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19 responses to “Remembering the floods”

  1. Mark Bahnisch

    An excellent post, Brian, rich in recollection and full of information. Thanks so much for posting.

  2. Debbie(aussie)

    Thanks Brian, great collection of articles and pictures. Am Ipswichian, myself (not flooded). Weather be an amazing thing;)

  3. verity violet

    Oh My Gosh. That post brought on tears. Thats very unusual for me. Thanks Brian.

  4. verity violet

    One would have to wonder about the long term effects of the poisons from all the flooded mines to our north. It’s barely been mentioned in the media.

  5. faustusnotes (used to be sg)

    QBE has announced a large reduction in profit in its insurance arm due to the number of natural disasters it faced in 2011. Insurance profit margins were down by nearly 50% compared with the previous year, and the floods and Yasi were cited as examples of why.

  6. Chris

    Brian @ 8 – the insurance companies spread the extra cost around the country. Insurance premiums in Adelaide also went up because of the floods in QLD. I wouldn’t be surprised if the earthquakes in Christchurch also affected premiums in Australia.

    I think some insurance companies are now starting to preempt future problems. I received mail recently from my insurance company saying they would now be offering complete flood insurance and I could upgrade my policy now if I wanted to. And I’m not in a flood prone area either.

  7. Chris

    Brian – if it’s that expensive in the flood prone areas its probably a sign that people should not be living there. Perhaps the government could offer some land swaps for those who want to get out?

  8. Tyro Rex

    Just on insurance there was a house down our street in the part that got flooded that for six months had a hand painted banner out front having a go at the NRMA and the Broncos (for whom the NRMA are the main sponsor). On the other hand, I saw there were still plenty of renos/recos going on about our part of town that had large prominent Suncorp signs erected next to the builder’s sign. I suspect they got a fair amount of goodwill out of their policies.

    One thing I will never understand is when the big panic-buy went on on the Tuesday afternoon is why people emptied the meat section first? We stocked up on beans and stuff in tins! Don’t people understand electricity?

    Tuesday night, with Haig Rd already cut, we were treated to the spectacle of rubber-neckers and other people perhaps desperate to get to the other side of the flood, driving in incessant columns down off Birdwood Tce and off Milton Rd and creating a U-turn traffic jam as they realised they were unable to proceed further.We had to create a temporary road block with witches hats and tape a couple of hand-written signs up.

    Wednesday I don’t really remember well because we spent most of it helping people move stuff. But the thing that will spook me is walking down across a silent Milton Road and finding our way through a circuitous route via non-flooded streets over to the railway tracks near Auchenflower train station. The silence, punctuated only by the forlorn wail of burglar alarms in the distance of the light-industrial on the other side of the tracks, was eerie. The water, having had to flow across smash-repair shops and the like to get to the tracks, was absolutely foul and stained black and red with chemicals and god knows what. Thursday there were two local kids swimming across it, the stupid idiots. I wonder what happened to them?

  9. Tyro Rex

    I think there were differences in the hydrology between the two floods, someone we know in Indooroopilly got flooded but the flood maps from ’74 didn’t show flooding there supposedly. Putting a levee around the Rocklea markets will only make it worse for somebody else – all that water has to flow somewhere. Quite frankly I have to ask why is Rocklea the most important part of town? Its mostly commercial, people’s homes are far more important.

    Re: land swaps; I don’t think that is it necessarily feasible for the city (we are talking about many long-inhabited areas of the inner-city here like Milton, Toowong, Indooroopilly, West End, Fairfield, beautiful old houses in Chelmer, a major university in St Lucia) and more to the point it’s not desirable either. Floods happen, and rather than this idea that Brisbane has to abandon its low-lying areas The phrase “flood plain” as is sometimes used is hugely misleading. The areas enumerated above are in the hilly areas that comprised the lower reach catchments of the river and they are NOT in the flood plain, that’s the airport and Murrarrie etc, which appeared mostly unaffected by the flood. The river backs up the former creek beds that are now mostly stormwater channels. Its how my house, just up the hill isn’t affected and the street one down from me is flooded, and my friends just a bit more down the street get it nearly to their ceiling; my other friends are OK and yet the people directly opposite them on their street lose everything. If we got a really, really, big nasty storm there’s a possibility my backyard gets washed away by the overland flow – the yard is part of the old creek bed, coming down off Mt Coot-tha, it’s visible to the perceptive eye and marked as such on the council maps. The other question to ask is “land swaps for what”? There is no equivalent “land” to swap (replete with heritage issue Queenslander-style house, for what; a brick veeneer slab 20km out of town?). Its asking Sydney-siders to empty Woolloomooloo and Lillyfield or Melbournites to permanently evacuate Fitzroy and Richmond; it’s just not gonna happen. The real point is that people need to be aware and have appropriate insurance; and for new builds, certain building designs need to be enforced.

    A small block of land is for sale next to my aforementioned friend’s townhouse. Love to buy it; you should readily get permission to put an elevated house up on that site. Downstairs, as long as you keep it for a garden and parking cars, you could build high enough above the flood level to be OK. But if some developer buys it and builds the usual set of one-up one-down duplexes and townhouses, that would just be criminal.

  10. marji

    Very Informative and graphic. When we were living in sydney a year ago we were glued to the television not really believing or comprehending what we were seeing

  11. Keithy

    So, …is the story about INFRASTRUCTURE?