipswich.  I have tried to take photos and videos of the rain – not very successfully. 

The premier’s afternoon press conference has just referred to the floods as an ‘extreme event’ and a state of emergency has been declared.  The rivers are expected to rise much further over the next 24 to 36 hours, and clearly the situation is quite volatile, depending on rainfall in the catchment areas.

The place to stay up-to-date with all this is: http://www.abc.net.au/news

 


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