As our Lady Premier Anna Bligh has said.
We have been battered by a cyclone, endured devastating floods, lives have been lost and we have almost been brought to our knees but we will recover, we will survive.
WE ARE QUEENSLANDERS.
The flood area has been estimated to be larger than most of Europe, e.g. France, Germany etc or 3/4 of Queensland has been under water.
Hundreds of families are still without proper housing and are in temporary accommodation as houses were demolished by the force of the flood waters in the Brisbane Valley and out in Ipswich and Toowoomba and also the devastated towns of Granville and Murphy's Creek.
Then as if that had not been enough there was also the damage and flooding by a category 6 cyclone called Yasi that hit along the coast line up in north Queensland and swept west as far as Central Australia.
Houses that had any level of flood waters through them have had to be gutted and almost all the personal belongings and furniture etc were ruined beyond repair and just dumped into huge piles on the sidewalks to await the Council clean-up trucks to take it away and dump.
It was heartbreaking to see the huge piles of ruined furniture, white goods and personal belongings that had once been part of someone’s life.
The mud and silt were up to a foot deep in some premises.
Many families were left with just the clothes they were wearing and no other possessions.
The animal shelters were inundated with frightened lost and sometimes hurt animals as the emergency centres could not accept household pets.
Every house that has had water through it had to be inspected by licensed electricians before the residents were allowed to return even if they were habitable, at a cost to the resident of course so there are a few who have been taking advantage of these unfortunate people.
The business centre of Brisbane was also affected as many of the office blocks with underground parking had their basement and ground floors flooded and of these, most of them had their power switchboards and emergency power located in the basements, so these businesses were not able to operate until they were pumped out and the power restored.
Several of the multi story car parks are now charging up to $50 and $60 A DAY for a car parking space. Just greedy profiting and taking advantage of others misfortune.
The loss of life was also terrible with around 40-50 losing their life due to the floods both before and after Christmas and 1 death was due to Cyclone Yasi when a young fellow lost his life due to the fumes from a generator that he had going to provide power.
The long term effects will be the loss of crops and grains, tropical and sub tropical fruits and sugar cane and the loss also to the beef and dairy cattle industry.
Whole herds have been wiped out and the damage to the crop areas is considerable as the farmers have lost their top soil, or their paddocks are covered in mud and silt and then there are the graziers who have lost not only their farm houses and equipment but the hundreds of kilometers of fencing that will have to be replaced before restocking can take place.
The cost to the State and Federal Gov’t is huge as roads, bridges, railway lines have been destroyed and the mining industry has also been hit hard with the open cut and underground mines and pits that have been flooded.
We may be down but we are NOT out and eventually we will recover but it could take years.
The Premiers Flood recovery fund is now up in the Millions of dollars but many more million will still have to be found for a complete recovery.
We are slowly returning to some sort of normality, most of our local roads have had some sort of repair work done so that is making life easier and the main Highway north is open most of the time now.
The Highway (Bruce Highway) is closed as I write this due to more flood rains that has fallen overnight but this is a fact of life up there in the North when there are summer storms and torrential rain at this time of the year.
I have just heard on the news that the rain has eased so the Highway should re-open sometime later today or tomorrow.
Thank you for your concern
33 June, VK4SJ
FURTHER TO YESTERDAYS REPORT
The floods have returned with a vengeance up in the North of the State of Queensland again, when yesterday there was further flooding up around Townsville and out West. Whole areas have again been isolated.
The main highway, the Bruce Highway has been cut again. It is not known just when the Police will be able to open this highway again. There has also been another flood related death when a woman in her 40’s was swept to her death on a crossing. Her car was later found half submerged in a raging torrent of water.
One of the small outback towns that has been isolated has reported that the flood waters have widened to an inland sea of 10 Km wide. The residents of these small towns expect to be isolated for up to 6 weeks as all the surrounding roads, mostly dirt and gravel are under water so food etc will have to be air lifted in.
The channel country, as one area is called, has just come out of an 8-10 drought, so the farmers and graziers are saying that the long term benefits will be wonderful if they can survive the ravages of these floods.
33 June, VK4SJ