Saturday, January 15, 2011

Flood Disaster in my State and home town

My home state of Queensland is sadly experiencing its worst flood disaster in over 30 years. 75% of the state has been inundated and declared a disaster zone. Many have perished, more are missing and feared dead. Up North there are some country towns which have been devastated beyond comprehension as they were hit with what can only be described as "an inland tsunami". Entire families are missing and whole houses have been swept away. Crops have been ruined, countless animals have drowned and now despite having been surrounded by water, clean drinking water is running out and illness is setting in. It's hard to comprehend the magnitude of the situation, I can't even begin to imagine the horror that people have endured. The flood victims, the misery of the Police and SES of searching through the debris for bodies, the agonising wait for news of missing friends and family, the grief of a lost pet that only an animal lover could understand. I can't remember the last time I cried so much.
My house has been flooded in for several days now. We were blocked at both ends of our very long street; now one end has cleared but that only takes me to other still flooded and blocked off streets and I'm unable to get to work. We have come out of this so lightly compared to so many others that I feel guilty we didn't suffer any damage. I desperately want to volunteer and help with the massive clean up job but without a boat I have to wait until the roads are safe. What roads have been opened are largely blocked with what we angrily refer to as "rubberneckers" - people that haven't been flooded affected and aren't helping clean up. They are just in the way.
So many of my friends have been flood affected and lost their homes and businesses. Even those with insurance aren't guaranteed to have a claim paid as not every insurance company covers flood. 
Now and again, politicians throw about the term "mate ship" to describe the way Australians band together and help each other out. I've always thought that was a little dumb as I hadn't ever seen a great deal of mate ship going on around me but if there is one thing that this disaster has shown us, is that "mate ship" is well and truly alive. There are strangers and neighbours, friends and family rallying together to help clean up. I've never felt a sense of community like this..."my pain is your pain and I will help you though it" is the look in people's eyes. The Australia spirit is alive and well. Today I'm proud to call myself Australian.

 The waters coming in, its usually barely even a creek!
It got worse, about 1 1/2m higher than this.
 Lower lying streets starting to flood.
 This factory ended up flooding.
 I've never seen cows up this far before, they were trying to get to high ground.
 Usually a tiny creek, this flooded badly.
An arial shot of a kilometre from our house. As you can see we were very lucky indeed.

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