On Wednesday morning I’m woken up by the sound of helicopters. Not one or two but maybe six passing over one by one at around four in the morning. I assume they are destined for the Lockyer valley where people were still trappened on their roofs but later I found out most of the helicopters were either film crews circling the city for a good shot of the flooding or rescue helicopters evacuating residents in nearby suburbs. The action was a lot closer than I thought.
With no tv reports to follow we were a little in the dark about our situation but luckily the Canadian among us has a radio which is solar and wind-up powered so we could get some updates.
Wednesday turned out to be one of the hottest and sunniest days we had had in about two weeks but other than being good for the radio this wasn’t very comforting. Overnight the water had risen dramatically and the level was still climbing throughout the day. One of the city’s major routes; Coronation Drive was cut off in several places and slowly we became an island on our little hill as our neighbours go under.
By midday water is over the street signs and we are almost completely cut off from the rest of the world. The river has long since burst it’s banks and is moving toward us with good pace but to add to the worries authorities don’t think the dam upstream will hold. If it breaks…Brisbane is no more.
Flatmates continue to help neighbours move their furniture into our driveway as the bottom two houses in our row become submerged.
In the late afternoon three of us take bikes out to scout around while we still can. On other side of railway we see more flooding and a large number of fire engines, ambulance and police crew are positioned around the moving waters aiding in the evacuation process. By this point all transport has stopped and all roads around us are impassable other than by boat.
Our radio reports inform us that the worst is yet to come. The previous day Mayor Campbell Newman said: “Today is very significant, tomorrow is bad, and Thursday is going to be devastating for the residents and businesses…”
Having seen what happened on Wednesday we fear Thursday’s devastation.
What those at home watched as we carried on in the dark.