Rockhampton flood crisis: flood peak arrives, life goes on
Anton Lang (writing as TonyfromOz) writes from flood affected Rockhampton, yesterday: I feel a little guilty that even though I live here in Rockhampton, the centre of this massive flood crisis at the moment, it’s more through good fortune than anything else that I have been lucky enough to be unaffected by any of the inundation.
I live on the North side of the river, and all the worst of this inundation is on the Southern side of the river.
This image shows the flood marker on the Fitzroy in the centre of the city. The level is hovering around that 9.2 metre mark. The peak was expected to reach 9.4 metres, but it has stabilised at that 9.2 mark, and considered thought says that this may be the maximum. Some of you may think that only amounts to an extra 8 inches, but consider people with water lapping close to their floor boards now. That extra 8 inches will see water flowing through their homes. The same applies for people with all their belongings stacked inside a home already with water in it, and now that extra 8 inches rises to a level where even those belongings will be lost. The hope is that the water does not rise any further, as it has stayed at that level now for close on ten hours.
I went around the city and took some images of the flood, and that also made me feel a little mercenary. I thought that there would be more people looking than there actually was. Everyone that was out and about had a camera with them, and that flood marker seemed to be the focal point. There were three news crews with vans setting up around that flood marker area to broadcast to their nightly news bulletins.
Football Fields with Ducks, Randwick Street North Rockhampton. This is at the bottom of the street our daughter lives in. Luckily that street has a small rise half way up the street, and that rise seems even more significant now with this flood impact so close to their family home, barely 200 metres away, and even at the maximum height now reached, no flood waters will even get close to their home. The view shows a small area of what is around six football fields in a large park area, those football fields now under almost a metre of water. Those homes at the far edge of the park have water flowing through them. It seems somewhat ironic to see those ducks swimming in the park there.
This shows the entry street to the main city river car park, now metres under water, and in my second post on this flood, I showed the same image with water gradually creeping up this street, that water level now almost 2 metres higher than that first image.
This image shows Riverside Park, a park that extends along the river bank for hundreds of metres. Those homes you see are on the opposite side of the river.
The southernmost road bridge into the main city centre from the north, and this is shown from the city side of the river looking back to the far side on the north at Musgrave Street.
This shows that same bridge from a little further south on the city side. The structure you see is on the higher of the banks beside the river and has seating underneath it so people can look out across the river.
Here’s the river from a little further south again. Under that structure you see there are barbecues where families can picnic and cook their steaks and sausages.
This was taken from around the centre of the bridge in the earlier images and is taken looking to the North. That bridge you can see there is the middle bridge, the main highway bypass around the outskirts of the city, that main link to the North of the State of Queensland Highway 1, called The Bruce Highway here. That bridge and the approaches on either side will never be inundated at even the height of the earlier 1918 flood, the highest in recorded history here in Rockhampton
Here I am on that same Bridge, looking back towards the city centre. All the inundation is well to the left of this image as you see it here, around one kilometre away, so as you can see, and even imagine, some businesses in that city centre off to the left here are being affected by inundation.
I have purposely not shown any close up images of inundated homes, because behind images like those lies great personal tragedy, and that tragedy is just that…personal. Nearly every media outlet has images like that, because they probably think that is what people might want to see, but that’s not me. I’ll just show general images. I’m a lucky man to not be affected by this at that deep personal level, and the feelings of those people are low enough without those images preserved forever for everyone else to see.
I mentioned earlier that even though I am lucky to be unaffected by the inundation, I am just one of 75,000 who live here in Rockhampton, and in one way or another we are all affected. Up to 400 or more homes are now either in the water or under water, and most of those homes are lost now. Even after the flood recedes, most of those homes will need extensive work, and probably a complete rebuild to make them suitable to be habitable again.
I mentioned in the title that the flood peak has arrived, and that life goes on.
After I got home from touring the area and taking those images with my camera, I saved them to my computer so I could process them further for inclusion here. Before that processing, and then sitting down to write this post, life indeed did go on for me.
I had to go out and mow the lawn here at our home. While I walked along behind the mower, I thought about how very lucky I am, just to be able to do something as mundane as mowing grass.
I might be in the middle of a still unfolding disaster, but I am indeed a very lucky man.
RIVER HEIGHT UPDATE
This is the latest information from the Bureau at 6.47pm Wednesday. The all important measurement at Riverslea is rising slowly again, but that level now is still below the peak it reached, and with all stations upstream of there falling or steady, then it looks like that steady level at Rockhamton of 9.2 metres might just be as far as it goes. records are there to be broken, they say, and thankfully, this is one time we can honestly say thank heavens those earlier records were not broken this time.
Latest River Heights:
Dawson R at Theodore 13.05m falling slowly 12:00 PM WED 05/01/11
Dawson R at Baralaba 13.9m falling slowly 06:00 PM WED 05/01/11
Dawson R at Beckers * 16.67m steady 05:00 PM WED 05/01/11
Dawson R at Knebworth * 16.3m steady 05:10 PM WED 05/01/11
Comet R at Comet Weir * 9.78m falling 04:00 PM WED 05/01/11
Nogoa R at Fairbairn Dam HW * 1.88m falling slowly 05:10 PM WED 05/01/11
Nogoa R at Emerald # 11.05m falling 05:44 PM WED 05/01/11
Mackenzie R at Bedford Weir TW # 19.15m falling 06:11 PM WED 05/01/11
Mackenzie R at Bingegand Weir HW # 9.43m falling 06:17 PM WED 05/01/11
Connors R at Pink Lagoon * 6.84m falling 05:00 PM WED 05/01/11
Isaac R at Yatton * 10.36m steady 05:00 PM WED 05/01/11
Mackenzie R at Tartrus * 15.76m falling 08:00 AM WED 05/01/11
Fitzroy R at Riverslea * 26.65m rising 05:00 PM WED 05/01/11
Fitzroy R at Rockhampton 9.15m steady 03:00 PM WED 05/01/11
Reprinted from PA Pundits – International