My flood-ravaged town

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My flood-ravaged town

Postby the foto fanatic on Fri Jan 14, 2011 11:00 pm

I have no pictures to post here - I'm sure you have all seen enough of it on TV to know the basics of what is happening in Brisbane.

But I can paint a few word pictures for you. PLEASE READ THIS.

Firstly, I was extremely lucky. Events like this are so random that it makes your head spin. We had minor inconveniences - no internet was about the most serious thing that we had to put up with. I had to move my 81 year-old mother to my sisters because she has had no power for three days and it could be several more days before it is reconnected. I helped some people in the lower levels of my apartment complex move furniture to higher ground in case we succumbed to the water, but it turned out to be unnecessary. We moved it all back today. Last night we had some locals who were without power here for dinner, because we have been able to keep our food refrigerated and cook it. One local couple had house-guests from Sweden, so they came too. They were rather wide-eyed at what was happening, and they had their own flood story because they had been visiting friends in Goondiwindi and to get back to Brisbane to catch their flight out today, they had to drive from Goondiwindi to Newcastle and fly up from there! My hosts from my recent trip to NZ emailed me to tell me that a relative of theirs was without power in a building across the road from my place, so we transferred her refrigerator contents to our place even though we had never met her before.

I went for a walk in my own neighbourhood today, and it was very sobering. Within a couple of hundred metres, houses are throwing their entire contents out onto the street. House after house had furniture, white goods, carpeting and foodstuffs piled on the footpath, and were cleaning their houses out with high-pressure hoses. The local shopping centre is still closed, and the basement car park is full of water - right to the very top. All the shops - Coles, newsagent, banks, doctor's surgery, post office, fruit shop etc etc - will have to be cleaned and renovated. There is no stock in the supermarket, fruit shop or bakery. Streets are still barricaded off. Even where the water has receded, there is inches of filthy, foul-smelling sludge that will have to be shovelled off and disposed of. The nearby place where my mother lives is a unit block housing about 30 war widows. It is owned by the War Widows Guild and provides cheap and secure accommodation for them. They are all around my mother's age, and they have no power, which means no lights at night and no hot water. They cannot watch their TVs or heat their food. They have all had to throw their perishables out, and the local shops cannot resupply. They will not have power back anytime soon. All the ferry terminals around here have been trashed by the water, and the City Council says that the whole network will have to be rebuilt before the service can run again. Bus services have been cancelled too.

The sole purpose of recounting all of this is to ask each of you to think carefully about whether you could make a donation to one of the appeals for the flood victims that I have described here. Not for me personally - I have been extremely fortunate - but for the elderly, the infirm, the young families and the small business owners who have lost everything. Literally everything. This is a really dire situation for many fellow Australians from all walks of life, in all age groups and in all parts of Queensland.

They all need your help. Please support them where you can.

Thanks for taking the time to read this plea.
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Re: My flood-ravaged town

Postby gstark on Sat Jan 15, 2011 7:38 am

Trevor,

Thank you for posting this, and providing us all with some first hand experience of what this has been like. It's good that the waters are receding as quickly as they are.

The images that we are seeing - on the internet, in the papers, and on tv - help us to gain some idea of what this must be like, and also of the magnitude of it all, but it's the personal stories that really help us to fully grasp the impact that this is having .... on people.

I am glad that this has largely passed you by, and I hope that perhaps one good that comes of this is that, in the longer term, it brings your community closer together.

It goes without saying that I echo your call for support; this is a time when you're not just a Queenslander, but we are all Australians, together.
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Re: My flood-ravaged town

Postby Critter on Sat Jan 15, 2011 9:38 am

Thanks Trevor,
I am as keen an amateur photographer as they come, but having had to direct part of the medical response to the disaster, I haven't had the time to bring the camera out to document much of what has happened. The other factor though has been that I haven't wanted to. Apart from some quick snaps showing how high the water came to my hospital and its surrounding streets, I haven't had the motivation to shoot my town under water. This surprised me, but I guess it is all a little too close to home (literally - thankfully I am up on a hill so no direct damage).

I am glad to hear that Wendell will be covering this, and as we can see from the web, there are other skilled people out documenting what has happened as this is very important to do. I have been completely surprised by my lack of desire to do it too.

Cheers,
Chris
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Re: My flood-ravaged town

Postby wendellt on Sat Jan 15, 2011 11:40 am

Hi Trevour

I'm so glad to hear you were spared the horrible tradgedy
ans that like all decent austrlains your helping out as you would

it is a great tradgedy but there are many beautiful things happening seeing communities helping each other
the government emergency response teams, the army, the wonderful volunteers and the show of strength hope of the australians affected.

im covering the humanitarian effort

if anyone directly knows of local groups helping out let me know i would like to include it in my reportage
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Re: My flood-ravaged town

Postby aim54x on Sat Jan 15, 2011 8:33 pm

It is both amazing and scary the extent of the flooding that has been broadcast, but your personal account really highlights the finer details that the networks miss. I hope things get sorted out ASAP
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Re: My flood-ravaged town

Postby biggerry on Sun Jan 16, 2011 12:28 pm

Great post Trevor and I can only echo what everyone else has said, it is also worth remembering, especially for us quite some distance away, that this is not somethign that just drys up and goes away, it is much much more than that.

Best of luck Trevor.

gstark wrote:It goes without saying that I echo your call for support; this is a time when you're not just a Queenslander, but we are all Australians, together.


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Re: My flood-ravaged town

Postby chrisk on Tue Jan 18, 2011 4:38 am

the foto fanatic wrote:

The sole purpose of recounting all of this is to ask each of you to think carefully about whether you could make a donation to one of the appeals for the flood victims that I have described here. Not for me personally - I have been extremely fortunate - but for the elderly, the infirm, the young families and the small business owners who have lost everything. Literally everything. This is a really dire situation for many fellow Australians from all walks of life, in all age groups and in all parts of Queensland.

They all need your help. Please support them where you can.

Thanks for taking the time to read this plea.


Glad to hear you're ok trev. I would go a step further than you and not be so gracious. If you are not donating something then you're an asshole. Also note that until this thursday woolies is matching donations dollar for dollar in their stores, so if you donate a grand, its effectively 2 grand.

We have donated some money and are waiting for the flood relief funds to start up for our victorian brothers to donate the rest. Alot of country vic towns have been wiped off the map and cos they're only little communities they arent getting alot of press but they certainly need our help aswell.
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Re: My flood-ravaged town

Postby ozimax on Tue Jan 18, 2011 9:11 am

Good post Trevor. Thankfully you're OK.

We've been busy here raising money from our church members to send up to our sister churches in QLD to assist their relief efforts among many stricken people in their communities, both inside and outside the church.

I have heard several stories of tragedy and otherwise from people I know personally. It will be a long, hard road back to anything resembling normality.

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Re: My flood-ravaged town

Postby blacknstormy on Tue Jan 18, 2011 8:49 pm

Trevor - so glad that you are ok.

I would also like to ask - if you could donate to the flood appeal, rest assured that you will be helping people who are struggling start to see a light at the end of the tunnel - they already know that they are loved and supported - I have never been so proud to be Australian, but there is so much to do !!!

We were lucky - we had water 200 metres away, but that was as close as it came. We have had 2 families staying with us, 2-3 adults, 3 kids, 3 dogs and a cat - they have lost everything, with one house being 4 metres underwater, another with water up to the lightswitches, and another up to the roof. We have spent the last 4 days putting all of their belongings into huge stinking soggy piles on the side of the road, lending a shoulder to cry on, and in my case smoking endless cigarettes with a mother who can't sleep at night and keeps having nightmares about floodwaters rising around her children. The last 3 days have been spent also trying to save hundreds of family photos which had been placed into a skip - I've lost a few, and you can tell some have been submerged in water, sewerage and mud, but the memories of those who have died (grandparents, parents) and baby photos have been saved. They've lost everything, but all are alive - which really is all that matters.

Thank you to everyone who has already donated to the appeal - and thank you to those who will.
And also, thankyou to everyone who has said a prayer for those affected - I know that my friends appreciate all the help and thoughts and hugs from strangers. They are hurting, but they will get through it.

Cheers
Narelle
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