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Brisbane swamped as floodwaters rise

Updated January 12, 2011 14:50:00

Brisbane is preparing for the full impact of its worst flooding in more than 100 years, with officials warning almost 20,000 homes in the city will be flooded by early tomorrow morning.

Thirty-five Brisbane suburbs and 3,000 homes in the nearby city of Ipswich are already submerged by rapildy rising floodwaters.

This morning the death toll from this week's flash flooding in the Lockyer Valley was revised up to 12 after search teams found two more bodies.

A huge tide of brown water is surging down the swollen Brisbane River as authorities continue to release water from the overloaded Wivenhoe Dam.

The crisis is expected to be at its worst about 4:00am tomorrow morning, when the flood peak in Brisbane is expected to touch 5.5 metres, slightly higher than the city's 1974 flood peak.

Houses and businesses in Ipswich's CBD are underwater and thousands of properties are being evacuated in Brisbane as entire streets are submerged.

Adding to the misery, more than 60,000 homes through the region are without power.

The number of people missing after flash flooding in Toowoomba and the Lockyer Valley was revised down this morning, with 67 people still unaccounted for.

But Premier Anna Bligh has warned the hopes of many will be crushed as search teams reach areas of the Lockyer Valley, where they are expecting to find bodies.

"This incident is not a tourist event. This is a natural disaster," she said this morning.

"If you are not going to be affected, reach out to a neighbour. Reach out to friends and family.

"The fact that this is peaking today does not mean we won't see very dangerous scenarios today," she added.

"Don't take any comfort from the fact that we have blue sky today."

Queensland Police Commissioner Bob Atkinson says no more bodies have been found in the Lockyer Valley this morning, but he expects the death toll to rise.

"Part of the difficulty of this is the conditions ... some of these homes have been demolished and we fear that some people have been swept from their homes," he said.

"So we'll need to do aerial searches in case they've been swept out to paddocks."

Commissioner Atkinson says there are grave fears for about 18 people who are still missing in the Lockyer Valley area.

Waters rise

Ipswich is being swamped this morning and the Bremer River there is now expected to peak today at 20.5 metres, slightly lower than the devastating 1974 floods.

Floodwaters have covered all but the tops of shops in the Ipswich CBD and the city's mayor Paul Pisasale expects about 4,000 homes to be flooded.

Hundreds of people were evacuated from their homes last night, with around one-third of Ipswich expected to go under today.

In Brisbane, several low-lying suburbs as well as the CBD are already affected and the situation will worsen as the flood level is expected to reach 4.5 metres about 2:30pm (AEST).

The waters are then expected to peak again at approximately 5.5 metres about 4:00am AEST on Thursday morning and stay high until Saturday.

About 62,000 homes are without power in south-east Queensland and eight people have been rescued from a rooftop at Lowood west of Brisbane.

Power has been cut to Ipswich, while low-lying parts of Brisbane, including Oxley and the CBD, are now without electricity as Energex moves to protect the grid.

Brisbane Lord Mayor Campbell Newman this morning said new modelling helped generate a revised list of homes that will be affected.

"There are 19,700 residential properties across Brisbane where there's projected to be flooding across the whole block of land," he said.

"I can't tell you about the depth... there's a further 3,500 commercial premises across the city that will see flooding across the entire block of land as well."

Suburbs including Jindalee, South Bank, Toowong and Milton were flooded this morning and a total of 2,100 Brisbane streets will be affected by flooding under the new modelling.

Brisbane's bus system will start to be closed down from about 1:00pm today.

The South Brisbane train station is closed and there are no trains west of Darra.

The Port of Brisbane is closed.

One resident says many homes in Haldane Street in Graceville are under water, including his own.

"I went to check on my property because we slept in our car last night, and as we were there my mailbox disappeared under water, so it's actually rising quite quickly," he said.

Council says more than 6,500 people will need to housed in evacuation centres at the RNA Showgrounds and QEII Stadium.

Apart from inner-city residents, there are few people in the centre of Brisbane and it is uncharacteristically empty and silent.

Supermarkets were open last night but shelves that stock fruit, vegetables, bread and milk were largely empty.

More than 1,200 people spent the night at an evacuation centre in Ipswich and 200 in Brisbane.

Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale says floodwaters have covered all but the overhead signs and billboards above many shops in the CBD.

"The water's rising and it's swallowing up your city - it makes it very hard," he said.

"But it's most important to get a message out to the community that these are only floodwaters and the most important thing is our safety and I want to make sure no other lives are lost."

Grim task

Search and rescue teams will go to Grantham and Murphy's Creek to begin the grim task of searching destroyed properties for bodies.

Ms Bligh says it is going to be a very hard day for the community.

"Families who are still holding out hope some of them are likely to have their hopes tragically crushed," she said.

"So I think it's going to be a tough and emotional day in the Lockyer Valley as those search and rescue teams get in there for the first time."

A telephone hotline - 1300 993 191 - has been set up for people seeking information on friends and relatives caught up in the flooding disaster.

Tags: disasters-and-accidents, emergency-incidents, emergency-planning, floods, australia, qld, brisbane-4000, ipswich-4305

First posted January 12, 2011 09:48:00

Comments (56)

Comments for this story are closed, but you can still have your say.

  • ABC (Moderator):

    12 Jan 2011 11:06:18am

    What is the flood situation looking like where you live?

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    • Grahame:

      12 Jan 2011 11:59:58am

      We are in a highrise on the River at St Lucia. The street is flooded below. The power is cut, The basement full of water. The strangest stuff keeps floating past.

      Stuck here for a few days, I suspect. Have plenty of water and food. The BBQ is all gased up. Toileting is no fun but planned for.
      Hope no-one gets really sick........ Didn't think of that.

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      • Peter:

        12 Jan 2011 4:13:50pm

        I know exactly where you are Grahame even though I live in Melbourne now. I was there in 1974. In the old days there were old Queenslanders along that reach of the river and they went under. My childhood home is nearby and that regularly goes under. Poor old Brisbane!

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  • Steve F:

    12 Jan 2011 11:25:33am

    My thoughts are with all my fellow Australians affected by this act of nature.

    Agree (1) Alert moderator

  • Steve P:

    12 Jan 2011 11:26:19am

    Has anyone thought to ask the Govt and Emergency Services - can Wivenhoe Dam withstand the amount of water building up behind it - what plans are in place for something worse than can be expected at this moment - is there anything they are not telling us - I know there are buildt in safety factors with the building of dams but the pressure and amount entering the dam structure must be looked at - please ask the questions

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    • acker:

      12 Jan 2011 11:42:29am

      They are releasing water from Wivenhoe Dam to keep it's capacity at a level its walls can handle

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    • Viv:

      12 Jan 2011 11:44:09am

      Yes they do, that is why they have been releasing water for months now. It is a dam that is not designed to be 'overtopped'. It has been full now for a while but also has 125% extra flood mitigation capacity... total 225% (I think this is right). It is getting up to close to 200% now, that is why they continue to release despite the water coming through the Bremer which enters the Brisbane downstream of wivenhoe. They would hold back if they could to help counterbalance these other flood waters, but there is no choice involved. The authorities that operate the dam, have many priorities as they operate the structure the first of which is always the structural integrity of the dam itself. Luckily we have had a decrease in rain, however the subsurface infiltration and runoff will continue for some time. Also note there are other safety features built into the structure. For instance it has a 'fuse plug'? that will blow an earthern embankment that would allow further emptying above the emptying through the spillways should a critical point be reached. They can also control how much exits the spillways. All of these things help to maintain the integrity of the main wall, so that I certainly have absolute confidence in the dam.

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      • SWAGMAN:

        12 Jan 2011 12:14:04pm

        Wivenhoe can hold up to 200% but has to let go at the flow in rate after that

        Agree (0) Alert moderator

        • Mike:

          12 Jan 2011 1:17:53pm

          Actually 225%. That's when goes over the top.

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    • MT:

      12 Jan 2011 11:44:51am

      There was an earlier report about the capacity and strength of the dam. It was built to handle this amount of water, and the outflows are being managed to keep the level of the dam below the top of the dam wall. This will mean that very large amounts of water are released causing flooding downstream, but the key thing is to make sure the water does not spill over the top since this has the potential to cause the wall to fail.

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    • Arthur:

      12 Jan 2011 11:50:13am

      They have answered that question and if they have to they have a further water release mechanism then what they are using now to prevent the dam from breaching. It is virtually impossible for the dam to breach. God help us if it does.

      I don't really think it is possible to plan for a dam burst of that magnitude apart from some praying. Additional water releases above current amounts are going to cause problems, however if the Lockyer water is gone by then the effect of bigger Wivenhoe releases will not be a catastrophe.

      The rain has eased so the planned releases as they are now will drain flood mitigation water pretty quickly if necessary although they will slow the release.

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    • Thomas:

      12 Jan 2011 11:58:58am

      Wivenhoe Dam has two spillways, a primary, and a secondary. The primary is the one that is operating at present, and has adjustable gates to throttle the flow. At present these gates are operating at close to maximum capacity.

      The secondary spillway is a backup and is not normally used. It kicks in when water levels increase beyond normal levels (225%). It has a large flow capacity and works like a pressure valve for the dam. Flows over the secondary spillway are not controlled. This spillway is not yet in operation.

      While I don't have any direct experience with this dam and spillway, it is a relatively modern structure and is likely to be very well designed and constructed. In my experience dams engineers are amongst the most conservative, most risk adverse, and professional in the industry. The dam is designed to handle events much larger than this.

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      • Magoo:

        12 Jan 2011 12:46:50pm

        Dam engineers may be conservative, politicians seldom are. The Qld govt was damned either way but chose to direct the Wivenhoe control team to go above 100% capacity. We saw pictures of releases early in this event with only one floodgate open. It was time to react dramatically and get the level down as quickly as possible.

        But no, Ms Bligh and her team wanted as much water in there as they could so they could let us all waste it again afterwards.

        A flood mitigation dam has to be empty if it is going to prevent a flood.

        Platitudes like 'the situation would have been worse without Wivenhoe' just don't stand up to scrutiny if the dam is mis-managed.

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        • Richo:

          12 Jan 2011 1:39:26pm

          That's a dumb statement, relying on the benefit of 20/20 hindsight...the first 100% is for water supply storage, the "extra 125%" is for flood storage...that's what the reservoir capacity was designed for. So they started using the flood storage capacity based on their best judgement of what future inflows could occur.

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        • Arthur:

          12 Jan 2011 1:40:34pm

          Wivenhoe is a flood mitigation dam AND is the major water supply for Brisbane. It serves both purposes and each one is vital. Draining the dam to 100% capacity is how it works and is not a politically motivated decision.

          A mitigation dam is generally there to take the peak off the flood. It won't stop flooding. Imagine what the peak could have been without Wivenhoe. Maybe the hydrologists can work it out. They probably will as the politicians will want the people to know what the dam actually saved them from.

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        • lamprey:

          12 Jan 2011 2:56:39pm

          I wonder whether it is possible for deep channels to be excavated so that in times of severe flood, excess water from both East and West Creek upstream from Toowoomba could be diverted away from the town.

          It is crazy that in this day and age we have two major creeks converging virtually in the middle a city with a population of almost 100,000.

          Once this is over there should also be an enquiry into why planning departments, councils and property developers have been allowed to build housing types that are not suited for areas at risk of flood.

          The old-fashioned 'Queenslander' style bungalows are ideal for the climate of coastal Queensland, because they are built on stilts which allow air and water flow beneath the house.

          Modern houses built on concrete slabs are completely unsuitable in flood zones and areas affected by cyclonic weather.

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        • Casper Schougaard:

          12 Jan 2011 3:48:56pm

          On Radio National this morning, an engineer estimated that the flood level would be at least 2 metres higher without Wivenhoe.

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        • Magoo:

          12 Jan 2011 3:55:07pm

          If you want a dam for reticulation, then build one and keep it full. If you want a dam for flood mitigation, build it and keep it empty. The Wivenhoe is being asked to be all things to all situations. The rate of release should have been increased dramatically as soon as the dam was over 10% full (i.e. when the water reticulation role was filled).

          Maybe the best thing that our PM can offer Brisbane is to buy out all the houses that flood this time and replace them by sports fields, parks and bike lanes.

          Again that is a statement made with the benefit of hindsight, no malice to any party but a way to move forward safely.

          This is no longer a 'once in a lifetime' event, it has happened twice in my relatively short life so far. Time to make some permanent changes.

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        • grego:

          12 Jan 2011 2:55:01pm

          My understanding is that the Wivenhoe dam contained a 1974 type flood in December....

          Personally I would be more concerened about the Ennogera dam sitting above the gap, that was built in 1866.

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    • Brad:

      12 Jan 2011 1:20:25pm

      The rediculous thing is the state Opposition was criticising the controlled release of water from Wivenhoe several months ago, calling it mismanagement by the government. If that water hadn't been released it wouldn't have had that safety buffer needed in the last few days. The state Opposition has been conspicuously silent this week.

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      • Scotto:

        12 Jan 2011 3:01:36pm

        Brad I am not certian that now is the time to start throwing political stones. Once the waters recede the blame game can start agian but right now comments like yours will be met with "The State Government wouldn't relax the water restrictions a couple of months back and now there's too much of the stuff." So let's just lower our political fists, help those who have been impacted, assist with the clean up when the waters recede and then have an intelligent conversation about how to minimise the impact of these events in the future.

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  • DickyB:

    12 Jan 2011 11:27:49am

    Thankfully, better than a lot of other places I have seen via the television and on my way home(Manly, QLD) from work yesterday. Other than enormity of mother nature's devastation, what also astounds me is the irresponsiblity and stupidity of the media. 'Panic buying' really equals common sense preparations, the poor questions whereby the resources of PM, Premier, military and other emergency services personnel are being tied up; after have given the information or data and the journalists attempt to make a story or 'trap' our elected representatives into a now or future compromising position.
    Have not heard one of them say -" What can I/we do to help?"

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    • Viv:

      12 Jan 2011 11:48:14am

      True, I went to the shops to prepare for the worst (not being flooded but potentially being cutoff and no power for some time) and I didn't see any panic. Only people making sure they could be self-sufficient for a while. There is no way we want to be a burden on all the services when there are so many in desperate need now. Our thoughts are with all of our 'neighbours' who are experiencing such terrible loss... especially the ultimate loss - life. May you all stay safe.

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    • Arthur:

      12 Jan 2011 11:52:39am

      The media help by keeping us informed (even if with a commercial slant) and making sure the event is well documented visually. The media has an important roll. The media reports will keep people donating.

      The sensationalism is just an inevitable part.

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  • serbian friend:

    12 Jan 2011 11:36:15am

    Such a devastation...I believe everybody is speechless... My thoughts are with people of Queensland.

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  • Spek:

    12 Jan 2011 11:45:38am

    Spoke to friends who had contact with a relative in Ipswich this morning. Water was at the end of their street and rising. The 1974 floods reached their front steps, so they are hoping it will not be any worse this time. The are effectively stranded in their house now.

    This is a reminder that the human race in not in control of this earth as we sometimes think. You could build another 10 dams in SE Qld and it still would not hold back this volume of water.

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  • tomess:

    12 Jan 2011 11:47:13am

    Out here in the northern suburb of Chermside and areas like it, it's an ordinary day in the office. It was frightening yesterday, and we feel for the people close to the river and even more so for those out at Ipswich and the country areas where people have died, but around here it's business as usual - not in the CBD, of course, where power has been shut down.

    I asked about a friend just off the main street at West End - he's moved his car to higher ground, but otherwise he's fine, and doesn't expect his house to be flooded.

    Tomorrow may be a different story, of course, if the power gets shut off, but that appears unlikely in our neck of the woods at least.

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  • Pink Penny:

    12 Jan 2011 11:48:14am

    DickyB - I totally concur with your comments - well done.

    My thoughts and prayers go to all affected.

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  • WhatThe:

    12 Jan 2011 11:51:59am

    I have relatives in Marroochydore and Brisbane who thankfully are all ok, at the moment, my thoughts are with all those that have lost loved ones, have loved ones missing and those who will simply have to deal with the aftermath of this disaster.

    The effects of this will be felt for a long time.

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  • indigo:

    12 Jan 2011 11:58:11am

    Droughts and Flooding rains......... such is life in Australia.
    My sympathies to all affected, our turn will come down here in S.E. NSW !!

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  • Daniel:

    12 Jan 2011 12:33:23pm

    When you lookat the TV screens its hard to believe its happening. At this rate I really hope Sydney is ok?

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  • Craig from NSW:

    12 Jan 2011 12:39:58pm

    Just looking at the pics and tv coverage from the flooding up in QLD. I'm in western Sydney and have no idea of what you guys are going through there. Our hearts are with you . Please stay safe as property can be rebuilt . Lives lost can't.

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  • Karen from Qld:

    12 Jan 2011 12:41:43pm

    We were on evacuation alert yesterday but thankfully it did not come to this. The gully behind our house at one stage was a raging torrent. Our landline was not working properly - could get incoming calls but could not make any outgoing calls and at one stage the mobile network was overloaded. Thank God we are okay but so so many are not. It is just heart breaking to see and hear their stories.

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  • Iain Anderson:

    12 Jan 2011 12:48:38pm

    My concern is that the current flood levels are quite a bit lower than they're going to be. Not sure what they were during the ABC broadcasts from Rosalie this morning: 3.5m? That broadcast roughly corresponded to the BCC's flood map, but if it's going 2m higher than that, it's going to be much more serious.

    If you're standing at the edge of the water now, it could be over your head at 4am tomorrow.

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  • Nup:

    12 Jan 2011 1:17:42pm

    Have contacted my family in SE Qld to check they are okay, and thankfully so. I have a friend though who hasn't been able to get in touch with her family in Grantham, and I can only imagine how heat-wrenchingly terrible it is for her right now. All our thoughts are with her, and those others in the same position - we can only hope for a good outcome.

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  • gingercat:

    12 Jan 2011 1:19:36pm

    Could this continue south to offs Harbour?

    Agree (0) Alert moderator

    • Jane:

      12 Jan 2011 4:48:56pm

      If you mean the Brisbane floods - then no, they're heading out to sea (to Moreton Bay initially).

      Agree (0) Alert moderator

  • Mike:

    12 Jan 2011 1:22:46pm

    Can anyone tell me how the town of Fernvale in the Lockyer Valley is looking??

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    • Cynicarc:

      12 Jan 2011 2:52:56pm

      Sadly, a lot of the lockyr valley towns are doing just that ... looking for their town .. I have heard reports of an entire town being lifted from their foundations and swept around 20km away. Don't take my word for that though, just what I heard from some co-workers who have relatives in those towns.

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  • Spinner:

    12 Jan 2011 1:22:49pm

    Now is the time for another "stimulus" package.

    Recovery from the personal tragedies, and damage to public infrastructure throughout perhaps 30% of the Sate of Queensland is clearly beyond the resources of the people affected, and of the Queensland government treasury.

    How much will all of this cost? I don't think anyone in the world has any accurate idea about that.

    The destroyed railway bridges and stretches of track. The torn up highways. The gouged byways. The missing farmer's fences - and stock. The missing, and badly damaged homes - many beyond repair. The tragic loss of life. Destroyed private and public property. Destroyed business premises. Flooded, and virtually abandoned mines, and factories. Displaced citizens. The untold unemployed as a result of their jobs being washed away.

    And all of this havoc over an area greater than the area of the entire nation of France.

    It is almost impossible to comprehend the extent of the damage.

    The recovery bill will certainly be in the tens of billions of dollars - perhaps even more. Certainly much more than is available to the residents affected, or to the Queensland government.

    A federal Budget deficit is now a thing of the present. And the fact that it will not now be brought back into surplus for many more years than the government had previously planned, should no longer be a political football. These funds are required, and required quickly, to avoid a complete collapse of the economy of the State of Queensland.

    The State's food producers have been decimated. Farms no longer in existence. Stock lost, orchards destroyed. As mentioned above, the mining industry is, for the immediate, and probably medium term future, at a standstill. Thousands, probably tens of thousands, who had stable employment a few days ago, are now facing long term unemployment through absolutely no fault of their own.

    Let the government get on with vigorously rebuilding, starting today. Depoliticise budget deficits, at least until all of this can be sorted out - and that could take years rather than months.

    The all important thing is for the respective government to get on with it, cooperatively, now!

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  • gauntlent:

    12 Jan 2011 1:51:47pm

    Americas thoughts and prayers are with the Australian people.May god bless you all and keep you safe.We will also stand with you in your time of need.

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  • Maureen J:

    12 Jan 2011 1:56:59pm

    I wonder if Australians can help the Queenslanders by taking in children so that they can continue school while parents cope with what needs to be done. In the war, children were often sent to safer places ..... it'll mean increasing class numbers in schools .. but surely under the circumstances?????? I live in Perth .. there's NO water here!!!!

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  • linda:

    12 Jan 2011 2:03:53pm

    My thoughts are with all queenlsanders including and especially Anna Bligh. Not a political thing but that woman represents us and the strain and stress she has to bear is all part of the leadership package. Let's see who thinks politicans are overpaid now!!! I don't beleive she earns overtime or any such thing. Hang in there everyone and stay strong.

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  • Keefe Haryett:

    12 Jan 2011 2:39:21pm

    As a Canadian who has traveled all over Australia and love's the people and every thing about Australia. My heart is full of sadness for the the great people of Queensland and NSW. I would like to send my best wishes for a great recovery. I wish there was some thing I could do!

    Keefe Haryett
    Toronto Ontario Canada

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  • Aussie_in_China:

    12 Jan 2011 2:39:44pm

    I wish I was back in Australia <but I'm in China> - to help complete strangers leaving their flooded homes, but I can only watch the news and the web.

    Please take my place - replace me.

    I'll do the same for other strangers when I get back, if the need occurs.


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  • Shane:

    12 Jan 2011 3:05:07pm

    Sitting here in Geraldton WA with the temperature up near 40 degrees for the 4th day in a row, it was absolutely staggering to watch the devastation and sheer force of it on the TV News...brought tears to my eyes. Lets hope that every single Australian can do their little bit to help wherever possible...even if things are tight after the Christmas/New Year splurge, dig a bit deeper and donate whatever you can...$10 or $20 might not sound a lot but collectively if we all do our bit it will all add up. Our thoughts and prayers are with all those effected by the devastation.

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  • westy:

    12 Jan 2011 3:09:06pm

    Out in Pullenvale , (about 16 kms out of Brisbane CBD) stuck but otherwise okay. Still got power. Water actually draining away from the yard. What is eerie is I cannot see or hear one single bird. Normally they are everywhere. Just watching and listening to all the helicopters flying (we presume) between Brisbane and Ipswich.
    Best wishes to all closer to the water.

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  • Logan :

    12 Jan 2011 3:20:04pm

    Just wondering if anyone can tell me if Logan is under any threat. We have two major river systems that flow from the Brisbane and Bremer rivers and the Wivenhoe. There are many of us residents very worried about our homes and nothing has been mentioned regarding Logan districts.

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  • john connor:

    12 Jan 2011 3:29:56pm

    i hope our freinds overseas can see that we know how to deal with a disaster in a timley fasion!

    i was in QLD last year for a holiday, saddened to see many of the familiar sites ruined.
    It is time to give Australian resources to Australian citizens.

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  • Lawrence Wright:

    12 Jan 2011 3:37:38pm

    I'm an Englishman living in New York, my Sister and her family are in Brisbane, thankfully unharmed at present. I don't think people over here realise the size of the struggle facing Queenslanders, I will try and educate where I can.

    I know you will all stand together as family, lend a hand where you can; lend an ear if desired; lend a shoulder when required!

    I wish I could be there to help.

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  • d:

    12 Jan 2011 3:59:59pm

    It's looking to be the 3rd highest flood since the early 19thC, the others being Jan 1841 & Feb 1893 & marginally higher than the 1974 flood. The others followed tropical cyclones....this has not & this may be significant! This flood is part of the super wet to dry to super wet cycle that is about 30-35 years long & associated with basic cyclic changes in the global atmospheric-oceanic system of which the El Nino/La Nina events are but a part. As the global atmosphere warms these flood events can be expected to increase in volume (higher flood height peaks) & may well become more frequent. Unless global warming is checked we will have to expect more severe weather events.

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  • E Jensz:

    12 Jan 2011 4:33:16pm

    I was in Brisbane for the 1974 floods and the devastation was horrific, this appears to be much worse. There are, of course, many more people living in and around Brisbane now therefore the social impact can only be greater and the social dislocation more profound.

    Chin up Queenslanders, we in the south are sending our love, prayers and money to the appeal. When it all ends we will laugh about the funny incidents but right now grit your teeth and keep your sense of humour.

    I lived for more than 19 years in your beautiful state and I know that you are very resilient.
    Go the Broncos, Go the Reds and Go the Bulls!

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  • Otwen:

    12 Jan 2011 4:39:27pm

    My commute to work takes me in the opposite direction to those working in the CBD. Hardly a car heading into town this morning (normally jammed tight) and nobody waiting at the bus stops. Very eerie indeed.

    As far as work goes, we've pretty much said to our staff go and look after yourself and family and we'll see you when its all over. A normally very busy office is very quiet right now.

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  • Kate:

    12 Jan 2011 4:49:28pm

    Sitting on the 7th floor at Tennyson Reach at the tennis centre. We are now completely surrounded by water and have just watched the heart breaking reality of flood waters pouring into the bottom floor apartments. We have plenty of food and water, no electricity but safe and dry for the time being. My thoughts are with everyone affected.

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  • Kate:

    12 Jan 2011 5:27:29pm

    My deepest thoughts are with you all - the people and the animals...I am devastated to see my home town so devastated. Please continue looking out for one another - out entire nation is behind you and like the bushfires two years ago in Victoria, we will not forget what you have been through or neglect to help you rebuild in any way we can assist.

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Queensland's flood crisis

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  1. Storms lash Sunshine State Video Destructive storms

    Wild storms have lashed south-east Queensland, causing more damage for locals trying to rebuild after the floods.

  2. A teenage girl is swept through Toowoomba, west of Brisbane, during flash flooding Chilling photo

    A teenage girl caught in the raging torrent of water that swept through Toowoomba has been found safe and well.

  3. A festival-goer sits back with a beer at the Albert Hotel Gallery

    Thousands of country music fans have flocked to Tamworth for the annual music festival.

  4. LtoR Before and after scene (of Brisbane floods) at Brisbane's Rocklea Markets Devastation revealed

    Part II: Photos taken over Brisbane last week have revealed the scale of devastation across dozens of suburbs.