How Are You Bob?

As you know, and as the world now probably knows, on Monday the Queensland flood crisis took a sinister turn as what has been called a wall of water and described as an inland tsunami swept through the Lockyer Valley, an area just an hour or so drive west of Brisbane.

At least 10 lives were lost and I think about 50 or so are still missing. I first heard about this tragedy just 10 minutes or so after I had written and published Monday’s post as I sat down here in the evening to watch the news.

At the same time we were told the city of Brisbane was next. Indeed it was next and events unfolded with shocking speed.

How are you Bob?

I have been inundated with emails from many of you asking if I am safe and I thank you all for your concern. I will also thank each and every one of you individually too, but it may take me some time before I can do that. In the meantime, here’s a collective how I am.

So on Tuesday, rains continued to fall until about 4 PM and the roads around where I live were starting to get blocked. By Tuesday evening we were told Brisbane would flood on Wednesday and it would get worse on Thursday, when the river would peak.

At just gone 3 AM this morning (Wednesday) we had a power cut in our house and I went to bed with just the eerie sound of some kind of distant alarm siren wailing. I awoke to the driest day we’d had since before Christmas. No rain and I could see blue skies for the first time in ages.

But Brisbane was flooding!

The power had been cut at 3 AM as the first of the houses on our grid were going under. As you know, electricity and water don’t mix well, so it was turned off for safety reasons.

Today has been one of the strangest days in my life. My house is not flooded and won’t be, it’s on high ground. But just 1 kilometre down the road, down MY road, houses are under, and I mean completely submerged, can’t even see the roofs.

Our local shopping centre is submerged.

I went out in the car, each and every direction I travel in always ends in the same way within 1 kilometre. Road closed. Flooded. Not just flooded, some roads are 4 foot, some 6 foot, some 10 foot under water. That’s about 1m, 2m or 3mtrs.

Yet we’ve not had any rain today. We’ve not had any since 4 PM yesterday. It was only when the rain stopped that the flooding started. Very strange and almost surreal. But I do understand why, just not fully.

So how am I?

I am isolated, I can’t get anywhere, I have no electricity and probably won’t have until Monday, I can’t get to any shops, I’ve run out of milk and tomorrow we are told, will be worse.

But I don’t know how much worse because I haven’t seen the news. No electric equals no TV or Internet. I really don’t know how bad the rest of Brisbane is. All I know is the little triangle in which I now live.

But I still have a house that is dry, my family are safe and well and thanks to my friend who does have electricity, I am able to post this update to my blog. And maybe later, catch up with the news.

So I am good. I am lucky. I am very very lucky. But many others aren’t. Which is why I am going to make a healthy donation to the Queensland Flood Appeal. Every dollar helps, can you help too? Just click on the Donate Now image below…..
Update:

The donation button below will direct you to Premier’s Disaster Relief Appeal. They recently announced their a rather controversial means testing for this fund…..

The first-round funding of $2000 per adult and $1000 per child will go to those whose principal place of residence was inundated above the floorboards. That will cost an estimated $25m-$30m, and is not means-tested.

After that, a grant of up to $5000 is available to help uninsured home owners restore utilities. But that will not be available to couples with an annual income of more than $48,400 or singles who earn more than $36,600. Those with more than $6,135 in assets excluding their home and car will also miss out.

In a country with an average salary of around $65,000, the above means testing seems extremely harsh and many here are wondering just who will get the money.

But it is your money, should you decide to donate. If you are not happy with the Queensland Premier’s criteria, you could always donate to the Salvation Army instead. So now you have two choices……

Queensland Flood Appeal

Premier's Disaster Relief Appeal

Or The Salvation Army Flood Appeal……

The Salvation Army Flood Appeal

The Salvation Army Flood Appeal

I’ll be back soon, with a video, just not sure when.

The first-round funding of $2000 per adult and $1000 per child will go to those whose principal place of residence was inundated above the floorboards. That will cost an estimated $25m-$30m, and is not means-tested.

After that, a grant of up to $5000 is available to help uninsured home owners restore utilities. But that will not be available to couples with an annual income of more than $48,400 or singles who earn more than $36,600. Those with more than $6,135 in assets excluding their home and car will also miss out.

In a country with an average salary of around $65,000, the above means testing seems extremely harsh and many here are wondering just who will get the money.

But it is your money, should you decide to donate. If you are not happy with the Queensland Premier’s criteria, you could always donate to the Salvation Army instead. So now you have two choices……

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{ 6 comments… add one }
  • BobinOz January 15, 2011, 8:36 pm | Link

    Thank you all for your kind support and comments. A lot of Australians are having to tough it out at the moment and I think the whole country will suffer the impact of this disaster. But I have been hugely impressed by the communal spirit and the way everyone rallies round to help each other.

    We are all good right now, the rain has stopped and it’s actually been a lovely day today. Everybody is out cleaning up and trying to sort out this mess. Let’s hope the weather stays good, but of course there are no guarantees of that.

    Thanks again y’all.

    Bob

  • Steve Povey January 15, 2011, 7:04 pm | Link

    Glad to hear you’re all ok Bob…looks horrendous up there mate.

  • AussieMitch January 14, 2011, 3:20 pm | Link

    GDay Bob and Family,
    Its great to hear you and your family are OK.
    I know I don’t actually know you in person, but feel like I do now after being apart of your great Blog.
    Have been a bit worried and I have been away and offline since Xmas.
    Its been shattering watching all the Floods Australia Wide , 5 states affected now.
    your neck of the woods and up higher have been the Worst, we truly feel for you ALL up there and the sad loss of life and life possessions.
    Hang in there, there are a lot of Fund raising efforts and volunteers getting mobilized from here in NSW and other states.
    We will stick tight and do what we can to support in the coming months and beyond.
    Keep in touch Bob and keep us up to date.
    Much love and support.

    Mitch

  • Liv January 14, 2011, 10:21 am | Link

    Hi Bob
    Thanks for posting this. I’m glad to hear that you & your family are well. I am a keen follower of your blog, in fact i don’t know what i’d do on my daily London bus commute without it! My partner’s family are dotted around Gladstone, Bundaberg & Brisbane, so we have been watching the situation closely. They are all fine, but it is so, so sad for so many people. It really is almost unbelievable. Take care. Liv.

  • Meika Aysal January 13, 2011, 7:31 pm | Link

    Thinking of you, your family and friend Bob at this terrible time.

    Meika (friend of Theresa)

  • Gordon January 13, 2011, 7:30 am | Link

    Very happy to hear you’re all o.k. there Bob , this is history unfolding before our very eyes.
    It’s times like this that communities come together and help each other , work together , and there will be plenty to do !

    Flood levels have peaked and are starting to recede not just in the Brisbane river but also at Gympie , Maryborough , Rockhampton , all places where the highway has been cut , as well as inland towns and communities.

    My town of Hervey Bay ran out of fuel 2 days ago and the supermarket shelves were empty for many staples , nearby towns north and south similar. Trucks should start getting through soon though . The Wide Bay area generally got off very lightly over the last several weeks of floods so we can’t complain.
    The big produce market at Rocklea was flooded and that is going to have a big impact on food distribution statewide for some weeks .

    Take plenty of photos if you can Bob , you’ll be showing them to your grandchildren one day as you talk of the ’11 floods.

    Take care ,
    Gordon

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