Well it sure is turning out to be some year!

First there was the great flood of Queensland, including the cities of Brisbane, Ipswich, Rockhampton and Bundaberg and so many towns.

Then there was category 5 cyclone Yasi which decimated coastal towns of North Queensland and quite frankly scared the bejeesus out of me. If it had come close to us we would have gone under in a storm surge for sure.

Now the city of Christchurch in New Zealand has been almost totally destroyed by a massive earthquake. Australia has a very close relationship with New Zealand and they are considered part of our extended family. Our hearts go out to everyone affected by all these events.

Channel 7 put together a show about the floods and cyclone. We used to live in Auchenflower, in Vincent Street and our old house was flooded up to the roof. My husband spent about 11 years renovating an old workers cottage and he was so proud of the end result. Our old house is on the show (a quick pan by the cameras) and seeing the result of the flood is pretty upsetting for him. But not as upsetting, obviously, as for the people who bought the property.

We still have friends who live in the street – they live on the other side of the road and only got flooded one level, so they can still live in the top half of the house, while the bottom floor gets fixed. Insurance doesn’t cover riverine floods in most cases, so they won’t be getting any help in that department.

This is what happened in just one suburb of Brisbane, Auchenflower, and don’t forget hundreds of towns have been affected by these floods:  279 homes and 6 businesses completely flooded; 457 residential properties and 9 businesses partially flooded. In next door Milton, 193 businesses were flooded and another 113 partially flooded.

Here is my poem Brisbane River again (which I wrote for a friend but it works for the flood as well):

Brisbane River

Brisbane river isn’t petite and pretty
like the Cam of Cambridge

he won’t invite you
to gondola

won’t even tell you to take a hike
you are the cliched flea on bear

he’s got the monumental on his mind
how to shoulder bash Moreton Bay
day after day

how to carve out a name for himself
in ancient sediment
with no sentiment

he won’t care if you
go under.

20 thoughts on “Flood 2011 Update

  1. ‘how to shoulder bash Moreton Bay’
    What a great expression for how the river basically forced the formation of the islands and sand bars that make the bay so rich, beautiful and dangerous.

  2. i’ve been following the distressing storm situations, glad all is well with you.
    just really love this poem, good to read it again.”…a name for himself in ancient sediment…” love that!

  3. It has been a stressful and frankly, terrifying start to 2011. And now there is all that trouble in Libya. It’s just one thing after the other. In my more gullible moments I almost believe all that ‘end of days’ stuff that is floating around the web at the moment. It feels like the four horseman are riding into town. Or maybe Mother Nature has just decided she is going to show us who’s boss.

    My heart goes out to everyone affected by the floods and the cyclone.

    1. Thanks Selma. According to one long term weather forcaster it is all to do with solar activity, even the earthquakes and volcanoes (haha – but he has been right so far!) but I think it is mainly because of bloody La-Nina and the long drought and global warming which saw the surface of the ocean experience record temperatures last year.

  4. Yes, that’s a great poem.
    I look down on the mighty Brisbane River from my office and it’s still not looking back to normal yet …

    I’m keeping fingers and toes crossed that we’ve seen the last of natural disasters for this year.

    1. Hopefully so Tracey 🙂 That would be great seeing the Brisbane river from your office. I used to work near the river at West End years ago and had my lunch looking at the muddy waters (and got the little ferry – before the days of City Cats) to work.

  5. dear gabrielle,

    this blogpost is a culmination of the recent events that happened in th eland down under. nature, to begin with, has its erratic behaviour nowadays. it is worrisome what comes next in other parts of the world.

    and its good, that you are being able to chronicle them into artistic and creative mediums such like this. i am thankful for your noteworthy endeavour. may you have best times ahead.

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