Queensland’s flood death toll rises – 8 confirmed and 72 or more missing on Darling Downs
The total death toll attributed to Queensland’s floods has risen by 8 with 72 people after a flood torrent likened to a tsunami hit the Darling Downs city of Toowoomba, flowing down to towns at the foot of the Great Dividing Range. Four adults and four children in Toowoomba were swept to their deaths and it is not known how many others were in cars that were tumbled like toys in the raging flood waters.
Some lives have been lost in these floods due to recklessness or false bravery in thinking vehicles could traverse flooded roads and causeways. However, people given no warning who have been swept to their deaths are innocent victims of this unprecedented natural disaster.
There is news that a Child Care Centre is under threat and workers and children are holed up there waiting to be rescued. Another group were sheltering in a one-storey school building. It is not known what their fate is.
To read about Lockyer Valley floods – CLICK HERE.
Wivenhoe Dam water release today to be greater than that contained in Sydney Harbour
The water has to go downstream and Brisbane city is now in the path of the flood waters. Authorities have had no option but to release huge quantities of water most days since the flooding reached mammoth proportions. The irony is that just 2 years ago, Wivenhoe Dam and other dams around south-east Queensland were at record low capacities.
Wivenhoe Dam in the Brisbane Valley is at 140% capacity and water more than the equivalent of Sydney Harbour will be released today to avoid a further catastrophe. These waters will flow down the Bremmer River past the city of Ipswich and into the Brisbane River. This river runs through the city out into Moreton Bay. They will meet with a king tide, causing concern for authorities.
400 streets and approximately 450 homes are likely to be flooded in the suburbs of Brisbane. People are on stand-by to evacuate or have already done so. Police are trawling the Brisbane River to remove debris and all City Cat and Ferry Services have been ceased until further notice.
To view the Brisbane flood map and weather radar information – CLICK HERE.
Western Queensland towns hit for a second and third time
The western Queensland towns of Chinchilla and Condamine are being hit by flood waters for a second time. Dalby is lining up for its third flood deluge. These new flood waters could affect other towns downstream such as St George where residents had hoped to avoid being flooded for the second time in 10 months by building levees around their homes.
Gympie and surrounding areas on the Sunshine Coast are cut off
The former gold mining town of Gympie, just two hours’ drive north of where I live has been cut in two. No stranger to flooding in their town, Gympie residents had time to prepare for the crisis. The entire main street in the central business area is under water. Medical supplies and other necessary provisions are being dropped in by helicopter.
Rockhampton in Central Queensland still in crisis
The city of Rockhampton in Central Queensland is dealing with the flood catastrophe as best they can. Plans are already under way for reconstruction even before residents are allowed back into their flood ravaged homes. Rockhampton airport is still closed with no indication when it will re-open. Even then, substantial work will have to be done to make the airport safe to occupy and the runways might need to be replaced.
Flood relief funds pour in to assist the thousands of victims
On Sunday Night, Network 9 hosted a 2 hour telethon to aid flood victims. In just over an hour the total donations had reached almost AU$10million. This will be added to the Queensland Government’s fund that was hovering around AU$12million. More donations are expected and everywhere I have been, there are donation tins managed by local service clubs.
Thunder and heavy rain as I write this article
As I write this article, I am listening to thunder and hearing heavy rain falling in my area. My own suburban yard is waterlogged.
Yesterday, the water was on my side veranda. It would have to rise a further foot to get in my house and this can’t happen because some of the water runs off down the front slope of my property. We can only exit my house through the front door or through the garage. I normally use the side door onto the veranda. Still, if this is all I have to put up with, it is a minor inconvenience compared with the havoc that thousands of Queenslanders have to endure.
It is to be hoped the rain eases soon and that those affected by these horrible floods can start to re-build their lives. All the average person can do is to donate to the flood relief cause and to pray for those so unfortunate fellow-Queenslanders (Australians) who have suffered so much.
To wrap up this article, it is ironic that in Western Australia – on the other side of the country – one area is experiencing raging bush fires, said to be deliberately lit. Australia is indeed a strange country of many facets.
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