Ipswich Photography | The Flood of 2011

Mum & Dad’s | Personal | The Big Flood | 11th Jan 2011

Wow! I can’t believe that it has been two weeks where everyone in South East Queensland was on the edge of their seats. After an inland tsnaumi raced through the streets of Toowoomba, little did we know the devastation and destruction that would follow. We all sat around the TV watching, waiting seeing the destruction that was happening in real time. On Tuesday the rain came, and it came hard. I was suppose to be travelling to Ipswich from Andrew’s house on the morning of the flood, but after talking with Mum I realized that it was too dangerous to drive on the highway that was about to be closed for 5 days! Little did I realize that by staying in Brisbane we would become stranded, unable to go anywhere and unable to help my parents evacuate their home. My parents live out at Karalee on river frontage acreage. The river had been swollen for a number of days and was slowly started to creep up. Little did they realize what was about to unfold. With the water from the Lockyer Valley making its way down stream and huge amounts of rainfall falling into the Bremer river catchment areas, my parents were in for the flood of their lives. So they grabbed all the valuables and headed to higher ground across the road as what is now affectionly known as HQ to wait out the flood with 15 of their fellow neighbours. The water kept coming and coming until it came right up the block and through the entire house. My parent’s house is built at the 19m mark and the water went way beyond that. They believe it peaked at their house somewhere around the 20-21.5m mark. Around the same height as the 1974 flood.

Luckily when my Dad build our family home, he built it with a flood in mind. They knew that when they purchased their block of land that in 1974 the water went to the road. So Dad built the house tough and made sure they we had insurance to cover a “what if” scenario. So as a family we were very lucky. Mum & Dad were safe, they got the valuables out and had insurance to cover what ever damage the flood may of caused. The house was a mess when they first were able to get back into their home. Thick brown smelly mud covered and moved everything. It picked up things like fridges and threw them around like they were nothing. All of the contents left in the house and the 3 sheds were thrown out. You don’t realize how much stuff you have until it is all sitting on the footpath waiting to be collected for the dump. I know I have lost a fair bit of stuff, but at times like this you don’t dwell on material posessions, you think about the people in your life – your family, your friends. Stuff can be replaced, but lives cannot. I really feel for the people in Grantham who had no warning and who have lost loved ones. My heart goes out to them.

At first the mess of the house and the block of land was a little overwhelming for Mum & Dad. Even though they were one of the lucky ones the job at hand to clean up the property and get the house back into some sort of normal was a big one. Luckily for them, they have had numerous people offer their help and support. Friends, family and even just people passing by have dropped in to lend a hand. As soon as the roads were open Andrew & I were there, scrubbing, cleaning and removing junk, not only from my parent’s place but also the neighbours. The amount of people driving around handing out sandwiches and drinks (even after the weekend when people had to return to work) was nothing short of amazing. We even had some air force peeps help us rip out the plasterboard in 4 of the rooms in the lower part of the house. To all of the people that have given my parents and our neighbourhood a hand, I say THANK YOU. You have no idea how much you have eased the burden of the people who have been flood affected in the area.

Thank you again to all the people, everywhere who have helped a flood victim. If you still feel that you need to help someone out there are many ways to do so.. the Priemer’s Flood appeal is the best way to give a cash donation. If you can’t donate money, then find a flood family and ask them how you can help. I know not having to worry about lunch or a cool drink while cleaning up was such a help to us. Lend a hand where you can people and we can get Queensland back into its beautiful form!

Here is a couple of piccies from Mum & Dad’s place.

Nicole xo

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