UPDATED LATEST PHOTOS BELOW 12/01 and 13/01
We are stranded on a suburban island in inner city Brisbane as I write this. At 30m above sea level we should be ok, but the surrounding suburbs of Fairfield, Yeronga, Rocklea and Yeerongpilly are inundated. It is very quiet out, very little traffic. Amazingly beautiful day, blue skies and the rain has finally stopped after months.
Many of my friends in West End and New Farm have had to evacuate after trying to save some of their things. One told me that, “Our house is filling up with water. Everyone has left and the power is turned off. Some stuff has been rescued, other stuff is destined to become paper mache or become part of the Moreton bay eco system. Our house appears to be in a delightful lagoon like area that is now filled with raw sewage. Hopefully the flood proper will clear away that particular smell.”
Another has evacuated her house in New Farm with two cats and a number of chickens in her car. She says, “The river is rising, the value of river front property is falling. This event is a good reminder to us 'humans' that we are not in control of this planet we are at her mercy just like any other inhabitant.”
Yesterday we were evacuated from the Brisbane Convention Centre where I had taken my children for a show. The show was cancelled and we were told to leave the area. Mothers and children were rushing everywhere, desperate to get home quickly as we were quite close to the river at Southbank. The busway was full to overflowing with people trying to get home, some seemed quite panicky. The bus driver waived us all on without checking our tickets. The rain continued relentlessly all day, but stopped by the evening.
My partner went out twice to help a friend in nearby Oxley whose house, near a creek, was early to flood on Tuesday morning. By 7pm Tuesday it was up to the floorboards of their elevated house and they were moving things up the hill to a neighbours house. People were crying.
My oldest children went to the supermarket to get candles and soy milk yesterday evening. That's where the collapse of civilisation was most evident. The bread, milk, fresh fruit and vegetables and bottled water had been stripped bare, and although most of the shoppers had left at 8pm, they left a mess of evidence of the panic many people are feeling, with broken bottles and crushed fruit strewn across the aisles.
Now it's just a waiting game, the river is expected to peak at about 2pm, then again with the King Tide expected on Thursday. I envision that 10m wall of water getting bigger as it moves out of the Lockyer Valley towards the Brisbane and Bremer Rivers.
I'm expecting that our power will soon be cut and we have bottled a lot of water in case the main are damaged. Police are telling us not to use or phones and to stay off the roads. I hope people take the advice and we don't see any more cars washed away with tragic results. But there is a climate of panic.
Attached are some pictures friends took late yesterday as the water slowly rose in the inner suburbs of West End, Fairfield and New Farm.