13 January 2011

Our Devastated City

For graphic videos and pictures of Brisbane during the flood, click this link.

It's distressing to see our beautiful city so devastated.  No power, domestic water supply threatened, limited transport and food shortages are just some of the things already being experienced.  We have been asked to conserve water as one of the supply stations has been damaged.  There is raw sewerage floating through the streets and the threat of E. coli is very real.

The State Emergency Service, Police, Red Cross and thousands of volunteers are doing a fantastic job.  Roughly 30,000 homes have been affected, thousands are in evacuation shelters and of course, their pets are missing or dead.  It's just too much to comprehend.

The whole State will be affected by this...the Port of Brisbane is closed and supplies are going to have to be airdropped or if possible, delivered by road.  The supermarket shelves are almost empty.  Because of the tsunami like wave of water in the Lockyer Valley, our fresh vegetable industry is no more.  The farmers can't get their stock to the abattoirs, so no meat. Wheat exports will be badly affected.  We have to boil our water and then there is the very real danger of mosquito borne diseases such as Ross River fever and malaria.  

I'm so proud of my family.  My daughter and her husband were out all day yesterday with their truck and trailer helping people move their belongings and will be out again today and for as long as it takes.  My granddaughter and her friends have registered as volunteers to work all weekend from Friday evening on, after working a full week at work.

There are some dreadful stories coming out of people trying to save others and losing their own lives.  But there are uplifting stories of people risking their lives, with no thought of their own safety, to help strangers.

The one blessing at the moment is that the sun is shining, which makes it harder to get one's head around the devastation.  However, one of the worst things is the stench and then the clean up.  It's going to take months, possibly years, before Brisbane is returned to its former self.  But Queenslanders are a tough breed and in interviews, the most common attitude is "just to start all over again, there's nothing else to do".

It's the CBD and 32 river suburbs which are the most badly affected.  Brisbane is Australia's third largest city and a major port for imports to the country.  Unfortunately, those container ships will have to be diverted elsewhere.  Three quarters of the State of Queensland has been declared a disaster area...our Premier, Anna Bligh, although I have never been a supporter of hers, has done a fantastic job of keeping everyone updated.  

I must give credit to the Queensland Police Service who, through Facebook, have kept those of us with power or fully charged batteries informed with constant updates.  There are stupid morons who disseminate false information and the Police are onto those immediately, putting people at ease that the dam walls are not going to collapse and so on. 

Then, of course, there are the low lifes who have been looting.  What sort of mongrels are they to steal from people already devastated by this disaster?  They have been caught, which is wonderful to hear, and all I can say is, what goes around comes around and in those cases, will be well deserved. 

We would be grateful for your prayers for our beautiful city and the poor souls who have lost everything.  Thank you.


Gattina said...

You know when I read this on a blog of a person I know at least virtually but for 3 or 4 years it affects me much more than when I see this on TV or I read it in the Newspaper. It's terrible to know somebody who lives in this area.
I only hope the water will not come til where you live !
There always bad people, but I think the majority helps each other.

Margaret Cloud said...

I am saying prayers, hope things will become better. A person can only imagine your distressful situation. Isn't that ashamed that people will take advantage of this kind of situation to loot and steal from others. Take care friend and I am always proud of the people that dive right in and help others. Thank you for coming by, hope your weekend is a good one.

Gledwood said...

That's bloody awful they said it should have peaked yesterday, Friday, am I right so at least the fucking stuff is running away however slowly. You are OK yes?

Hootin' Anni said...

Hi Kat!! Oh as I read this post of the updates on the welfare and devastation, my heart bleeds. I will keep ALL of you Aussie friends in my thoughts and prayers and hope that soon this flooding will stop entirely and the big haul of cleanup will be conducted soon and all will be normal as quickly as possible.

It's good to hear a personalized story of this tragedy instead of us USA citizens and those of us around the world depending on the media input.

Thanks for visiting with me yesterday. I appreciate your comment.

Peter said...

Hi Robyn, of the 4 women who have dominated the news lately, Prime Minister, Governor General, NSW Premier and Qld Premier, Anna has been the outstanding one with Julia at the other end of the line.
Like you I have never cared much for Anna but she has done an outstanding job under the duress of the Qld floods... just the right amount of emotion, I am reminded of New York's Mayor Rudy?? during 9/11.

Merle said...

Hi Robyn ~~ Just read your two posts about the floods - they have been devastating and will take a long time to resolve and get ppl back intheir homes. Rockhampton was the first and longest, Toowoomba was so quick and Brisbane was bad too, but the water cleared soon. My grand-daughters couldn't get to work a few days. The volunteers have been wonderful and all the Emergency
services did their difficult job so
willingly and well. I had to ease off watching it on TV as it was so
upsetting. Glad I found some jokes
to get some smiles. Take care my friend. Love Merle,

Liz Hinds said...

A terrible time for all. Well done to your family. You're right to be proud of them.

Walker said...

I have been watching the news and have a hard time watchign all this unfold.
I know you will bounce back from this disaster but to have to go through it must be heart wrenching

Merle said...

Dear Robyn ~~ I hope you have had a very happy day
today for your birthday with a few nice surprises and gifts. Happy Birthday, my friend. Love, Merle.

Mountain Mama said...

Happy belated birthday!
I am so sorry about the flooding and sad for everyone who has lost homes and loved ones. God help them.
I hope you will be safe from it all.

rel said...

How utterly devastating the situation must be. Kudos to you and your family for lending help to those in need.
Every now and then nature slaps us upside the head, just to let us know she'd still in charge, and to challenge us to overcome adversity. You all seem be doing just that!
My prayers to all that the recovery will be swift.