Wednesday, January 30, 2013

January 2013 Flood




Around 8am yesterday we ventured out to see how things were. We had been notified the night before to be prepared to evacuate and could hear the river roaring like an ocean from our home, yet no further word had come. This spot is about nine houses away from our home. The river had broken it's banks on the far side and stretched for many 100's (maybe 1000's) of metres/yards across.




The big black hose is water being pumped out of storm water drains back into the river.




As you can see, the water wasn't far from the top of the levee wall and some spots are lower than this. The water was still rising....




From there we walked towards the bridge. The children sometimes go fishing at the jetty at this spot which was under about six metres of water by now. Here is one of several national news cameraman doing his job.




This is the usual vista, taken half way down the grassy embankment which fronts the river, vastly different to yesterday's scene.




 Now on the upstream side of the bridge you can begin to appreciate the volume, height and speed of the river.




This is how it usually appears, often still and effected by the tides of the ocean.



 
Hydrographers measuring this flow at the peak estimate the flow to have been 1.5 megalitres a minute, probably an Australian record. At that rate it would fill Sydney Harbour in 7 hours.




The top of one of the pylons.




As the river normally appears.




The building with the blue roof is the sailing club (which is riverside of the levee) taken around 8am yesterday from the pedestrian walkway on the edge of the bridge - I didn't walk any further along the bridge. 




I took this photo as we drove (husband driving) home from church around midday Sunday. The river was hardly up at all, all the sailing club building is visible. There is less than 48 hours between these photos, the river rose so quickly this time.




Zoomed in to the other side of the river - there is a levee wall between the river and those houses. Lots of debris can be seen speeding down the river.

Soon after returning from our walk we were ordered to evacuate (text messages then door knocked). We returned late in the afternoon after the peak had passed and all looked safe again.




On our evening walk we could see the top of the wall had been reached in places by the peak. Residents (yes, many live right on the levee wall) and emergency workers had been very busy filling and placing sandbags to extend the wall height and contain the river. In places seeping/overtopping  water had been pumped out of  front yards.




The usual expanses of park-like riverbank lay completely submerged.




This is a big river, currently much bigger. As I write this the river height has just dropped below 6m after peaking around noon yesterday at 8.09 m, about 20cm higher than ever recorded before. We were amongst 2000 residents evacuated from our area of town as a precaution for no one knew which way this flood was going to end. If you view my previous post, you will see the desperate measures which were taken to help strengthen and raise one particular weak/low spot of the levee.

We are very grateful for the many emergency workers and residents who watched over the levee through Monday night (I could hear their vehicles) and throughout yesterday. If it wasn't for their efforts and God's mercy I wouldn't be sitting here at home today with life almost back to normal.  Many thanks for those around the world who have prayed and expressed your concern. There are other areas of Australia which are still facing record flood levels due to the same storm system which effected over 2000km of our east coast and extended over 500km inland.


In our town most of the school buses will be running again tomorrow and many local schools will be open for their first day of the school year, which otherwise would have been today. We will begin slowly on our homeschooling also. The third January flood in a row for our town, but this one was definitely the biggest.



Sharing at Weekly Top Shot, Our World Tuesday.

46 comments:

Sarah Jane said...

Goodness! It's very wide now isn't it?
Hope you stay high and dry, fingers crossed for your safety, xx

Joyful said...

Your photos certainly capture how high the water is and how fast it was/is flowing. Thank goodness everyone is okay and their homes too. I pray things get back to normal soon for all of you and for all the other Aussies affected.

Deanne Langford said...

Some great shots- love seeing the comparisons.
Looks like the levels are finally down enough for us to reach town.

geanina said...

Gorgeous images!
Best wishes! :)

Jenni C's said...

the water was very high, it is quite scary to see how suddenly it rose...such a mass of water is quite amazing to see. So glad to see that your home is fine and that you are able to settle down normally.

eileeninmd said...

Wow, your images of the flooding are scary. Scary that is was so close to your home. I am so happy that the water is receding and you and your home survived. Take care and have a happy day!

Giga said...

To jest straszne. Przykro patrzeć jak woda zalewa domy i zabiera je ludziom. Oby woda już opadała i nie przynosiła nieszczęścia. Dobrze, że władze miasta dbają o Was. Dość wody !!!. Pozdrawiam serdecznie.
This is terrible. Sorry to look like water flooding homes and takes them to the people. Water would have fell and did not bring misfortune. It's good that the city take care of you. Quite excess water!. Yours sincerely.

Rosemary said...

Thank goodness for the barriers and those who helped to keep you all safe.

s.c said...

I really wish you all the best as we here commemorate the flooding of 31 january 1953, 60 years ago when the whole of the province sealand and big parts of south and north holland where flooded. More then 1800 people lost their lives. I hope it will not going that way but I think something must be done to prevent this floodings in the future as we had done in the years after 53.

Michelle said...

Glad to see that the levees are providing the protection. Prayers for your continued safety.

Shirley said...

Such scary times. Glad the waters are receeding and hope they continue to do so. Prayers for everyone's safety.

joy said...

Thanks God that the water subsided and all of you are ok.

Rosemary said...

I'm trying to imagine how much water it must take to raise the river almost up to the bridge! I'm glad things were not worse than they were for you and your neighbourhood.

Beth said...

I am glad you are all safe. The photos tell the story.

MaryL said...

Wow!! Incredible images at the bridge...really shows the enormous amount of water. So glad your homes are safe...water damage is so terrible!

Gail Dixon (Louisiana Belle) said...

Yikes! The stark contrasts of the photos really tell the tale. Hope you all are out of danger now and will continue to remain safe.

Tammy@Simple Southern Happiness said...

We do praise GOD for his mercy and protection and will keep you all still in prayer for those that did have damage. My heart goes out to them.

GOOD to know you all are safe!

Sylvia K said...

Flooding is always so frightening devastating! Great captures show it all to clearly! Glad you and your family are safe!! Holding good thoughts for all of you!

Gillian Olson said...

Wow, what a scare, I am glad that the water levels are dropping again.

TheChieftess said...

Wow!

Rosie Nixon said...

We live beside a river so know what it's like to be under flood watch. Thankfully we've never had a breach like what you've had and I'm glad to read that the waters are subsiding now.

Fun60 said...

Your photos have really shown the speed with which the river rose and the imminent danger to yourselves and your property. Let us be grateful that you and your family came out of this unscathed and hope that life in your community returns to normal as soon as possible.

flowersandhome said...

So glad things are almost back to normal again. Amazing how close some people live to the river. The emergency workers and other people who helped did a wonderful job, that is such a beautiful thing, something to be so grateful for.
First schoolday tomorrow in Australia? I wish your students and yourself a very good and fullfilling schoolyear.
Bye,
Marian

Linda R said...

It was amazing to see the difference in your photos. Its so scary how fast flooding happens. So glad to hear you are safe. Thanks for sharing your photos with us.

Hugs~

Catherine said...

It has been such a scary week for many I'm so glad to hear that all of you are safe. When I saw your town on the news I couldn't believe how scary it must have been for some of those residents right near the levy, to hope that it held up and that the water didn't rise anymore. We were ok where we are and most things have returned to normal but there were some sleepless nights listening to the raging waters of the river nearby. Lets hope the major rains stay away for a while but as I talk now there is more rain, it's so unnerving to listen to it. Take care.

Jennifer {Studio JRU} said...

These photos are incredible. I am so thankful you are safe and at home!

Nikki said...

Karen, your photos tell an amazing story. I'm so relieved to hear that you and your family and neighbours are safe. It must have been a very scary time for you all.
Nikki

Dave said...

Karen I am pleased that you and your family and your home are all safe from the flooding all around you. Yes, you were indeed fortunate that emergency workers were able to save your property. Your country and Australian people are in our minds and constantly on our TV news broadcasts - first with the bush fires in the south and now the serious flooding in the north. We wish you all well and our condolences to those who have lost their lives - Dave

ladyfi said...

Lovely shots - hope the flooding has been stopped!

thefisherlady said...

floods are devastating... what an amount of wonderful labour to protect families' homes... we will continue to pray for you all. Amazing photos dear friend... be safe.
My friend at http://www.ramblingtart.com/2013/01/30/queensland-flood-photos/

also is enduring...

Juliana said...

wow... scary flood...
but pics are very unique

xoxo, Juliana | PJ’ Happies :) | PJ’ Ecoproject

Optimistic Existentialist said...

WOW...Mother Nature has been quite crazy of late :)

Bernie H said...

Thank goodness your place wasn't flooded. Your photos helped tell the story so very well. It's feast or famine in this country!

Dorothy Adamek said...

All I can say is WOW~!!!
Thanks for stopping to take these amazing pics and share them with us. Praying still... for the days ahead.
Dotti :)

Siglinde vom Ideentopf said...

i hope you are all ok and the flooding is stopped.

Seeing Each Day said...

Great pictures Karen and explanation - I'm so glad things turned out ok for you, i was concerned. Tense times though. Can't comprehend how QLD residence who have gone through the absolute devastation twice.

Nancy Claeys said...

Your photos remind me very much of our floods in 2011, followed by record drought in 2012.

Such devastation created by flood waters that takes years to recover from. So glad you and your family are all okay.

Nancy said...

Wow. So glad all is well. I have always imagined Australia as being so dry that there wouldn't be flooding...however, having a brother who lives in the state of Texas (very hot and dry); they suffer from flooding as well. Thanks for sharing your story from "down under."

Madge Bloom said...

Wow, that river level is really high, yikes! I'm so glad you came by to share on Weekly Top Shot #68!

Heather Wilde said...

A very worrying time for you. but you have captured the story beautifully. Stay safe.

Valerie said...

So glad you and yours are safe. Your images show the reality of floods, especially the comparison of "before" and "now". Can't imagine how frightening it must have been for you all. Thanks for sharing.

Gary said...

Glad you and yours are OK. Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

Carol L McKenna said...

Wow! Glad you and your family are all safe ~ great post and photography ~

Carol of: (A Creative Harbor) ^_^ ~ artmusedog and Carol on blogger

Jackie said...

I am so glad to hear you and yours are safe and okay. I know many were not and lost everything.

Please know you all were and continue to be in thought and prayer.

You did an excellent job on showing us up close what it was like for your family.

Seeing it this way reveals so much more than a news story.

You did an incredible job! Stay safe. Wow, you guys are flooded and we have been in a drought for three years.

We could use some of the water you guys got. The weather sure is out of whack! It's sad we are ignoring these problems!

I hope it continues to get better and better for everyone affected!

Blessings my friend!!


McGuffy Ann said...

Great shots, including the comparisons!
McGuffy's Reader
http://www.mcguffysreader.blogspot.com

Mary Simpson said...

I think it’s been a year now since the floods and the rains have struck; so may I just ask, what precautions have you done this past year? It’s that time of the year again and I hope it’s not flooding as severely as the last. Good luck this year and stay safe!

Mary @ KorsgadenInsurance.com

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