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.