Queensland Floods

Well, ex-tropical cyclone Oswald has moved south (unfortunately for the residents of NSW, it has moved further down the east coast of Australia) and I figured I should give some sort of update. My family has been very lucky but the news and the stories of colleagues are heartbreaking, coming so soon after the devastating floods of 2011. My personal update: despite living less than 200m to the bay, and opposite a tidal creek that runs the length of my street (behind the row of houses opposite ours), we have escaped major damage again. The gale force winds were ferocious and lasted days, the rain pelted down without relief for what felt like forever (in reality about 4 days) and we lost power overnight, but that was the extent of it. We were worried about the huge palm trees in our front yard (their removal has skyrocketed up the priority list!) as they are very close to the house, and about a big lemon myrtle in the backyard. In the end though, it was our neighbours huge (15m-20m high, 10m wide at a guess) bamboo “forest” that went over, narrowly missing our fence. Our yard is covered in debris – those palms might be standing, but there aren’t many fronds still attached! – and our veggie garden is destroyed, but one look at the news tells me just how fortunate we are. People have lost their homes and all their possessions, some people have lost their lives – it’s tragic. It’s also surreal, because it somehow feels much less “real” than last time round. Maybe because it was over relatively quickly… or because a smaller number of areas in Brisbane were affected. Last time round my work was closed, I helped a friend clean out her decimated home and yard (they fared better this time), my mum stayed with us as she was isolated with no power… but this time I feel one step removed somehow. I hope I haven’t become desensitized? Mum’s house was flooded again, my stepfather was flooded in (his home is semi rural and accessed by a very low bridge that floods every time) and a colleague, who lives in the inner city, had the bottom of her house completely flooded. The trials of Brisbanites generally pale in comparison however to those up north – Gladstone, Bundaberg, Rockhampton, Harvey Bay, etc. For some astounding figures, see this article: http://m.brisbanetimes.com.au/environment/weather/rainfall-records-swamped-amid-oswald-onslaught-20130129-2dill.html Gladstone collected more rain over 4 days than in 2010 and 2011 as a whole! My thoughts are with those who are still trying to deal with the cleanup xoxo

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2 thoughts on “Queensland Floods

    • Hi Savy Naturalista! Thanks for stopping by, and for your kind words.
      The day after writing this post we drove through some suburbs that were badly hit (on the way home from work – we didn’t go out “rubbernecking”!) and it all became a lot more real. There were trees down everywhere, and one house we pass most days had been hit by a falling gum (the tree split / engulfed the house!). I hate to think how terrified the occupants must have been!
      Thanks again
      Jess 🙂

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