The West End photos are from Wim. The Kenmore ones are taken around my house and street.
Wim was able to walk around South Brisbane and West End, He helped with cleaning up at friends’ houses and at the Art Shed, (a very large art supplies warehouse that sustained serious loss with a metre and a half of water inside).
I was marooned, our street in Kenmore was flooded in both directions.
It was very strange to be at the centre of all the drama with constant helicopters overhead and the threat of inundation yet not to be able to see what was going on.
We had no power for five days so there was no television or internet apart from what I could download on my iPhone’s very small screen.
Neighbours had a generator so I was able to charge it otherwise we would have only had our landline which could have gone out at any time.
We were very lucky. The water came into one lower room and reached the back deck of the main part of the house which remained dry.
We stayed with neighbours over the road one night together with several other neighbours plus all our pets.
Despite the extreme stress of not knowing how high the water would go, it was lovely to get to know our neighbours and have a barbecue dinner together.
I watched the water creep up the flagstones of our path, one every 45 minutes and calculated it would just reach into the house if it kept rising at that rate.
We kept running back to check the water level, expecting it to go into the house during early Thursday morning at high tide.
We were slightly relieved at the 10.30pm check to see the water had gone down 2cm, however did not get hopes up as that was low tide.
At 3.00am I awoke suddenly from an exhausted sleep and rushed over to check the level. Every step down the driveway on dry ground was a relief.
When I opened the front door to dry floors the relief was like the unravelling of a huge knot in my chest. Then when I went on to the back deck I could see that the water level had dropped by 30cm.
This meant it did not nearly reach the predicted peak which would have resulted in a metre or more of water in our house.
From then the water receded very quickly. Cars could get into our street on Friday. Then the massive clean-up started.
We had a few wet books, most of which have been dried. We threw out a lot of old stored camera stuff which had belonged to my father-in-law, which probably should have been thrown out ages ago.
The pool did not get flooded but the pump shed did………two new pumps are now installed. We have a new electrical switchboard and wet wiring and power points have been replaced.
The wet room will need a builder to assess it and decide on repairs. The back garden still has a mud line to remind us where the water reached.
We have carried vast numbers of books and treasures upstairs. There were many precious items we had to mentally let go such as the extremely heavy European carved oak cupboards and sideboard which had belonged to my parents.
I don’t know how we did it all in a day and a half. Some of our neighbours managed to empty everything from their houses. We have decided to leave all our stuff upstairs until the wet season has passed.
Many were less lucky than we were and have serious losses.
The studio is open and we are getting ready for the new term. It was highly unlikely that the water would reach us here on the second floor but it is very worrying that the State Library, Gallery of Modern Art, Qld Art Gallery were vulnerable, also other studios and galleries.
The SLQ, GoMA and QAG are still closed while electrical systems (who would out them below flood level?????) are repaired. They may not open for another three weeks.
The generosity of strangers, neighbours, volunteers who worked to help clean up has been amazing. The city council has moved vast mountains of debris.
People are getting their lives back together although the recovery will take a long time.
………..and now North Queensland is faced with the imminent arrival of monster Cyclone Yasi, one of the biggest and most powerful to threaten our state (see satellite image).
As predicted the politicians are fighting…………….so what’s new????
Many thanks to all who have sent messages of support.
Adele and Wim