News is that the floods have peaked, and peaked at a slightly lower level than expected, which is one of those bright sides that only remains a bright side until you turn on the television and look at the large swathes of Brisbane underwater.
I went for a poke around my suburb this morning, just a little after sunrise. My street seems to have fared pretty well – we’ve had a couple of very small patches of water covering the road and there’s various detours, police barricades and other stuff keeping people from driving through them. Since I’m within the area that they’re blocking off, it’s a safe bet I won’t be driving anywhere today, but all in all it didn’t seem so bad.
Then I found this, about 5 minutes walk from my house.
To put the above in perspective – that big reflective thing that looks like a river used to be a main road. The trees just to right of it used to mark the edge of the local creek, a body of water so unpreposing that I hadn’t actually realised that’s what it was – I’ve lived here three years now, walking past the creek once a week, and always assumed it was just a particularly ambitious drainage ditch.
Somewhere underneath all that was one of the local parks. If you look closely, you may be able to spot the pedestrian footbridges poking through the waterline. On the other side of that water is the street I live on (NB – I walked around the slope of the hill to take the photograph, for wading through floodwater is stupid).
Near as I can tell, this kind of water level is still relatively minor compared to the damage done to suburbs closer to the Brisbane river. The news seems to take particular relish in footage of the local football stadium filled with water, plus all sorts of riverside buildings (including the State library, the art galleries, and the museum) have been flooded. Worse yet, Brisbane isn’t the only part of the state suffering at the moment – some reports list up to 75% of Queensland are currently considered a disaster zone, and Queensland is pretty fucking big.
The Queensland Flood Relief Appeal is open and taking donations, but for those who’d like a little personal value added to their charity I’m going to recommend checking out FableCroft’s After The Flood special edition Ebook anthology – the anthology had been commissioned in 2010, back before it’s original title of After the Rain took on all sorts of new connotations, and all proceeds going to the Flood appeal. There will be a print version version coming out in 2011, albeit sans some of the essays in this version, but for those who want some ebook goodness now *and* the warm glow of doing a good deed, it’s a steal.
So, to sum up for those who are checking in to see how I’m doing: I am safe and dry and fine. It’s other people in my city and state who aren’t, and they’d like your help.