Worst. Week. Ever

by 4:10 PM 39 comments
I just wanted to do a post to let you guys know what is happening. I haven't posted for over a week now and I do have a very good reason for it. I live in Brisbane, which is the capital city of Queensland, Australia. In the last month or so, we have been copping torrential rains and most of northern Queensland is now flooded. I had been watching the television coverage thinking that it was horrible for the residents of towns like Rockhampton and the surrounding areas but also secretly glad that things like that never happen where I am. How wrong I was.

At the start of this week, flash flooding hit a town only a few hours away from Brisbane called Toowoomba. Toowoomba is a huge place and the wave of water that hit it suddenly and unexpectedly was described by locals as an inland Tsunami which went straight through the city centre and continued on to wreak havoc in Grantham in the Lockyer Valley which seems to have copped the worst of it.

Just some of the damage done in Grantham

Heaps of people died, some stuck in their cars, house and some while trying to save others. We still don't know the official death count because they haven't found all the bodies yet. One body was found 80kms from where he was taken by the flood. You want to see what that kind of water can do? Check out the video below. It shows slightly before, the water peaking and then the after mass.



I heard this and still couldn't comprehend what I was hearing. Then the flooding hit the second biggest town, Ipswich. Which is only about an hour from the CBD. At least the residents of Ipswich had more warning and had time to evacuate their homes as the local Bremer River rose.

The Bremer River feeds into the Brisbane River which is the lifeline of our city. All of our infrastructure is built around it and our city is beautiful. Or at least it was. Brisbane is affectionately known as "the River City", only in these last few days it has been more true then ever.
  
This is a view of the CBD from Kangaroo Point. The greenery in the left is the botanical gardens, in the centre - just to the right of the tallest bulding is the Eagle Street Pier in happier times.

An aerial view of Brisbane before the flood. I've highlighted areas hit worst in the flooding.


An aerial shot taken after the flooding. You can see how swollen the river is compared to the first aerial shot. You can also see in between the trees in the botanical gardens how it is completely underwater. On the left side of the shot is Southbank underwater.
The water came with a vengeance, wiping out all of the low lying suburbs along the river banks along the way. Houses have been submerged up and even over their roofs. The Brisbane River was rushing through our town with a ferocity never before witnessed. It took boats, pontoons and even a floating restaurant with it. And smashed it into smithereens.

If you've ever been to Brisbane, there is a high chance you've been here - Southbank. Our oasis in the city.



This is what Southbank looks like now. That small brown arc like bit directly across from where the Botanical Gardens meet the CBD buildings is where the beach used to be. 
To give you an idea of the power this river had with its rushing water, it ripped a floating cement walkway that was about the length of a football field from its moorings and took it down the river. There were fears that it was going to take out one of the supports of the Gateway Bridge which is one of the only roads connecting the two sides of the river that remained open. 

To compound this, on Thursday we had a king tide come in. This meant that even more homes and now the actual CBD itself was flooding. 

CBD Before

CBD after from a slightly different angle, but that is the same shiny, shiny building. Oh and that building in the middle? That's where I work.
 
Brisbane CBD and Eagle Street Pier Before

Eagle Street Pier Before

Eagle Street Pier After

This is the inner city suburb of Auchenflower where houses cost more then most people earn in a lifetime, many of which will now need to be demolished.
So many suburbs along the river have just been washed away.
On Tuesday morning I woke up and found myself blocked in from the rains that had caused minor flooding on the roads around me and I called in to work to let them know I would not be able to make it. How grateful I now am for those roads being flooded in. If I had gone to work, I would have been evacuated along with the thousands and thousands of other people who work in the city at lunch time. I would have gotten back to the train station where I normally park my car to find it underwater and the entrance to the car park reminiscent of white water rapids. There is a river nearby which had risen to such an extent that it had taken out a fair few suburbs around it. There was absolute madness everywhere.


This is the flooding at Youngs Crossing at Petrie which is 2 suburbs away from my house.


Petrie Train Station where I catch my train to work. Good thing I couldn't get to work on this day!


And this. This is the entry to the carpark were I leave my car when I am a work.
I went to the supermarket to stock up on essentials and I waited nearly 1 and a half hours in line. The shelves had been stripped bare by panicked residents, and it was at that point I realised that this was real and so close.

I got home and got a call from my housemate who worked over the other side of Strathpine which had been evacuated due to mass flooding. Strathpine is only about a 10-15m drive from my place. It took my housemate 3 hours to get home. During that time, I freaked out massively thinking that I was going to be stranded in my house on my own. My main concern was the creek across the road from our house that was already swollen. However, we were lucky and managed to avoid major catastrophe.

Right now I am at my parents house on the south side of Brisbane. Today was the first real opportunity that anyone has had to get through and the traffic was chaos.

The water has started to recede, but it leaves behind a trail of destruction of epic proportions. It is the middle of summer here and we are told to brace for more rain. Our dams are at about 180% capacity which means they will have to release them again soon so that this can't happen again. Which means more swollen rivers, more dangerously fast currents, more general chaos, madness and destruction. The heat will only make things worse as the stench starts to set in. Where the water has gone down, it has left behind up to 3 inches of mud-like sludge which is made up of God only knows what. We have a hell of a clean up ahead of us and that is just the beginning.

To give you guys some idea of what we are dealing with, 75% of Queensland has been declared a natural disaster area. Queensland is also the largest supplier of fruit, vegetables and meat in the country and all of those crops and much of the livestock have been taken out by these floods.

I believe I saw a stat earlier on that the destruction Hurricane Katrina left behind in New Orleans a few years back was around 240,000 square kms. The area in Queensland? Over 1,000,000km square. And that was before it hit Toowomba, Ipswich, the CBD of Brisbane and started making its way down through NSW.

To those of you who have been checking on me from all over the world, thank you. It makes my faith in people stronger that complete strangers have been taking the time to think about me.

To the few of you who have sent me increasingly aggressive emails about why I have not been blogging and how I will lose my readers - screw you and get a life. I don't care for people like you and don't really care whether you come back or not.

To everyone who has been affected by these floods now, or will be affected in the coming few weeks as they make their way down the east side of Australia through New South Wales and Victoria, my thoughts are with you.

I will attempt to get back to regular posting as soon as I can.

I don't need to tell you guys to be awesome to each other - because so many of you have proved to be that you already are.

Bec

Bec

Makeup Artist

I am a fully qualified makeup artist who is internationally published, and I have worked with and been mentored by some of the very best in the business! Now I'm ready to share my tips and tricks, answer your questions and most importantly, help you make every makeup moment a memorable one.

39 comments:

  1. I can't even wrap my head around all that has been going on - it's just so hard to imagine a disaster of that magnitude happening here in Australia. :-(

    And people have been hassling you about not blogging? Floods or not - what the hell, man? It's your blog - what do you owe anyone? Jeez.

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  2. Oh Bec, I'm so sorry I thought of you today while watching the new on the floods and was hoping you would post something to tell us you are safe. I can only imagine how horrible it is to see your city this way. My thoughts are definitely with you and all the other people who have been affected by this horrible disaster. Let me know if you need anything.
    xx
    Alicia

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  3. Hi Dee,

    It sucks so bad doesn't it? Are you anywhere near the affected areas?

    And I know right? How rude. I've had three different people do it. I could not believe it.

    Stay safe and dry,
    Bec

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  4. Hi Alicia,

    It is devastating to even see the pictures on the news, I don't know how I will handle the CBD carnage come Monday.

    I wasn't sure how much coverage this was having on the news overseas. It is all we have had on our main channels. Over and over. It's horrifying.

    Thank you for your thoughts. I'm all good for now although there may be a delay on sending over your package!

    Bec

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  5. oh no you poor thing.

    good to hear you are safe.

    i have seen all the flood coverage on tv and it boggles my mind on how high 19 meters of water is @_@

    hopefully the cleanup isnt too bad :)

    Tinny

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  6. Oh, I'm so glad you're okay. Hearing about the devastating floods has been so heartwrenching, I saw the footage from Toowoomba last night and it was shocking. My mother and I both donated to the relief funds and have passed to the link on via twitter/facebook, I hope people can help. I'm disappointed that this hasn't been receiving much coverage in the states, honestly.. either way, my heart is with everyone and everything affected by the floods. Be safe!

    And screw those people bitching about the blog, I could say some rather choice things about them, but I'll refrain..

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  7. I'm so glad you are ok!

    Honestly when I just see images on TV I don't even think about the people living there, thank you for reminding me.
    Your city does/did look gorgeous, the damage is absolutely horrendous. I really hope everything will start to get better now and that your lives will be able to return to normal soon, though I'd say you might deserve a vacation after this! Also, while you are working on getting everything normal again please don't feel pressured to continue your blogging, take as long as you need and we promise to be here when you get back to it!

    Please stay safe,

    Kat

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  8. are you and your family okay dear? that was so bad.. :(
    good to hear you safe.. ;)
    wish the flood recede soon and everything cleaned up well..

    Sarah

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  9. I'm so sorry to hear about the massive flooding. I'm glad to hear that you and ur family are safe and okay. And thank you for updating on the situation. I didn't know how bad the flood is until this point when I clicked on the video footage u embedded in this post. My prayers are with you.

    Take care and be safe!

    xx

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  10. *hugs* It's the worst thing since you can't stop water and the worst is after, when you see all the damages :( and you have yo be strong and start again, building up a new life...
    I'm with you...

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  11. I can't even begin to imagine what you're going through! :( I am happy to hear that you're alright though. If there is anything I can do, just let me know!

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  12. Oh Bec! I am so sorry!! I can only hope that this will end soon. I've been following on the news, and it's horrible.
    Thinking of you

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  13. Good thing you are ok, I'm praying for you, your family and everyone from Australia's safety.

    Camille

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  14. That's horrible! I'm sorry you and everyone affected has to go through this ): I hope you and your family (and everyone else) gets through without a scratch. (:

    PS: You shouldn't give a crap about people who complain that you're not blogging often enough. Haters gonna hate.

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  15. Dear god your safety and well-being is tantamount to anything else! Thank you for helping provide some perspective, random news-bites are just not the same. My thoughts and prayers are with all of Australia, this is just devastating on such a grand scale. Glad to hear that you're ok, let's hope the worst has past...

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  16. Fellow Brisban-ite. I feel a bit weird in the situation. I am inner north side around the Chermside area and are generally unaffected despite being mere km's away from the disastor.

    So far I have taken in 3 people and 2 cats who have lost their homes. My house has mould on the ceiling and I have been unable to work at one of my jobs which is at Auchenflower.

    Also waiting on QTAC which has been unable to tell the students which uni. While it may not seem like much a lot of these kids are unable to make plans on where they will live and due to this a lot of the places most students would stay are under water.

    I unfortunately can't manually help, but I have been throwing extra money in whenever I go to a place that has some appeal set up and opening my doors to friends and relatives in need.

    I hope your friends and family were not to badly affected.

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  17. I cannot imagine the devastation. Please be careful yourself, and try to build up your immunity, as it easy to get sick during and after a flood. My thoughts are with you.

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  18. Thank you for sharing these images. I can't imagine what it would be like to face the landscape of one's daily life so changed by natural disaster. I've been thinking about all the Aussie girls I know through the blogging community and sending positive energy to each of you and your families.

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  19. It is such a shock to see this happening. I hope it all gets resolved soon, and that people can get back to living a normal life as soon as possible.

    xo

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  20. I watched the video and oh my god. You, as well as all of Australia, are in my prayers. Please keep safe, don't worry about blogging, we'll still be here when things get back to "normal"

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  21. this is really horrible.. it sucks how the rain can turn things around for the worse :(
    hope you stay safe and the flooding doesnt have the worst of its effects and that it stops soon. It was so nice for you to update us on why you havent been posting but we can always wait for that as long as you are okay :) so Stay Strong !!
    take care

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  22. Holy...crap. Please be careful and best wishes to you. I'm sorry that it's happened to you and f*** the people who don't understand that real life and its responsibilities are far more important.

    Stay safe. Rest assured, that the people who understand that severity of your situation will be here when everything is sorted. :)

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  23. That's horrible! I hope things goes back to normal soon.

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  24. That's horrible, awful. :( I'm seeing what is going on on the news here and our thoughts are with you. I'm hoping everything will end with the least damage possible. Take care of yourself, be safe. All prayers are going to Australia.

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  25. I can't imagine how terrible this must be for you ): I live in the UK and watch the news every night and have seen how high the water has risen. I can't believe you're actually getting angry emails though! I hope your house doesn't get damaged and pray that everyone will stay safe. Take a break from blogging if you ever need to (you deserve it with everything going on!), us followers will support you :) xxx

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  26. oh how terrible. i'm just glad that you're ok! hope things get back to normal and never happen again. take care!

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  27. I really hope you're alright, and your family and friends too. This is a real tragedy, I keep seeing news reports everywhere. It's very sad that quite a few people died, but it's good that most of the damage is economic. Brazil is flooding too and hundreds died in their sleep because of mud slides. I'm really glad that you're safe, it's really awful how Brisbane looks like. I remember going to Brisbane when I was much younger and visiting all the theme parks and beaches. I'm sure all of you Australians will be able to rise up and take charge of the situation.

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  28. It's such a devastating situation at the moment. I'm from Adelaide so all I've seen on the news here is footage of the flooding, and it seems to be getting worse. I'm glad to hear you're safe, take care of yourself.

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  29. I cannot even begin to imagine how terrifying and devastating this is for you and everyone affected. As someone's previously mentioned, when you hear about things like this on the news, the level of devastation never really registers. When I heard, I was shocked by it as disasters such as this are not associated with large, 'well-off' countries like Australia but i'm ashamed to say I did stop thinking about it.
    Your post has really opened my eyes to how it must feel being in that situation.
    I hope you and your family stay safe.
    xx

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  31. I really hope, with all my heart, that you & everyone you know gets through this awful time and that you all stay safe xxx thank you so much for taking the time to share this with everyone.

    As for those so-called followers who sent abusive emails... I can't say what I want to say about them, but believe me it's far from than complimentary!! I can just imagine these selfish 'people' thinking 'never mind the floods, where's something for me to read' - get lost.

    I hope you stay safe xxx

    Love Catherine xxxx

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  32. That sounds like such a terrible situation. I'm so very happy that you and your parents are okay, and hopefully the same can be said for your home. I'll definitely be keeping you and others from the area in my thoughts and prayers.

    Also, please be careful in the coming days. Epidemics often follow severe flooding, so do try to take good care of yourself and be extra mindful of the food you eat and particularly the water that you drink.

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  33. Hope you are OK Bec! The floods came thru here FRiday but it's passed on with not much suffering left behind.

    Sorry dudette but I tagged you for a blog award! I have passed it on to all my sister Oz Mafia girls...if I had to suffer it then you all have to as well!
    Carli

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  34. I'm really sorry to hear this! My thoughts are with you!

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  35. my thoughts are with you, your family and everybody affected by this flooding.

    i can really relate because 2 years ago, a great part of manila - mainly the city i live in has been struck by the same kind of destruction. a typhoon called ondoy came giving us massive amount of water making our dam exceed capacity, hence pouring great amount of water to the city. it was fast and really scary. my house went neck deep in water and almost all our belongings were soaked and destroyed - but i know it can never be compared to those who not only lost their homes but also their loved ones.

    stay strong, bec. and take care! xo

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  36. Bec, I'm just horrified. I don't know what to say. I hope the clean up goes well and soon things will be back to some semblance of normalcy, but for now I will keep you and the people affected by the floods in my prayers.

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  37. Sorry it's taken me so long to come back and read and reply - ironically, it's because I've been working really long hours doing admin work for flood stuff (I work for the government) and haven't had time or energy for the frivolity of blogs. :-/

    I'm not near any of it - I live in Adelaide, right in the city. My mum lives in country Victoria on a sheep farm and they had a few towns nearby flood over the weekend, but they're quite high up so they just had their driveway washed away and their power off for a day or so. They were very lucky.

    My ex's house burned down in the Vic fires, as did his parents' house. My daughter had been there a week earlier on school holidays and had she still been there at the time, they would probably have been home and not able to get out, so that was really freaky for me. Nothing like what you guys have actually physically been through, of course.

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  38. I'm really sorry it happened, Bec... the damage is just awful, but I hope you and everyone else will be able to get through this soon. I'm glad you're safe :*

    And I don't even know what to say about the people who sent the abusive mails... I guess they just don't know what it's like to experience something like that, and they're not capable of thinking about others even for a second. Seriously, I just pity them and their selfish behaviour.

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