The Flood | Tue 11th to Mon 17th Jan 2011 — Ned Martin’s Dot Org

Tuesday 11th January – The Flood Begins

Garage at the start of the floodBrisbane River from Coronation Drive at the start of the floodThe Drift, about to sinkThe flood from my front door shortly before middayThe flood from my front door shortly before midnight

Day

I went to work, and heard bad stories about flooding, eventually driving home and giving Steve a lift, and finding that it was indeed flooded—something of a shock. It was only knee deep, and nothing of great importance in the garage had yet been wetted.

Afternoon

Bronwen came over and helped me move some stuff up into the house, where we assumed it would be safe and dry, and we went for a walk to have a look around. Unsurprisingly, the river is flowing fast. Multitudes of firemen were vainly trying to pump out and save the uninsured floating restaurant “The Drift”, and we watched its owner deciding to sink it, rather than risk it breaking free and destroying life as we know it—or at least, a large bridge.

Night

Bronwen and I drove over to Maz’s, and took some of my stuff over there, then took my German flatmate, Anna, and her stuff to Maz’s. I spent the rest of the night evacuating my place, packing things up into garbage bags, and carrying them to the car. The water rose until it was up to my elbows.

1am

I carried the last of the things I was evacuating out of my place–carrying them above my head, the water now up to my shoulders–and drove them to Maz’s. Maz and I went for a drive to Kangaroo Point and watched a lot of boats, houses, pontoons, and other random debris, float down the river.

4:45am

I went to sleep on Maz’s couch.

Wednesday 12th January – The Flood Deepens

Brisbane River in flood at nightToowong Park floodedToowong in floodA train near Toowong stationHeight marker near my placeThe second floor of my house in floodPontoon stuck on a bridgeFlooding in ToowongDebris and flood waters gathering around my place“Broadway on the Mall” preparing for floodingFlooding under the expressway in the cityFlooding under the expressway in the cityFlooding under the expressway in the city

7:30am

Bronwen called me, meaning I didn’t get much sleep.

9am

I drove to Bronwen’s parents’ place, with some difficulty, via having a look at my place, and avoiding flooded roads. The water has gone up a lot. It is not looking good.

Midday

Bronwen and I drove out to her place, then to Garden City, where we had lunch and did some shopping, before driving back to the correct side of the river and down to Maz’s, going for a really, really hot walk looking at the flooding around the Toowong area, and getting in trouble for walking along the train tracks.

Evening

Bronwen and I drove in to the city and walked around having a look at the flooding, and the preparation for the flooding in Queen Street Mall, amongst other places. Bronwen managed to get into her work building to get some stuff she’d left there.

Night

Kate—Maz’s ex-flatmate—and her boyfriend, who have no power, came over to Maz’s, and we drove to Ashgrove for a curry take-away dinner.

1am

Might go to bed soon.

3am

Foolishly stayed up until 3 AM. Now going to bed. Flood reports are that the river will be up for quite some time tomorrow.

Thursday 13th January – My House is Inundated

Two boys rowing a fridgeTwo boys rowing a fridgeRoad Closed: Please Go AwayMy neighbours rowing near my placeThe second floor of my house in floodMy room as the flood subsidesThe living room as the flood subsidesA girl looks at a flooded roadWhat used to be a pontoon on the Brisbane RiverThe Drift, not driftingCoronation Drive, with no carsBrisbane River in flood, from Mount Coot-ThaBrisbane River in flood at nightA damaged pontoon on the Brisbane River

Day

Today, my house went almost entirely underwater. The water came up to the bottom of the windows on the second floor. The peak height is at 4 AM tonight apparently. Our neighbours rowed us out to the house and we had a look.

Night

Bronwen and I went for a late night walk around Kangaroo Point, and South Bank. It’s quite eerie when it’s dark and empty.

Friday 14th January – The Cleaning Begins

My garage after the water subsidedThe living room at the start of the clean-upMy bedroom at the start of the clean-upBronwen & the mystery pot plantBronwen & the living room after the first day of cleaning

Morning

Bronwen and I drove to my place, through rather terrible traffic, and started cleaning. The water was too high to take the destroyed stuff out, so we moved things around and did the best we could hosing out the mud.

Evening

Totally exhausted, and having forgot to eat lunch, but having partially cleaned the mud out of most of the rooms, Bronwen and I headed back to her parents’ place, and had a nice dinner at “Punjabi by Nature”, stayed late, then headed back to Maz’s to sleep.

Saturday 15th January – The Cleaning Continues

My room on the second day of cleaningMy room on the second day of cleaningVolunteers cleaning the garageRubbish being removed

Morning

I drove up to get Bronwen from where she’s staying, safe and dry, at her parents’ place, and her parents and her drove down to my place and began the sad task of throwing out everything and cleaning. Heaps of volunteers turned up, some who had driven down from Caboolture just to help out, and pressure-cleaned the place, while others carried out all the destroyed stuff, and others loaded it into trucks and took it away.

Night

I had a lovely pasta dinner that Bronwen cooked at her parents’ place, and stayed there late, before driving back to Maz’s and sleeping.

Sunday 16th January – The Cleaning Concludes

Volunteers cleaning the kitchen on the third day of clean-upBronwen cleaning things on the third day of clean-upMy tent hanging to dry, or perhaps a house for bats?

Morning

I drove up to Bronwen’s parents’ place, got Bronwen, and drove back to my place via Woolworths and a nearby bakery for breakfast, drinks, and cleaning equipment.

Day

Bronwen, her Dad, and I, spent most of the day cleaning. I pulled out staples left from where the lino used to be, and scrubbed walls and cupboards. The volunteer effort was astounding, and at times, almost overwhelming. It really hit me after Bronwen, her  Dad, and I spent some time cleaning and scrubbing in my bedroom, while various volunteers said goodbye until there were none left, and then when went to move to do the next room, we found that the volunteers had left because they’d finished cleaning—not just the next room, but the rest of the house. Hours, perhaps days, of work done in a few hours. And then there were the people giving out free drinks, food, chocolate, cupcakes—I even saw some free ice cream vans.

Evening

I drove out to Bronwen’s place and set up my server so Bronwen could have email at work tomorrow and my websites would again work. I then met Anna at my house, where she had a look at the stuff she had left there, and said she’ll probably move out of Brisbane shortly.

Night

Maz and I drove to Hungry Jacks, where I had onion in my “no onion” veggie burger, however this seems a small disaster compared to the last few days.

Monday 17th January – Not Working

Morning

I got ready to go to work, drove to the real estate to discuss things, realised this was going to take a lot longer than the morning, and told work I’d not be in today. I then drove up to Bronwen’s parents’, met Bronwen, and drove back to my place to do more cleaning.

Afternoon

After a morning cleaning the house, Bronwen and I drove to South Bank and walked to Govinda’s for lunch.

Evening

Bronwen and I dropped past Bronwen’s place, ironically to do a spot of cleaning, and then headed out to a non-flooded Nandos past Indooroopilly with Maz, for dinner. I am really quite exhausted and quite tired.