It had only been a few days in the Queensland floods but it had felt like an eternity. By Friday morning we found that the water has massively receded over night but not yet gone. The water might be down but behind it the floods have left muck and what the radio is describing as “toxic sludge”.
The main highway next to us, Coronation Drive, is no longer underwater but is a mess and we are told it will remain shut for a long time as officials worry about the structural integrity and the risk that the road will simply fall into the Brisbane river.
We were amazed to had power restored late on Friday night. It was certainly a welcome surprise as we had been told it would be late the following week though we did notice that we are one of the very few houses to get it back so quickly. Electricity and hot water were very welcome luxuries though our low food stock was still meaning some creative meals.
Now we had the television update we could see how bad things had gotten elsewhere in Brisbane and the rest of the state. As the water around us began to go down we could venture a little further to see the damage but we were still pretty much cut off from the rest of the city. My fellow flatmates cycled an hour detour route and manage to check on their work places. Two of the group worked at the local university and were running time sensitive science projects so were eager to check if a year’s worth of work had been lost. Luckily, they had managed to make it to their labs and were able to report back just how bad things looked from elsewhere in the city.
Phone signal slowly returned over the course of the day and this is a welcome update especially in international flat share. I get a chance to update those at home that we’re ok, we hadn’t been evacuated and we were all still together – all facts those at home were still in the dark about!
As the day progress we continued to gain snipets of information from neighbours or those who had managed to contact friends and family elsewhere in the city but on the whole the world was very quite. To help get things moving again the city had announced free public transport where ever it was able to run until follow Friday to try and free up the roads for emergency services and get people who don’t need to be there out of the city as soon as possible. At the same time it also enforced a curfew to keep people off the streets in the evening.
Brisbane’s food situation remained quite bad; the city’s major distribution centre was still under water to roof level and food trucks weren’t getting passed closed roads and unstable bridges. Petrol was also running short with priority going to emergency responders and free public transport first but with so few streets open to vehicles people did seem to be heading the warnings not to drive.
We go to bed having watched endless news stories and hoped that we do not have worry about the new threat from the Queensland floods- looters.