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Dark days in the sunshine

As most of the world knows by now my home state of Queensland is facing dire floods. 75% of the state is disaster affected and the water keeps rising. 36 years ago as a 12 year old I witnessed this city succumb to the last big flood. Now I am back in my old city of Ipswich and even though the rain has finally stopped and the sun has come out the flood will be even bigger than the "big one" back then.

I awoke this morning to the sounds of alarms and helicopters. We are safe on a hill but just a few blocks away the river was creeping into the business district. At 6 o'clock I ventured out and this is what I found. The waters are still rising and the peak will be at least 2 meters higher than the levels in these photos. 4000 homes will be flooded. Downstream in Brisbane, ten times bigger than Ipswich the number of affected properties is just that, up to 40000 homes and businesses inundated in some way. It is not over yet.

I wanted to post something beautiful today like every other day, a pretty picture, a lovely home but I can't. I am so overwhelmed by what is going on around me. My head is spinning with the incessant drone of helicopters, the ceaseless stream of cars carrying sightseers up my normally quiet street to reach the lookout, the guilt that we are safe and others aren't. I couldn't post those pretty pictures. These will have to do. Keep us in your thoughts as this disaster unfolds. I realise now that there is something beautiful today. It's the spirit of the people in my state. We will get through this, we will rebuild, we will be helping each other all the way.

I have power at the moment and fingers crossed I will still have power tomorrow. I am stuck in Ipswich for the next few days unable to get to work and will continue to post. Next time it will be pretty pictures I promise. If I am offline you'll know why though. Take care everyone out there. Stay safe my fellow Queenslanders. Back soon!

Reader Comments (85)

thinking of you and your fellow queenslanders.


12 Jan 2011 | Unregistered Commenterkirsty

It is extraordinary to watch from Canberra and have the wonderful tenacity and spirit of a bunch of terrific Australians shine through all this madness and mayhem. I hope things continue to go well for you and yours.

12 Jan 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKerry

Aw, God bless you. My heart goes out to you and ALL those affected by this disaster.

12 Jan 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLeone

o wow! i was trying to figure out how to ask you how you were doing..im in New Zealand, and i have been checking the news every day to see whats going on. I was a bit worried you might have been flooded too! But thank God you are on a hill!!
Hope you stay safe, all my thoughts and prayers are with all people effected by this disaster.

12 Jan 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKeren

I'm so glad you posted to let us know you were okay, Jo! As an ex-Brisbane girl I have been checking the news regularly and am devastated to see the places I used to live and work inundated by water. Stay strong and hopefully the worst of it will be over soon...

12 Jan 2011 | Unregistered Commentertess

Jo, those photos are just heartbreaking. Look after yourselves. xx

12 Jan 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBrismod

This is so unbelievable to see! There were so many people getting out at the last minute this morning because they didn't believe it was real. Thanks for sharing your pics with us - stay safe! Tracey xx

We are thinking of you in Canada. Glad that you are made of such strong stuff. x

12 Jan 2011 | Unregistered Commenteranne-marie

lots of love and best wishes from los angeles! i feel rather wrong saying this, but they are actually lovely photos x

12 Jan 2011 | Unregistered Commentersophie h

I'm in Sydney and it's pretty much business as usual here. It's so hard to get the brain around what's happening up there with you. I wish there was some way to offer practical help as well as the money donations. Maybe there is. Stay safe Jo. Hang in there Queensland. X.

12 Jan 2011 | Unregistered Commenterloolah

~First-time writer long-time reader~
We are thinking of you here in Finland too.
Although the situation is what it is,
it is nice to see you have the spirit to keep us updated.
Stay strong!

12 Jan 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKrista

I had no idea, so I'm glad you posted about this - though I wish you didn't have to at all, how horrible!

I'm wishing you and everyone in Queensland all the best.

12 Jan 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAnya

Thinking of you in Italy. A big huge, good luck dear!

12 Jan 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDeb

Wow!! Must be so very terrifying, I keep reading my favourite Oz bloggers accounts of the floods, and I'm thinking of all of you.

12 Jan 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJeanette Verster

Take care. Hope the flood waters subside soon!

12 Jan 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMissy

Just had to check your blog tonight to make sure you were OK. Stay safe and keep strong.

12 Jan 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRobyn Fisken

I just don't know what to say :( hugs and best wishes from Czech republic.

12 Jan 2011 | Unregistered Commenterradostina

Dear Jo, so sorry about that! I hope that things will get better soon!!

12 Jan 2011 | Unregistered Commentermonika

Stay safe and keep faith. Take care!

12 Jan 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSharon

I didn't realise you were in Ipswich! hope you stay safe, and good luck to all your neighbours, family and friends.

12 Jan 2011 | Unregistered Commenterconnie

I sadly to hear that yr home in the floods !Take care

12 Jan 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTine Kjeldsen

Dear Jo. Thank you for taking the time to post. My thoughts are with you and your family and friends. Stay safe. Katrina

12 Jan 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKatrina

Stay safe. I've been thinking of all the Queensland bloggers and am watching with dread the TV images of the rising floodwaters in Brisbane.

12 Jan 2011 | Unregistered Commenterjlonit

Biggest hug possible! I'm in Adelaide and have been glued to the TV... the devastation is unbelievable. I am so glad you are safe. Beauty is in the spirits of the people all helping each other.It's heartwarming. Just heard there are 115,000 homes in Brisbane without power. If you can't blog, we'll understand!

12 Jan 2011 | Unregistered Commentersarah

Hi Jo what can I say but thinking of
You and k and Mickey and sending you much love I was so shocked to read about kelvins family and I am so happy they are safe. Xxx katherine

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