Friday, 14 January 2011

Queensland Floods of 2011 (II)

Although the rain has stopped in Brisbane for a few days now, the devastation continues with an ever increasing death toll and more visible results from the deluge of water.  As we get around to look at the aftermath of the tragic floods that have inundated over 75% of the state of Queensland, we are starting to see the cleanup process get in full gear.

Dad and I jumped in the truck yesterday afternoon, now that some of the waters had subsided from the major roadways and headed to the western suburbs for a look at how their streets were looking, now that the rain had stopped.  The results are depressing to say the least.

It is so sad to see the homes of so many in various states of destruction.  In some streets where the road dips in the middle, one house will be fine, yet just a couple of homes away, the water laps at the roof.  It is heart wrenching to look at.

See these and other photos from Chelmer on our Picasa Web Albums at:

As we drove around to different streets and got out to look more closely, the human side of this disaster becomes a little more apparent.  We saw things like this child's stool sitting in the middle of the road, surrounded by debris, with flood waters still across the street just metres away.  Where is the child who used to sit on this stool?

Those needing to investigate the damage to their homes have no choice but to travel in boats in many areas, avoiding all sorts of household items floating on the surface and more treacherously, hidden beneath the muddy waters.

Businesses have begun the cleanup process, removing the sandbags that in many cases didn't do their job and beginning the massive task of cleaning walls and floors, scrubbing equipment, shovelling mud and throwing out food and stock.

See these and other photos from Graceville on our Picasa Web Albums at:

As always, the community has banded together to lend a hand and we are all so very lucky for the incredible jobs our many volunteers, from every different organisation are doing to help those affected by the floods, to get through this disaster as best they can.

The landscape is different, with a glassy, flat reflection everywhere you look.  The roads no longer have their hills and valleys, the area just looks levelled, eerily quiet and deserted.

So many parks are still lakes, with nothing more than roofs of of their picnic table areas peaking from the dirty water, giving a very deceiving idea of just how deep the water still is in some areas.

See these and other photos from Oxley on our Picasa Web Albums at:

Looking up each of these flooded streets brings a consistent look of high water marks lining fences, along with homes and vehicles still under water.  Standing here to take this photo, we were talking to the lady who owned the home with the yellow fence on the left ... "They said it wouldn't get to me." she said, looking at the water line cutting her home in half.

Some have been lucky enough to get back into their homes on the edges of the water damaged streets and have begun the process of cleaning up, removing carpets, mending broken windows and assessing their own situation.

The very popular restaurant area of Rainworth is a total disaster area with food and retail establishments badly inundated with water.  It will be a while before a good meal comes out of this street I would think and I believe Cold Rock Ice Creamery will need to restock too, having been without power for days.

See these and other photos from Rainworth on our Picasa Web Albums at:

In Toowong, we couldn't get closer than the railway bridge to the famous Regatta Hotel, which you can just see in the distance on the right hand side and Coronation Drive appears to be still under water as well.  There are now fears of Coronation Drive sliding into the Brisbane River with genuine concerns for the structural integrity of the road.

The home of the Bulldogs looks more like the home of the Mighty Ducks at the moment with no dry ground in sight.  It's going to be a while before anyone plays rugby on these fields.

It's amazing how still and glassy the surface of the water looks, but you forget that if vast areas like this are receding at such a fast rate, it has to be going somewhere ... and fast.  This photo shows a whirlpool above what I can only presume is a drain syphoning the water from the fields.  This is just another of the hidden dangers lurking below the surface.

We have a total of about 73 photos of this Queensland Flood Series available on our Picasa Web Albums if you're interested, please visit ...

More Photos Here:

Thanks for visiting our Blog.
Darren Gardiner

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Queensland Floods of 2011

It's been a devastating week for a lot of Queenslanders with flooding taking many lives and destroying homes and properties across many areas of the state. I managed to get out on Tuesday night for a quick drive before dark to take a few photos from around our local area.

Our first stop was the Eatons Hill bridge over the South Pine River on Old Northern Road. You can see the water line had dropped over a metre in the water lines on the supports by the time we took this shot , but it was still very high compared to normal.

The water line is normally the other side of that row of trees and if you look closely, you can see the mud right on the top of the posts in the foreground, so it's obvious where I was standing was under water too.

Here's a wide shot from Old Northern Road ... the South Pine River is actually over to the left of this picture, NOT directly in front. You shouldn't be able to see the water from here. The road below us was completely covered too.

We turned around at Albany Creek and thought we'd have a look at Strathpine, but with Gympie Road blocked, we worked our way around and over the railway line to Leis Parade to see if we could see back to Gympie Road from there ... no chance!

Looking from Leis Parade over Leis Park, you can see the North Pine River has risen was very close to the train line. Keep in mind, waters had receded a metre or so by the time we got here.

The park itself had completely vanished and here you can just see the top of one of the picnic pergolas roofs, peeking from under the water. The river is way the other side of that roof.

Leis Parade simply vanished under the flood waters. This road actually does a loop under the railway bridge and as you can see, was completely under water.

Another shot of what is normally a beautiful park by the North Pine River. The bank of the river is normally the other side of those big trees out in the middle of this photo.

Gympie Road was closed, so we couldn't continue north to Petrie and had to turn around, going back through Strathpine towards Brendale. We couldn't quite get to see the water over the bridge as emergency crews had the road blocked.

We continued on Gympie Road toward the highway and stopped just prior to Pine Rivers Park. There were huge areas are covered by water on the northern side of the road all around Pine Rivers Park, everywhere you look is just mud, sludge, debris and rubbish ... floating.

Here's a view of Pine Rivers Park, which is usually a beautiful, well appointed park, with family areas, bike riding areas and a monorail for the kids. Now it looks like a lake.

The entrance to Pine Rivers Park just vanished into the mud, but the sign was still out of the water to let us know where we were. Again ... muddy water everywhere you look.

We zipped back over the Kremzow Road overpass and down Southpine Road in Brendale to Linkfield Road, heading back towards the highway at Carseldine.

Although there were a couple of nice photo opportunities, it's a shame that such tragic circumstances are the reason they're possible. We used the headlights of the truck to light up the grass in the foreground.

We were losing light fast and stopped at the entrance to JAB Gravel and Earthworks to take a few shots of the vast water table covering everything in sight. The light across the ground was again provided by the headlights on the truck.

Thanks for visiting our Blog.
Darren Gardiner

See these and other photos on our Picasa Web Albums at: