Last Friday I wrote about Hervey Bay: Sun, Sea, Sand and a Place to Chill. Since then, nothing, so what happened to Monday’s post?
Well, Monday was a bank holiday because Saturday 26th of January was Australia Day, so we had Monday off in lieu making for a long weekend.
Actually not, and the bank holiday was not the reason I didn’t write a post either, telephone lines being down and therefore not having an Internet connection put paid to that.
Here’s the story.
When I actually left Hervey Bay, which would have been last Thursday morning, it had started to rain. About a half hour drive from Hervey Bay is the historic town of Maryborough; we stopped there for an hour or so to look around the markets.
As we then continued on our four hour drive home along the Bruce Highway, the rain just kept falling and falling, heavier and heavier. Like so many people I was thinking “Ah, at last, a bit of rain. We sure can do with it!”
We hadn’t had a lot of rain lately, everything was looking brown and dry and as you know, it was only a couple of weeks ago that bushfires were ablaze in every state in Australia.
But the rain kept falling, through Thursday, Friday and Saturday, so for the second year running here in Brisbane all outdoor events on Australia Day were cancelled due to the bad weather.
And still the rain kept falling and for us here, Sunday was probably the heaviest rainfall day of the four, it reminded me so much of the rainfall we had just before the floods of January 2011.
On that Sunday I needed to pop out to feed some pets; as some of you know Mrs Bobinoz and I run a local pet feeding business. Normally I would access the road from this direction…
If you look closely at the above photo, you will see two little white posts sticking up, that’s to give us motorists some idea of how deep the water is before we try something stupid like attempt to drive through it. I couldn’t get close enough to it, but my guess would be the water was about 1 metre high.
So I tried to access the road from the other end…
No posts visible at all here, yet I am pretty sure there should be some. Are they fully emerged? Maybe not, but the choppiness of the water to the left will give you an idea of how fast this current was moving.
Fortunately, there was a third road to access the street I needed to get to, one I didn’t know existed until I checked my street map. So doggies and cat got fed.
On the way back, I passed the green fields normally full of grazing horses…
All this is a consequence of just four days of rain off of the back of months and months of very hot and dry weather. The floods of January 2011 was an event everyone was expecting, I even made mention of it in a post in October 2010.
These floods simply came out of nowhere. Well, to be more accurate, they came out of Tropical Cyclone Oswald. I’ve seen many wet bank holiday weekends in the UK, never seen anything like this one.
It wasn’t so long ago my back garden looked like this…
At one stage it was predicted that around 3600 houses and 1250 commercial buildings would be likely to go under here in Brisbane, in the event the peak of the river was nowhere near as high as expected and no more than a handful of houses were affected.
As a state though, Queensland suffered badly with six lives lost so far. In the worst hit town of Bundaberg, 2000 homes and 200 businesses were flooded and 7000 people displaced. State wide, hundreds of thousands of homes lost power, Internet and telephone use. We’ve even had tornadoes across parts of the state, roofs have been ripped off in some places.
By the way, tomorrow there will be no market at Maryborough, cancelled due to flooding. Maryborough suffered its worst flooding for 60 years with 300 residential properties and 150 businesses affected when the Mary River broke its banks.
With all this water about, the irony is that Brisbane may actually run out of tap water because mud from these floods has got into the water treatment plant.
Brisbane City Council has stockpiled 40,000 1 litre bottles of water as an emergency measure to cover the estimated seven suburbs that might be affected first.
As the floods continue their journey south, the latest city to suffer is Grafton in New South Wales.
Meanwhile, in Victoria, just yesterday the state’s premier said firefighters may never be able to extinguish some of the bushfires down there without the helping hand of a heavy downpour.
Australia is, indeed, a big country.