It is hard for me to focus on anything other than the floods in Queensland, Australia today. I’ve read that approximately 75% of the State is in a state or emergency.
The areas hardest hit by the latest floods are places that I grew up in. The city of Toowoomba sits on top of The Great Diving Range at 2300 feet above sea level. It’s not somewhere you’d expect an ‘inland instant tsunami’. This town of 90,000 was hit by a 26-foot (eight-meter), fast-moving torrent of water that continued its path through smaller towns further down the valley. Cars washed down streets with ease.
There are 9 confirmed dead and 66 people missing from the flooding in Toowoomba and the Lockyer Valley.
In the city of Gympie, north of the Sunshine Coast in south-east Queensland about 30 homes have been evacuated and 100 businesses have been swamped by floodwaters. The Mary River peaked overnight at 19.3 metres – just below the 20 metre prediction.
The Sunshine Coast, where I spent my teens has quite a few low lying areas. They’ve seen intense rain with 150 roads closed due to flooding at the moment. If the rain doesn’t let up there is a high probability that properties in lower lying areas could flood.
Brisbane and Ipswich are bracing for the worst flooding since 1974. Flood levels in Brisbane are expected to rise to three metres overnight, reaching 4.5 metres on Wednesday afternoon. On Friday the floods are expected to overtake the 1974 record of 5.45 metres, says Bligh. I’ve been watching friends status updates on Facebook today to see who can get home and who is safe. It is quite common to catch the train or bus to work in Brisbane so when areas started to be evacuated it appears everyone headed for the trains. If you were lucky, you were able to get on a train with standing room only.