Things have suddenly taken a change of tone on my blog. I’m currently still in Brisbane so have been affected by the recent and ongoing flooding in the city. Only yesterday did we get power back and these entries are a little behind with the current situation but will be up to date once all are uploaded.
Day one of the Brisbane floods started on Tuesday, but in Toowoomba had started the previous day when a wall of water swept through the town without warning. The 8 metre wall destroyed most of the town killing many of those in it’s path. I was unaware of this event until Tuesday morning when I received an email from our landlady giving us reassurance that she thought we would be safe but precautions to take if we were cut off.
Upon reading this the TV was on instantly to see the devastation caused in Toowoomba and the frightening developments across South East Queensland. The flooding that had always been in the background, that was always on the news was now on our doorstep. Not much later, as I sit glued to the telly as it announces that Ipswich and then Brisbane are next in the firing range of the massive tidal wave of water, my flat mate Sofia arrives back having been sent home from Uni. All staff and students had been told to leave for fear the university would be flooded.
By mid-afternoon the death toll sits at 10 and missing around the 100 mark. Ipswich is being evacuated suburb by suburb as water rises in the city. Outside the weather is torrential rain making the situation worse.
Having not really left my spot in front of the telly all morning I fill Sofia in on the situation only for the news to announce the evacuation of suburbs the length of the Brisbane river and low lying outskirts which start as warnings to get to higher ground but bearly 15mins later Caboolture a suburb at the end of our train line is told not to collect any personal items but evacuated their home immediately. Move to higher ground, that there lives are in grave danger. This does not do much to calm the situation in our flat with Sofia already in a panic. I try my best to keep her calm but to be honest I have no idea what to say or how to reassure her based on what I’m seeing on the telly. I’m not sure if we should be packing a bag to leave.
Our landlord, had told us on the email that we would be ok and it was unlikely the water would reach us but to be ready to leave if the worst happens. We continue watching the updates as flooding continues in Ipswich and starts in Brisbane. The rain continues to pound down outside.Within the next few hours we watch as out our neighbouring suburbs are listed on the severe flood warning list and then our own, Auchenflower is added, before the list changes for a warning to a voluntary evacuation list.
Our landlord checks in with us wanting to check everyone is accounted for and once everyone is back we head out to have a look at our situation and are shocked at what we see.
Myself and and a fellow flatmate take a few photos of an already flooded Milton (a neighbouring suburb two or three streets away. The water in Milton is at waist height by this point and the flooding which is mainly from the torrential rain cuts off several routes to the city.
A couple of walk abouts take place at various stages of the evening to check on the rising water and to break up the frightening rolling news programmes. While out on one of our expeditions in the rain I manage to injury myself in the flood water. Now with a chunk out my knee I’ve got to be extra careful around the mucky water.
Over the course of the night we fill bottles with drinking water- preparing encase our water is cut off and find candles and torches for the expected electricity cut. At ten we lose power, no more tv updates on the flood, on more online council warnings site – no more information .We are on our own. With the loss of light we all pack a bag ready to evacuate during the night but all hope that it won’t come to that.