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Author:  michi [ Fri Jan 14, 2011 9:12 pm ]
Blog Subject:  Drumming under water, part 2

The waters in Brisbane have mostly receded, but there are still many places that are inaccessible. I went to help friends of mine yesterday in one of the flood-affected areas. They were the lucky ones, living in a high-set house. They had three feet of water under the house and over their entire block. Despite the relatively mild flooding they experienced, the devastation is incredible. Everything is caked with mud, up to a foot deep in places. The smell is overwhelming: not only mud and rotting plant material, but sewage that got pushed out of drains and toilets during the flood. I saw many houses that were far worse off in the same area, some of them inundated to the roof line. People living in these houses have lost absolutely everything.

Traffic is chaotic with many roads closed. Those roads that are passable are covered in mud up to a foot deep. Driving along a flooded road, there are endless piles of destroyed household goods, furniture, clothes, books, and appliances lined up along the curb. Around 30,000 homes are still without power. Many of those won't get power back for quite some time: houses that have been inundated need to be individually inspected for electrical safety before they can be reconnected.

The death toll stands at 16, with about 60 people still missing. Many of the missing will be dead, and their bodies are unlikely to ever be found. Yesterday, one victim was found 45 miles away from the point where she was washed away.

Now the floods have moved south, with serious flooding in New South Wales, Victoria, and Tasmania. We are really copping it this time :(

The good news in all this is that I checked our teaching venue, and it came through it all remarkably well. A bunch of people got in there and starting cleaning as soon as the water receded. The wooden floor has survived remarkably well. It's warped and buckled in a few places and much of it will have to be replaced. But, after all the cleaning, the smell is tolerable. The venue is actually serviceable and we will start teaching there as planned on 29 January.



Comments

Author:  BarefootJoe [ Tue Jan 18, 2011 6:04 pm ]

It's really sad for me to read this as i've had wonderful memories of Queensland. I spent a year there for my university studies and 3 months of backpacking, starting from Brisbane, all the way up north to Tully then back down south again. It's no exaggeration that QLD hosted me during the most enriching year of my life.

I'm wondering what has happened to my alma matter (UQ) and those great places i've frequented - Pancake Manor for my weekly Go (board game) games, the great fish and chips at Hawken Drive near the uni, my old apartment at St. Lucia, the banana and watermelon farm which i've worked at Tully, etc... And of course, all the wonderful Queenslanders whom i've met and have touched my life.

My thoughts are with you Queensland.

Author:  michi [ Tue Jan 18, 2011 9:01 pm ]

Not surprisingly, St Lucia is one of the most affected suburbs. I know that many of the colleges suffered flooding. I also expect that the lower part of campus would have been hit pretty badly. The main part up on the rise should be OK though. (I haven't been over there. Quite a few roads are still closed, and it's best to stay away from the flooded areas unless you have a good reason to be there.)

The Pancake Manor and the fish and chip shop are still there :)

Cheers,

Michi.

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