Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Ebb and Flow....Photo Essay

It hasn't been all rain since November.  Although the native Aussies have been apologizing for the cold and rainy weather, temperatures have been in the 20s C and we've seen more sun in this, Queensland's rainiest season on record, than we saw in the last few years in Germany.  We really weren't complaining. 

Rain started in earnest in December, with pockets of sunshine.  Right before we got here, in October, the local dam was at at 16% low.  By last week it was at 120%.  Within 2 days it was at 190%.  Because the slow and steady rains had soaked the grounds and because the rain just didn't stop for two days this past Monday and Tuesday.

But this is supposed to be a photo essay.

The pictures on Monday's blog were taken throughout December.  Lots of umbrellas.  Lots of irony at leaving the rain in Germany to be greeted by rain here.  A funny blog (not yet posted) apologizing for bringing it with us,

Photos in this blog were taken in Brisbane just last Sunday, before the floodwaters began to rise on Monday.  At that point the river was almost level to the ground but...Damon's famous last words...can you even IMAGINE how much water it would take to raise a river this size any level at all?

And this photo was taken on Bribey Island on January 2, when we took advantage of the one day of sunshine to celebrate Ryan's birthday.  I look back on other photos of us smiling in the sun over the past two months and feel as if we've experienced ancient history in our so very short time here.  Of course, I invite you to look back over the blog to check over those photos!


Noon on Tuesday, November 11, just 10 meters down the road.  We're pretty impressed at this point that the foot bridge is under water and the water has risen to 2 meters.

Our road under water and cut off.  Noon on Tuesday.

That same road four hours later at 4 PM on Tuesday, January 11.  The sign on the left is barely seen on the precious photo when Damon thought the 2 meter mark was worth recording.  Now the 2 meter mark is under water and the waters are halfway up the road sign.

4 PM Tuesday.  This is about when we thought that the rivers might merge to cut off our path of escape and considered evacuating.
THAT'S the side we have to get to to get to school! 

Just love the irony.  Road and nearby yards completely underwater.

Awe-inspiring to see.  But quiet here.  And no call to evacuate.
The waters HERE receded overnight and this morning, Wednesday, it was safe to walk.

Really.  This is our road 18 hours after peak flood. (What do you think of the neighborhood?!)
The sun is out.  30C.  And dry.  Bridge undamaged and cars passing.

That's the yard that was completely underwater 18 hours ago.  (Gotta LOVE the neighborhood!)  Sunny and dry.
Our beautiful road in the sunshine Wednesday morning.  I never imagined I would be impressed enough by pavement to post a picture of it!

And lookie there - a bridge!  Note the 2 meter mark and the tiny trickle of water on the left flowing down the opposite roadway into what is once again a tiny creek.

What a beautiful road!

Although we were ready to leave on Tuesday.  I realize the mini-life vests seem silly in light of the tsunami photos.  But you take what you got.

Ryan and Andrew staying informed with our borrowed TV set.

Emergency supplies also included bowling balls for Aidan and Matthew.

Ryan and Aidan in our pool Wednesday.  While tragedy unfolds all around us we seem to be wrapped in a bubble of safety and normalcy. 

Miss Scarlet.  In the living room.  With the rope.
It's 2 AM on Thursday, January 13, and I am up watching newsreel reruns.

It's still odd that the people of Brisbane are facing their worst hour right about now - flood levels are expected to peak in the next couple of hours - and while there is nothing I can do, it also seems weird to be sleeping in a dry bed, in my intact home, with all amenities intact, while people are losing everything they own just a few miles away.

Life continues tomorrow.  Damon has appointments and we need food and supplies.  Tomorrow the great challenge of returning to normalcy begins.


  1. Wow. I love that picture with the "Floodway." Excellent.
    Matthew and Aidan have surfer dude blond hair!
    I'm glad you guys are doing so well - and that the flooding left some meters between you and it :-)
    Enjoy your Disneyland [happiest place on earth] and keep writing for us (and for yourself)!

  2. Thanks Claire. I know. I know. I'm sure it can be a little much to KEEP HEARING over and over and OVER! Lori has told me to tone it down a bit....but you guys know how I was feeling there in Germany at the this really is such a relief.

    Am thinking of you and your three all the time. Did I tell you that I found year 2 the hardest with the twins? Or did I manage NOT to! It's obviously toughest in winter. And in a place that has NOTHING TO DO FOR KIDS! ARGH! Plus, all you get are looks of disbelief and sympathy - you know what, twin moms don't need sympathy (OKAY maybe sometimes we do!)we need people reminding us how lucky we are.

    In other words, TOTALLY relate to your blogs. Good on you. Believe it or not, you forget SOME of this once they are four years old and totally able to take care of themselves! (COmparatively of course!)

    I know you know how lucky you are.....just make it through the winter and that lovely German May makes up for it a bit.....let's just hope you GET a spring and summer this year around.

    THINKING OF YOU ALL! Take care - CHristine

  3. And yeah - all I keep thinking about around here are all the photographers I know. I've done my best but....we weren't supposed to travel into flood areas to site-see. And I am not quite enough of a photographer to disregard those instructions yet! Am beginning to appreciate the power of the visual though - a little perk from my friends in Stuttgart!