Wednesday 12 January 2011

Brisbane floods

As I write this, I am watching TV news coverage of the enfolding flood crisis in Queensland. I did not imagine that barely a month after arriving here in Brisbane, my adopted city would be facing a disaster of this magnitude.
Samford's Cedar Creek Road
Samford's Cedar Creek Road. Picture: Sarah Fraser O'Brien

Today the sun is shining but this will not change the ever rising flood waters. A little earlier I heard a helicopter overhead – the one positive thing is that the clearing weather will enable search and rescue teams to start the heartbreaking task of searching for flood victims.
When I visited the city previously, I took a ride on the Citycat ferry – now not running because of debris in the river – this photograph is of the Eagle Street jetty in better times. Now the jetty is under water and the level of the river is only likely to reach its peak tomorrow. The Couriermail Mail Gallery has photos of the many parts of Bribane that are flooded.

Eagle Street Jetty July 2007
Picture: Carol Lee Beckx

flood cityside

Jan 12: A tug in the Brisbane River near the Eagle Street Pier. Picture: Peter Wallis

Last week when I parked my car for my visit the Gallery of Modern Art I did not imagine  that the car park entrance would look like this. When I wrote the previous post,  New delights to discover  – a flooded city centre was the furthest thing from my mind.  Now I imagine the Galleries, City library and Museums are taking measures to protect the buildings from the rising water.
These images are going to be replaced by far worse in the coming days.
flood southbank
Jan 12: The Performing Arts Centre precinct at Southbank. Picture: Sean Parnell

The following image is of the 1974 Flood level marker in the Brisbane Botanic Gardens taken in 2007. Levels this time are predicted to far exceed these levels, as high as 5.5 metres.

The 1974 Flood level sign in Brisbane Botanic Gardens
Picture : Carol Lee Beckx

Yesterday morning our family started the day as usual – going to work and doing some grocery shopping.  As conditions deteriorated, we hastened to complete essential tasks, abandoned other plans and returned home early. We are  planning to stay in until the situation improves. Fortunately we do not live near the large rivers, but nevertheless we will be affected as supplies to shops become problematic. 

I am thankful that my family is safe. My thanks to the many friends who have been checking to see that we are safe. My heart goes out to the many people who have suffered devastating losses. We can all only work together to rebuild and recover. 


  1. So sad to see what is happening there. But glad to hear you and your family are OK. I hope the worst is over.

  2. stay safe Carol, it's best to stay at home if you aren't in an evacuation area. I know, only to well unfortunately, how heartbreaking it is to see your city flood, Keep us posted

  3. Thanks Helen and Anne.
    It's heartbreaking to see the devastation and to know that the worst is yet to be uncovered.
    The relentless images show how much will have to be done to restore this once beautiful city and the lives of it's people.
    Thankfully,as we are far from the flooded areas,we have been able to have friends stay as their houses were under threat.