I wanted to say a few words about the floods occurring in Queensland. As I write this post the water still rises, and the levels are tipped to exceed the levels of the 1974 flood where 14 people lost their lives, mostly from drowning, in the suburbs of Yeronga, Newmarket, St Lucia, and the city of Ipswich. My family and I reside in Melbourne, and it feels like a world away from the events up North.
AP2011 Photo courtesy of Associated Press
Jan. 10: A man is rescued by emergency workers after he was stranded clinging to a tree during a flash flood in Toowoomba, Australia.
I overheard colleagues talking about heavy rainfall and that Northern Queensland was underwater, and I have to admit I never gave it a second thought at the time. Flash flooding and bushfires are something we come to accept living in a country with such a harsh climate. I had no idea of the ferocity of these flood waters. These are not floods were the water laps gently into your basement. These floods tear through the streets at an immense speed, pushing cars, boats and other debris up into the air like they are balloons.
Part of my ignorance is due to my avoidance of all things newsworthy. I do find it hard to sleep at night if my head is filled with tradgedy such as murder-suicide, and preventable traffic accidents. When I head that the floods had reached Brisbane yesterday afternoon I watched a news story on my work computer. I was horrified with what I saw and heard. The reporter mentioned that a 4 year old boy had been swept away during a rescue effort. Despite his life jacket he drowned. In another story a separate family were grieving the loss of a mother and 13 year old son, who had given their lives when they demanded the youngest brother be saved first. The poor man who tied himself to a pole with rope and waded out into the raging waters to help them. I can’t imagine how disappointed he feels to have saved one child but still witnessed such a scene. With tears filling my eyes, I couldn’t handle anymore, and turned off the broadcast.
I logged into Facebook to check on my friends in Queensland, and they were all safe and preparing to evacuate. I then moved to Twitter to check whether my ‘beauty community’ friends were okay. I can’t think of the exact words to describe my emotions when I saw my internet friends checking on eachother, and offering housing to anyone who needed it. I am blessed that I know so many wonderfully generous people, and so very proud to be Australian.
When I woke this morning the toll stood at 10 dead, which included 5 children, and another 90 people unaccounted for. I decided to work from home today, and despite their protests I have hugged and squeezed my children extra tight a few times, so grateful to never have experienced such an event first hand.
Please join me in praying for the Queenslanders effected by this disaster, and hope that the missing are found safely perched somewhere high.
If you would like to donate money http://www.qld.gov.au/floods/donate.html
Please refrain from sending clothing and household goods as communities recover more quickly when they can make their own choices when rebuilding their lives.
For overseas readers or those unable to give, I encourage you to ‘help someone’ in your local community in honour of those Aussies who were lost in the floods.
Until next time,