Emeriti Faculty

Floods in Brisbane, January 2011

Brisbane Story

I do not know if you have been following the floods in Queensland which is the state in the north eastern part of the country. The floods are now the worst in memory and have now covered about 50% 0f the lower portion of the state. It is the monsoon season and rains have been failing rapidly and plenteously for several days. –which would not be too remarkable since rains always fall a lot in the rainy season, but the creeks have filled up rapidly, the streams became torrents and the Brisbane river is cresting at 10 -12 feet. Torrents of water have swept some towns giving only minutes warning –they are like an inland tsunami. Cars were taken of car parks one by one and pushed down the stream and then piled up like a set of children's toys. People had to rush to their rooves and cling there hoping to be rescued by helicopter. Dogs spent hours in trees. But that was personal, Brisbane, a state capitol of about 1,000,000 with a modern skyline and 80 story high rises is now going underwater. Suburb after suburb is having its electricity shut off and the Central Business district is being closed off. Without electricity high rise buildings are not much use. People are moving to evacuation centres all over the region where they will have to stay for a while until the water subsides and then the heartache of the cleanup will begin. Since so many crops and foodstuffs have been destroyed, it will hurt the state and Australia for the coming years. Despite all the problems the flood has been handled pretty well. 25 helicopters are rescuing people, there are lots of shelters –although shelter life loose many of hit s charms are the days past by. I am watching all of this our TV in Wadeye (near Darwin). We are involved in the storm system; it has given us rain but no floods. We have had a “low” which is like a mini-cyclone with lots of wind and rain (best to stay inside since many things are flying through the air) but just a dampening of spirits. I will try to go into the Bush tomorrow or Friday and then catch the plane to Melbourne and Manila.

God bless, Fr. Hilary