Oswald floods Queensland with cyclonic rain

So much for the idyllic Sunshine State! Brisbane seems to be drowning in a cyclonic drenching and 80km winds lash relentlessly around the Queenslander house built on stilts where my daughter lives, luckily high on a hill. However, the lower suburbs and restaurants along the banks of the Brisbane River are flooded and it is hard to believe that on Wednesday last week we strolled nonchalantly riverside along Southbank to the Science Museum.  Afterwards, we had coffee at trendy GroovyTrain at the City Cap dock.  Now the Bribane River is expected to peak at 11 metres higher than its normal tide sometime tonight leaving a swathe of flooding in its wake. The weather here is all-consuming and I sit daily on the balcony watching in awe as the sheets of pelting rain swish down the road like some giant broom is sweeping it along. This is unfolding under a low-hung heavy grey sky,  where nothing is visible beyond the two-storey block of flats opposite. I watch mesmerised as a ferocious wind howls around me, thrashing the palm trees in our garden and the street, Visibility is minimal, yet I can hear aircraft overhead and feel relatively safe under the wide eaves of this lovely timber-clad home.

On Friday we had a pleasant day at Ipswich taking the grand-children to the Rescue exhibition at the Art Gallery and despite the rain we could hardly envisage that three days of constant rain later, Ipswich is bracing itself for a high Bremer River tide of 15 metres, which has flooded many homes. Although two metres lower than the devastating 2011 floods to the Aussies, the hapless victims we meet on the nightly news, this flooding of their homes is just as devastating.

My heart goes out to them and find it hard to believe there have been so few fatalies – although the four confirmed so far is too much.

We know Australia is a land of weather contrasts, borne out by a Facebook posting from my son Tyson reporting on his role giving out Cancer Council sunscreen at theTour Down Under in Adelaide while we cannot venture outside in a city experiencing its fifth day of constant rain,  where the Premier advises everyone to stay indoors because of flooding creeks, power failure and uprooted trees. Cyclone Oswald has wrought damage right along the coast of Queensland including the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast. Hard to believe also that we went on a pleasant day-trip to Doonan, near Noosa on Tuesday – a mere week ago where the children swam in the pool of our friends Chris and Rob Nicholls… Now the Bruce Highway is cut and Gympie half an hour to the north is experiencing serious flooding. Airports on the Sunshine Coast and the Gold Coast are closed because of high winds reflected in coverage of one small aircraft flipped  over.


How strange also, that our nation has only just recovered from devastating bushfires in Tasmania, NSW and Victoria to now be struggling as a community to come to grips with the damage of Cyclone Oswald.  Now there is a new cry for  donations for Queenslanders who once more have lost so much two years after the 2011 floods.

It is quite a different feeling to be living in the community suffering this disaster rather than sitting safely in my armchair back in sunny Adelaide.




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