February 5th, 2012

Me, Racing Stripes

Flood

This is the email I just got from my mother.

Glenn is my brother, and he still lives in St George, where I grew up.

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Well, Glenn is currently starting to stack stuff up high. He is moving the big wooden table from the patio into the “shop” and also has the kitchenette counter and shelves in there to put things up high. He is going to put his bed up onto the wooden benches from the patio and will remove everything in lower cupboards, shelves and book cases. He says he is not going to leave town. He doesn’t think that the Moonie would be safe for his car anyway and according to the mayor, Donna Stewart, she is suggesting that anyone who can, leave town now while they can still get to Moonie. The water has broken through and around Beardmore dam - first time ever, so I would expect the Moolibah weir to be in full flood over the road already. Since they have never had these conditions combined before [the last two floods did not include Mitchel and it’s river nor did it include over 12 inches of rain]. If the prediction of over 14m comes true, Glenn is at the 14m mark so will end up with water in the house. It will also flood his new car. At least this time, he is home to look after things. [He was here on the coast for the last two floods]. They have relocated all of the residents from Warawee Aged Care to the Gold Coast via planes. The bottom end of town will likely be completely inundated and if this reaches the 14m mark, I would expect Dirranbandi to be wiped off the map in another 24-48 hours.

I just can’t fathom that much water. We have seen the lower end of town under water many times, BUT never like this. Get everyone to say a little prayer to whomever they may be in contact with. We can only hope and pray that all lives will be safe and can’t worry about “things” which can always be replaced.

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Ugh!

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Me, Racing Stripes

Flood, more thoughts.

This map shows the town of St George.

The pin is 28 Alfred St. That's the home I grew up in, and my brother's home now (after he bought it from Mum and Dad). To give you an indication of the problem, that house is at the higher end of town. You don't really get the impression when you're there but there is a gentle slope from the north east end of town down to the south west end. The river bank at the north east end is fairly high (I would guest about 10 meters or so. We used to love riding down it on our pushbikes into the river when we were kids), while the one at the south west end is more of a beach.

Draw a line from my brother's house to the north east parallel to the river and another one directly south until you reach the Carnarvon Highway. If the water reaches my brother's place, everything on the river side of those two lines will already be under water.

People are already requesting anyone who can evacuate to do so. At the moment, the flood looks like a record.

It's kind of disturbing to be reading these news reports and thinking to myself "I know these places" and "I know these people".

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Me, Racing Stripes

Flood, Mandatory Evacuation

Mum rang.

Earlier this afternoon the order was given for mandatory evacuation of the entire town of St George. No one is allowed to stay.

The evacuation path is along the Moonie Highway towards Dalby. As far as I am aware, an evacuation centre had already been established in Dalby as a result of the flooding in the Dalby area, so that's where anyone who doesn't have anywhere else to go will spend their time. Glenn won't be stopping there, he'll be heading on to the coast and will be staying with Mum and Dad until people are allowed to return.

Mum said that assistance has been set up along the Moonie highway at all the potential trouble spots so that every car can get through. Knowing the various floodways and bridges along that highway, I wouldn't be surprised if some of that assistance is trucks where they put the car on the back of the truck, the truck drives through the water, the car gets offloaded at the other side and the truck goes back for the next car. As a result, I expect it's going to be very slow going.

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