Monday, 10 January 2011

We're Soggy But Safe!

Most of you ... even my overseas blogging buddies ... have no doubt heard about the weird, wet, WET, WET weather we're having here in Queensland at the moment. Until today, Toowoomba hadn't really been directly affected - but that has changed. Before I tell you what happened, I'll say first off ...


I've been receiving emails, texts and phone calls since television news coverage began late this afternoon ... people hearing Toowoomba was flooding and just wanting to make sure we were OK. How very blessed we are to have such wonderful, caring family and friends all over Australia ... and overseas! :0) Thank you so much for your concern.

So ... what happened? Well ... unlike most  major centres (and quite a few minor ones!!) in Australia, Toowoomba is NOT built on or near a river, but a few creeks run through it and these have had culverts (big drain thingies for those needing technical terms!! Tee! Hee! Hee!) built around them to help direct the flow, stop erosion etc. After almost two days of torrential rain ... I was SOAKED just walking down five steps and two strides to the mail box!!! ... there was just so much water banking up and nowhere for it to go but up and over ... so that's what it did! It all happened so suddenly with no pre-warning, so people were caught unawares ... having lunch in a coffee shop, walking along the footpath, driving down the road, browsing through shops. There has been a LOT of damage to Toowoomba's CBD and apparently it came up into the pub on the corner a block and a half from us (glad I didn't know at the time!!) but our house is fine. The only flooding I saw first hand was the big drain in our street that wasn't living up to it's name, our footpath that the postie would have needed a canoe to negotiate today (yet he still managed to deliver the phone bill!! RATS!!) and an 'unofficial' second pond in the backyard at the lowerst point.

However, my Beloved Geek Boy saw the flooding much closer, as it came within half a block of where he works, so these are the pics he was emailing me ... yes, I DID freak out a little ... OK ... a LOT!! ... when I saw how close he was and unable to move due to road closures caused by flooding. He had to wait a few hours for the water to go down, but was home safe and sound not too much later than usual. OK ... here are some of the pics he sent me. Anyone who's been to Toowoomba will be shocked.

This is taken when GB stepped out his work door and looked down the hill. The water was about half way up the hill in this pic.

This one is taken from the roof of Grand Central shopping centre ... the building to the left in the photo above. The ground floors of this shopping centre experienced flooding. This pic is looking down into Dent Street closest to the bottom and Victoria Street on the top side. Straight ahead is Garden Town shopping centre and to the top right of the pic is the city library ... I don't think they'll be worried about overdue books for a few days!!! In the water, you can see a police officer keeping an eye on things and see vehicles that have been washed along by the water.

This is the corner of Margaret and Victoria Streets. A lot of vehicles were swept along here.

This is the entrance to the Grand Central car park in Margaret Street ... I think a BOAT would have been the preferred mode of transport at this point, though the water was moving so quickly that even THAT wouldn't have been a good idea. Somewhere under that water is Margaret Street, one of Toowoomba's busiest roads in the CBD!

This is looking along Dent and Victoria Streets, back towards Margaret Street ... the Maccas you can just see in the top left corner there is on Margaret Street. It gives an idea of just how much water we were dealing with. Something like 60mm, or around two and a half inches, of rain fell in about half an hour ... on top of previous heavy rain ... to cause the flash flood.

This is looking along those same streets back the other way ... this is at the end of the block where GB's work is ... he's up the top of the hill, this is at the bottom. We've seen a lot of other photos on Facebook that have just blown us away. One that really hit home was a furniture shop we visited on the weekend looking at couches ... we saw a photo of the couch we'd looked at floating down the flood water!!!

While we weren't affected by the flooding ... apart from being completely cobsmacked! ... seven people so far have been confirmed killed in this freak flood, several are still unaccounted for, hundreds of vehicles have been damaged in carparks or while being driven, and many businesses that have struggled to hold on through the down time of the drought in the region have now been inundated with flood water. It is certainly the beginning to a new year that we will all remember in Queensland and shows again that we're living in a country of extremes.

The only positive outcome of our very soggy situation is that our city's water storages are now at 100%+ after being down below 8% in August/September.

The rain that has caused our flash flooding has also fallen in other already-saturated areas of QLD, with Dalby once again bracing for record flood peaks, Gympie and Maryborough experiencing extreme flooding and towns like Esk, Laidley, Gatton, Withcott and Helidon being inundated by a brown ocean as the water runs down the range. There are many collection places for flood relief fund raising, so anything we can all chip in to help will be appreciated, I'm sure ... especially for those of us feeling pretty fortunate to be high and dry.

So ... a HUGE

... to all of you lovely family members, friends and blogging buddies who have contacted us in some way to check up on us. We're VERY soggy from so much rain, but safe and sound. And I'm now off to watch a bit of TV with my GB with a cuppa TEA! :0) Sorry ... lame rhyme!!! Must be all the rain getting to me! :0) Hope you're all safe, warm and dry wherever you are in the world right now. Back soon with some sewing pics ... I promice, Chookyblue!!! :0) Til next time ...



May Britt said...

Glad to hear that you are safe. And hope the rain stops soon. Nice sewing weather though.

Lynn said...

The world can be a small place when we blog. I've been hearing reports of the flooding on my news here and have been thinking of my Australian blogging friends who live there. Thanks for the update and glad you are well.

Susan In Texas said...

I had been wondering about your welfare after I heard that Queensland got still MORE rain. I'm glad you and yours are safe and dry. Thanks for the pictures.

Susan in Texas

Joy said...

SO glad you and yours are ok!! Saw it on the news and thought of you immediately. Take care and stay safe dear one!!
Big hugs,
Joy :o)

Maricarmen said...

He visitado tu blog por mucho tiempo y nunca había dejado un comentario. Donde yo vivo, en Argentina, sufrimos inundaciones por años. En los últimos 20 años, el clima ha cambiado mucho, (lamentablemente no podemos decir: "Gracias a Dios), durante toda la primavera y verano sufrimos grandes y graves sequías y, por invierno 2 o 3 grandes nevadas (que no son divertidas cuando estas acostubrado a un clima templado todo el año).
Me alegra que toda tu familia y casa estén bien.

Amanda said...

Oh my, how dramatic. Glad to read that all is well with you and your home though.

Gail said...

I'm glad you and GB are safe, even if a bit damp. I know flash floods can take everyone by surprise and be devastating. Hope your favorite quilt shop is dry as well.

Love Bears All Things said...

Thanks for the update and the photos...Honey Bear asked if any of my Aussie friends were in the flood..this is the first I've heard about any of you being near it.
Mama Bear

Satu said...

OH dear, I'm SO glad that you all are fine there! I saw today more pictures from Australia in finnish TV - flooding streets, where big cars are sailing like boats. It looked horrible! My thoughts are with you...

Chookyblue...... said...

oh thats how is came so quick...........Maree and I were trying to work it out..........take care..........some of the pics we have seen are so scary.........terrible damage so quick.....and the loss of lives is dreadful.........

Anna Rosa Designs said...

Hi Kris,
Ah, silly me~i should have thought to check out your blogspot before worrying about you. lol

How terrible to think your town will be ok, and the next hour its half full of water and such devestation for everyone with cars and favourite furniture being pushed around.
Take it easy,

By Hoki Quilts said...

Oh my goodness, take great care wont you, and store all those precious things up high. My heart goes out to all of you suffering over the ditch.
huge hugs

CJ said...

Glad to hear you're still dry. I hope the rain stops soon.

Kerryanne @ Shabby Art Boutique said...

So releived to hear that you are both okay and that your house is safely above the water.

I'll be keeping you and all Queenslanders in my thoughts as another storm band comes through today.
Stay safe my friend.
Hugs ~ Kerryanne

Linda Lilly Cottage said...

So so glad you are safe, those pictures turn my stomach. It is being described as an 'Inland Tsunami'and knowing my fear of Tídal waves to have one on top of a mountain range for goodness sake is unbelievable! Glad you had power to make a cuppa too...or and blog of course. Rain Rain go away!
Kiss Noises Linda

Narelle said...

Good to hear from you ... GB was a little too close for comfort though.
When in Toowoomba hubby visits the saddle shop beside Grand Central and I walk up to Lincraft ... it's just horrific.
Stay Safe.

Jo in TAS said...

I'm so glad you and GB are safe but saddened to hear there has been lives lossed. My heart goes out to everyone affected by the floods.

Anonymous said...

Glad you and GB are safe and that your house was fine,yes its frightening when we see pics so i can only imagine how it is for everyone caught in the floods.
Stay safe .
cheers Sheryl

Mistea said...

So glad you are dry in your little part of town.

Truly do not like the look of the centre of town, nature sure can be cruel.

Stay dry

Fee said...

I am so pleased that you are safe Khris - I keep reading about it all in utter disbelief - It is so terrifying to think that it is not over yet.

Fee X

Arlene White said...

Hi Kris, I'm in Townsville reasonably dry. My concern is my brother and his wife, they live near Grantham, and I have not been able to contact them. If anyone knows Ian and Karen Matthews, please contact me.

Kris thanks for this update and the photographs, it was horrific to see on the news and my heart goes out to all those people who have lost.

Arlene White

Noela said...

Glad your okay Khris. I can't believe what is happening in our state at present. The loss of life is unbelievable. A very sad time for Queensland residents. Be safe.

Bev C said...

Hello Kris,

So pleased to hear you are safe. Watching Sunrise at the moment. Unbelievable pictures and stories are coming out. Best wishes to everyone in Queensland.

Peg - Happy In Quilting said...

Just look at those photos...oh Kris.....all I can do is shake my head...keep safe..xxxx

Wendyb said...

so pleased to hear youre safe and well Kris. My sister in law works opposite Grand Central and she took some scary photos too....the car going under the pedestrian footbridge blew me's so surreal! things like this happen 'elsewhere' not here!!!!
Prayers and thoughts are with you
sweet hugs my friend
XX Wendy :O)

Sarah said...

I didnt have the TV on until late last night, and was gobsmacked with news of MORE flooding! I was wondering how you were! Great to hear that you and your hubby are ok!

Anita said...

So glad you are safe - hope there is no more flooding.

ittybittyandpretty said...

i watched the tv with tears streaming down my face at the sight of my home town in such devasation. having grown up there it is hard to comprehend how such a thing could happen! a i am so glad that you are fine and that most of the people i know are accounted for and safe.


Hanne said...

I am glad you are safe !!

Christine said...

Hi Kris, I borrowed one of your flood pics for my blog with credit to you - I hope that is okay- let me know if not. I still can't believe it happened.
Cheers Christine whose current passion is her dollshouse. :-)

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