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Wasn’t 40 Days Supposed To Be The Max?

The rains continue in Australia and the flooding in moving South from Queensland to New South Wales. The ABC reports Seven dead as raging torrent swamps Toowoomba.

Toowoomba is a town near Brisbane on the East Coast of Australia. The ABC provides a map of the flooding.

Most of those who died were in vehicles that were washed off roads and bridges by flash floods in the area. The rains in the highlands on top of the already high river levels created this disaster that shows no real sign of lessening in the near future.

25 comments

1 Kryten42 { 01.10.11 at 11:53 pm }

I suspected you would make a post about the Qld. disaster. 🙂 Thanks. 🙂

The death toll is now 9 confirmed, and 66 people unaccounted for. So that figure is expected to rise. Brisbane (the capital of Qld, for those who don’t know) is now flooding, this is primarily due to the massive rainfalls over the catchment areas upstream of the Brisbane river, which caused the dams to fill rapidly, and forced authorities to fully open the flood gates, which dump into the Brisbane river. The authorities are expecting upwards of 6,500 homes in Brisbane to be seriously affected by the flooding which is expected to peak sometime tomorrow.

The majority of the rainfall has been between 2 to 4 inches per hour, with some peaks a little higher.

One of the biggest problem is that due to the constant heavy rain, the rescue services and Military cannot operate helicopters or boats. It’s hoped that the rain will ease enough to allow rescue operations to resume tomorrow sometime.

We are also experiencing rainfall here in Vic., and it’s expected to continue to rain until at least Friday. Some areas in Vic (particularly the East) are beginning to flood. Thankfully the rain here, whilst a nuisance, won’t be anywhere near as bad as Qld. NSW and SA are also expected to experience torrential rainfalls over the next few days.

At least we won’t have to worry about bushfires for the next week or so. *shrug* *sigh*

2 Kryten42 { 01.11.11 at 12:05 am }

Possibly a better map of the affected areas is the official Bureau of Meteorology site. 🙂

Australia Rainfall and River Conditions

You can look at 1 hr & 24 hour national & State maps, and also maps of river flood areas (which gives the best overview of the affected regions. It’s huge.)

3 Kryten42 { 01.11.11 at 12:09 am }

BTW, you can drill down on the BoM map to get increasing detail. Here’s an example of one of the river flood areas, which peaked at about 19 meters.

Latest River Heights for Mary R at Home Park

You can see from the above just how fast the river flooded! There was no time to do anything.

4 cookiejill { 01.11.11 at 12:20 am }

The flooding is just devastating.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yuxrELk26pQ

Stay safe, Kryten42. Stay safe.

5 Kryten42 { 01.11.11 at 12:30 am }

Thank you cookiejill. And you also! I know you have your share of problems also. 🙂

I’m pretty sure (as anyone can be given that Nature at these times is really unpredictable) that we are safe where we are. It’s been raining steadily, but not very heavy here, and we are on relatively high ground (though, one of the creek’s about 1km from us and much lover down has flooded, but it floods every year and is expected). 😉 🙂 Most of the flooding here in Vic is Nth and to the East of us (about… 70 to 130 miles from where I am). I am glad I decided not to live in Qld! But I wish I could be there to help! I have no idea what help I could provide… but I’d do something, even just filling sandbags. Very frustrating.

Thanks all, on behalf of all affected Aussies! It means a lot to them, believe me. 🙂

6 Bryan { 01.11.11 at 12:31 am }

I’ve been in flash flooding areas, and my Mother had a neighbor die in a flash flood in Arizona when she lived in Tucson while my Dad was in school down there during WWII. In that case all of the rain was in the mountains and there was no warning for people down below. The guy was driving a jeep back to the base and happened to be in the river bed [they didn’t bother with bridges because water in the river bed was so rare] when the water hit. The jeep was washed miles downstream.

You would think we would have developed some kind of warning system, but this has to be and extremely rare event in both Arizona and Australia.

I’ve been following things, but I doing a lot of work on this rehab job, and don’t get near the computer most of the day.

It would be nice to think that this was a once in a millennium event, but I suspect that it is part of the new climate pattern being established by global climate change. Perhaps you will get droughts during El Niños and floods during La Niñas.

So far we are getting warmer Springs and Falls, but cooler, wetter Summers and Winters.

As we both know the rain will grow more fuel to burn in the next drought.

7 Bryan { 01.11.11 at 12:35 am }

Additional thought: It isn’t just the flooding, which is bad enough, it is the fact that people there don’t see an end to it. I’ve pulled some bad duty in the military, but you knew it would be over at a given point, so you paced yourself to make that date. With this, there is no end point in sight.

8 Kryten42 { 01.11.11 at 12:39 am }

I know you are busy Bryan (and I am still busy getting ready to move house next weekend – not this coming weekend). 🙂

The last bad flash floods were The Big Wet of January 1974. It was called a “one in a Century event”. Obviously… not.

9 Bryan { 01.11.11 at 12:47 am }

Yeah, I’ve noticed how these “once in a Century” events seem to be happening with obviously greater frequency these days.

We could blame it on the bankers, as the weather was really bad during the Depression too 😉

10 Kryten42 { 01.11.11 at 1:00 am }

LOL Yeah… maybe Nature decided that we needed a double whammy to teach us a lesson! The economic depression was the trigger for the meteorological depression(s). 😉

You are correct about the worst part being that people can’t see an end to it. At least twice already they have thought the worst was over, only to discover it was yet to come! You can see from that above Mary River, Home Park map that there were periods where the rain and therefore the flooding eased considerably, and then suddenly got worse (and that only shows the last 4 days!) Makes it very hard to plan anything.

I truly do think (as do many with working brains) that human-made global climate change is to blame. *shrug*

11 JuanitaM { 01.11.11 at 8:39 am }

Kryten, it’s good to know that you’re safe. It sounds like a real nightmare for parts of Australia, truly. Maybe this will have blown over by the time you have to make your move. Good luck.

12 Bryan { 01.11.11 at 5:42 pm }

It would appear that Brisbane has been added to the list for flooded cities, and not just the low-lying suburbs as they had hoped. It is past time to bring in some hydrologists and do some work on redistributing the water to areas that want and need it. We should have done it after Katrina, but it still hasn’t happened.

Luck is all I can think to wish you, m8. It’s as useful as anything other than a small boat, because there isn’t time to build a big one. Designing a fire-proof house that floats is the relevant design challenge for the future.

13 Steve Bates { 01.11.11 at 6:16 pm }

Keep safe, Kryten. Houston, TX residents know all about flooding, both flash floods and floods from sustained (usually tropical) storm weather, and it’s downright scary. Do what you must to stay above water, my friend.

14 Kryten42 { 01.11.11 at 8:59 pm }

Thanks Steve, Juanita and all! 😀

Yes, I heard all about how bad floods are in Texas Steve. Very sad! When I had my first brief trip to Texas in ’85 and I visited Austin, they were still talking about the tragic flood of.. ummm… ’81 (I think it was?) when over a dozen people lost their lives. I remember being told that there was an area of Texas that floods so regularly, they call it ‘flash flood alley’, right? somewhere around central Texas I believe. I hope you take your own advice my friend! (I’m sure you do. You a re one of the sane ones at least!) 😉 😀

It hasn’t stopped raining here, and became a deafening downpour last night. We discovered our garage where we’d been storing boxes ready to move had been flooded this morning. *sigh* The back yard is a duck pond now. 🙂 But we are uphill, so the water is running off quickly now the rain has eased somewhat. It could have been worse, but we are far luckier than our neighbors in Qld.! So, no complaints from us (well, maybe an occasional grumble at the capriciousness of Nature and stupidity of Humans!) 😉 😆

Yes, Brisbane is flooding now. The news this morning showed a torrent of muddy water sweeping through a large carpark, and it literally swept all the cars away until they all became a large jumbles wreck of cars lodged between and around trees in what looked to be a large park. The aftermath cleanup will be another nightmare. Same thing has happened in other towns too. One news item last night showed a large 40 ton shipping container being swept along like a plank of wood, then slammed into a bridge pylon so hard, it bent!! Many bridges have been destroyed, train tracks torn up, and rail infrastructure, roads… It reminds me of memories of Cambodia honestly. :'( Terrible…

I think this is the worst flood event we have seen in over a century. Worse than the floods of the 70’s. Or maybe that’s just because everyone now has a camera, I guess we’ll find out when it’s finally over.

Oh well… back to repacking everything in the few dry boxes we have left. *shaking head* (I *REALLY* hate moving… have I mentioned that?) 😉 😀

Meeeah!

Thanks again all!

Just a PS. I’ve had the thought that Mother Nature is trying to teach us that we won’t need our WMD’s to destroy ourselves… She’ll happily do it for us! It seems, doesn’t it, that as we escalate our human violence, so does Nature increase Nature’s violence! 😈 (And we think we are sooooo powerfully)! LMAO What a massive joke! We are less than fleas on the butt of a dog! 😆

I think we all know who’s going to win that *war*. 😉

Just a thought. 🙂

15 cookiejill { 01.11.11 at 9:11 pm }

Hang in there Kryten42. Stay safe. Here’s hoping people get out alive…things can be replaced. Just heartbreaking, though.

We humans are always slow to understand you don’t mess with Mother Nature.

16 cookiejill { 01.11.11 at 9:32 pm }
17 Ame { 01.11.11 at 10:12 pm }

About 30 some odd years ago I spent the summer in the Florida Keys. A neighbor, an old sea dog, who lived in a little cottage by the canal had a ship’s anchor in his yard next to the cottage that was tied to a little dingy that resided on his roof. LOL He was quite the character. His high water survival plan received routine maintenance, and he had a very simple well thought out plan to make sure he could find his way home. So keep your eye out for a ships anchor, Kryten42. 🙂

18 Kryten42 { 01.12.11 at 8:50 am }

Thanks Ame, and thanks again CJ, and for providing that NASA link. 😀

Things are pretty bad in Qld., especially around Brisbane. I wanted to post an update, but truthfully… I don’t know where to start. *sigh*

Twelve people are confirmed dead, with one other possible. The Qld. Police Commissioner stated that they expect that to rise. The loss of animals, including livestock and pets, is unknown but very high. The Fed. Government has said that the expect that cost of this disaster to be at least 1% of Australia’s GDP for the next year, and that prices of food and commodities globally will rise significantly. Qld. was the largest exporter of thermal and coking coal, and several mines are completely flooded. Coking coal is used primarily these days to manufacture steel worldwide, so steel prices are going to rise.

A large area of Qld. is without power as utilities were forced to shutdown supply to flood areas. Several sewerage & treatment plants have been flooded, and much of the flood water has been contaminated, which has then contaminated catchment areas, dam’s and river systems. So clean drinking water is a big problem ironically. Some outbreaks of gastro problems have been reported primarily caused by E. Coli. Outbreaks of Dengi & Ross River Fever are expected also. Emergency Hospitals and Medical centers have been setup where possible near affected areas, and the Army Medical Corps have setup at least one rapid deployment field hospital with staff experienced in tropical disease control.

As well as sanitation issues, and dealing with hundreds of annoyed critters like red-bellied black snakes and assorted spiders looking for a dry place, a bull shark was spotted swimming up the main street of Goodna, a suburb of Ipswitch. Though the street was under 6m of water at the time. 😉

Oh! Also of vital national importance… the entire XXXX Brewery complex is under water (with only the roof’s of some buildings showing). Many a tear will be shed over that (though, not to many of us down south who know what a decent beer actually tastes like!) Ahem. 😉

Locally (here in Victoria), we had some flash flooding with rains over 100mm in a few hours to the West of the State (which surprised me). It was a strange day here, lot’s of rain of course, but whilst the temperature only reached 25C, the humidity was almost unbearably high at a peak of 90%! The dehumidifier in our A/C was going flat out, but worked. After working in the garage repacking boxes for 30-40 min’s at a time, we had to come inside and change to dry clothes, and not from rain or water! I think I drank about 4 or 5 liters of chilled water, and had a lot of salted crackers and nuts! (One of the few times I was glad I’d spent time in hot & humid Cambodia!) Even though it’s almost 2AM, the temp is currently 23C and humidity has dropped a little. About a 40km stretch of the Great Ocean Road was closed due to land- and mud-slides. However, none of the problems here are anywhere near as bad as in Qld. So we can count ourselves lucky I guess.

Soaked Victoria warned of flash flooding

And, leaving the worst for last… Looters have been spotted in Ipswitch and other flooded towns! Truly scum of the Earth! The Commissioner & Premier have stated that when caught, they will feel the full and considerable wight of the law. Personally, I would opt for a much cheaper and faster way of dealing with them. With all that water… it may as well serve a useful purpose.

There’s a lot more… but I need to try to get some sleep. lot to do over the next few days. 🙂

Cheers all.. and thanks again. 🙂

Oh, and Ame… thanks for that story! It did make me smile! I shall pass it on. 😀

G’night all…

19 Ame { 01.12.11 at 10:16 am }

Stay safe Kryten42

20 cookiejill { 01.12.11 at 12:54 pm }

Wow…Kryten42. Looks like Australia has upped California in disasters this year.
CA had fires. Australia had fires.
CA had torrential rains. Australia had torrential rains.
CA had floods. Australia had floods.
CA is still waiting for the locusts to arrive…Australia already HAD them.

http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/NaturalHazards/view.php?id=43673

I think we still have had more temblors than y’all, though.

21 Bryan { 01.12.11 at 9:54 pm }

I had a bit of a 24-hour thing that required frequent changes to the liner in the garbage can next to my chair, but it seems over.

Yeah, the lack of potable water is always a major problem in floods. After they get contaminated it takes forever to clean out the municipal water mains and get the sewer systems back on line.

We are seeing similar temperatures as you report, Kryten, except that ours are in Fahrenheit. Our new winter weather pattern is going to require some rethinking.

I’ve been looking at the maps from the ABoM and it isn’t a good pattern. Another typhoon could show up at any time and kick start the entire process again.

Stay as safe as possible.

22 Kryten42 { 01.12.11 at 11:53 pm }

Thanks Bryan, and all once again. 🙂

I’ll post an update in the new thread Bryan. Many thanks for keeping everyone posted on this tragedy. I know you are very busy also, your time is much appreciated. 🙂

We are OK. Luckily we are not in the lowlands, but unluckily we are only about halfway up a hill and so we are getting the runoff from above us. *shrug* Still, it’s worse for those below us. Also luckily, this house was built high back when people wanted lot’s of space under the house for many reasons (50’s & 60’s). So the inside house is high and dry. Underneath is another story. Thankfully, we had already moved out stuff we had stored there, but we had most of it in the garage which is flooded. Oh well… 😉 😀

It’s obvious from he weather reports and maps on BoM that the torrential rain is moving South. The past few days, Vic has been hit hard, and today Tasmania has been hit, with about 110mm rain in the past 24 hours to Nth. Tas. and flash flooding has occurred in several areas.

In terms of magnitude of the disaster in terms of area and damage to homes, industries, businesses and infrastructure, this is one of the very worst in my lifetime, if not THE worst National natural disaster.

Yeah CJ, we have a lot in common, sadly. Too bad it’s disaster’s that unite us. 😉 I am glad that you managed to survive your State’s disasters! And I really hope you don’t live on or too close to the coast (as nice as the coast of CA is)! It’s only a matter of time I think before it disappears. 🙁 And yeah, we’ve pretty much had it all, the ONLY good thing about these floods is that it’s done what we couldn’t, gotten rid of the locust plague! Talk about mixed blessings! 😉 😛 😆

OK… I’ll continue an update in the new thread!

23 hipparchia { 01.13.11 at 8:20 am }

😆 the bull shark on main street! 😆

of course, the shark isn’t really funny irl, but it provided a nice touch of comic relief in an otherwise grim litany. what a mess.

24 Kryten42 { 01.13.11 at 9:06 am }

Hey hipparchia! 😀 I hope all is well with you friend. 🙂

I was just shutting down everything to go to bed when I saw your comment. No worries… I thought it was funny, and many others here also see the humor in it (it’s in our nature). 😉 😆

I was going to post an update, but I got called away. Been busy cleaning up & helping neighbors. Tomorrow will have to do (though we have to get ready for our garage sale this weekend… really hope the rain stops! *sigh*

Oh, I will post a quick update… (in the new thread). 😉

OK. G’night all! And many thanks! 😀

25 Bryan { 01.13.11 at 3:46 pm }

Bull sharks are responsible for most of out incidents of bites in the Northern Gulf as they can tolerate fresh water and swim into the bayous and up rivers. They aren’t per se vicious, but they will bite anything within range of their mouth. It isn’t an attack, just a nip to see what you taste like. They aren’t deep thinkers.

Maybe the looters could be assigned to community service, like helping the bull sharks get back to open water, and taking the black snakes home … after they finish shoveling the mud out of a few homes.