Wednesday, January 12

Brisbane in flood - but this house is well above flood level.

There is an eerie silence.  Sometimes the silence is broken by the sound of a passing car (far fewer than on a 'normal' day), and occasionally a helicopter flies overhead breaking the silence with its rotar blades and engine noise, but otherwise it is eerie.  Even the birds are silent.  

Lucky for me, the owners of this house chose wisely when they bought some 30+ years ago - it is high and dry - well above flood level.  Some folk joke that as we are on the side of a hill, we need to worry about the hill sliding.  (It has happened not far from here already this week.)  I am alert to any unusual sounds.

It is the silence that is disturbing.  If I turn on television it is 24/7 flood pictures and updates.  I can watch for a while in a rather mesmerising way.  It is hard not to be affected by the vision of flooding houses, cars being washed away, boats without humans on board flashing down the river, pontoons and a restaurant floating past.

It has been six long weeks of trauma - first in the north of the state, and now in the south.  Towns, and cities are in flood.  The devastation is mind boggling, and what is worse, is that it continues.

The toll of life, (human and animal), loss of property- houses, businesses, boats, roads, bridges, and so on.  It will be years before the people can return to normal lives.  Jobs have gone along with the businesses.

So much infrastructure has been damaged.  Roads, railway lines, and in the city itself, the popular "City Cat" and ferry services will not be operational for some time as the many jetties along the river - where passengers for the popular river services alighted and boarded.  Such chaos will rule when the city eventually opens for business - which could be weeks away.

People are currently busily emptying low lying homes of as much property as they can.  Photos, computers, televisions, personal treasures, clothes - as much as one can.

Some folk have put their belongings on their roof, and are camping there hoping that all will survive.

It is hard to write the story.  I'm not unsafe.  I am above flood level, but I am alone.  My landline phone does not work.  My mobile phone and internet is my lifeline to the outside world.

While the peace is unsettling, it is broken by the occasional vehicle passing the house.  I've heard some whispers from birds.  

I will go to the supermarket shortly - just to get a few things. Fresh fruit and vegetables are unlikely to be available.  Transport to the supermarkets have stopped.  Staff are unable to get to work, so I may find little value in my visit there.

The clouds are building up.  More rain is coming though I doubt it will be like the heavy rains of the past few days.  We hope not.

It is an extra ordinary time.

Updates can be found here.

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