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220 responses to “Brisbane flood maps and up to date flood information”

  1. CMMC

    Saw on Channel 9 recently that the town of Cabulcha is in peril.

  2. Derek Barry

    Have been pleasantly surprised by the quality and quantity of stuff coming out of that QPS Facebook account these last couple of weeks. Someone there has truly gotten to grips with social media.

  3. Tyro Rex

    Eagle Tce in Milton/Auchenflower is flooded, Milton Rd traffic is now congested, I’d suggest that Torwood St in Auchenflower will start to back up shortly.

  4. Kymbos

    A King Tide to boot! What are the odds?

  5. jules

    If you are going to be affected by this and I hope people are doing this anyway, but if not:

    – now is a good time to figure out the safest clearest route to high ground, a potential back up route, and to also get the stuff you wouldn’t want to lose, like photos, and important documents, somewhere that you can easily access. Prized possessions you can carry. Basically get ready to evacuate now, if you might have to, and plan where you’ll go and how you’ll get there if you haven’t already and what’ you’ll do if that plan doesn’t work.

    If you are somewhere the 74 flood situation can be used as a guide use it, but things are different in parts of brisbane.

    If you plan carefully and calmly now, if you need to move fast in 4 hours you’ll be in a better position to get what you need and get to safety.

    Don’t expect anything but a minimum from the authorities. They are flat out and constantly reacting so they can’t be relied on for stuff you can do yourself. They will do the best they can but if you are ready now it’ll make their job and your evacuation easier.

    Good luck, and I hope you stay safe.

    You’ll need a change of socks, undies and if you are dressed for the heat something to keep you warm. And vice versa.

    And get something to read, and something to do, especially for the kids if you have them. And if you can take some healthy (ish) food or snacks.

    Obviously don’t enter floodwater.

    Unless its to get out of the way of a flash flood or something immediately life threatening. If its a choice between entering the floodwaters and dying obviously do what you have to to survive.

    If you plan ahead and stay calm you’ll be less likely to be in that situation.

    I probably don’t need to say this but on the off chance.

    And remember losing your home and everything you own is just an incovenience, maybe a big one, but thats all it is.

    Losing your life, or your loved ones, or suffering a life changing injury is a tragedy.

  6. Lefty E

    Good luck Brisbanheiros! Stay safe.

  7. jules

    Mark @9

    Those links aren’t working properly. I just get twitters home page.

  8. FDB

    Jules, if Mark doesn’t fix it soon, just copy and paste the whole line of url – Mark just screwed up the html a tad, but the address is all there.

  9. tigtog

    Mark somehow added a couple of characters in his cut and paste which borked the links. I’ve fixed them now.

  10. tigtog

    @Mark, every link you’ve posted to a twitter page or status has these three extra characters inserted ‘#!/’

    I’m fixing them all as fast as I can.

  11. Tyro Rex

    torwood st in auchenflower and related streets are flooded. may cover milton rd by tonight, i think. haig rd at milton state school is also covered with water.

  12. Brian

    Lord Mayor said 6,500 premises in 80 suburbs expected to be affected.

  13. Tyro Rex

    Anna Bligh said flood levels on Thursday will be higher than 1974.

  14. Darryl Rosin

    Anna Bligh is saying current projections are for a higher flood in Brisbane than 1974, peaking Thursday. Bremer river in Ipswich will be about 2m high than 74, peaking Wed.


  15. jules

    Mark, no worries the update links are fine.

    Just Saw Campbell Newman on telly, he was excellent.

    If anything I said before contradicts what he said obviously listen to him.

    I haven’t really got much experience with floods, but I’ve been a fire permit officer for this end of my brigades area for nearly 15 years, and firefighting a bit longer. Evacuations can be chaotic and stressful, but a little preparation and forethought can make the whole process easier and more importantly, safer for everyone.

    From what i’ve seen so far the information is good, and clear and concise. if you are reading this comment now, likely to be effected , and you follow the official advise then things should be fine for you

    I’m a volunteer firefighter, the ethic of that is based on the fact that we are part of a community and communities look after each other in whatever ways they can.

    If you’re not likely to be directly impacted, then you will know people who are, they, and people you don’t know will need your help. If you’re on the borderline or in the area already known to be at risk, then you and all your neighbours in the same boat.

    Even neighbours you don’t know might need your help, there’s never been a better time than now to introduce yourself and check they are ok.

    Lastly, as I understand its your choice whether to evacuate, (I could be wrong.)

    If you choose to ride this flood out, and ignore the opportunity to get to safety emergency services will do everything in their power to help you.

    Be aware you are effectively asking them to risk their lives to compensate for your poor decision making. There will be people who haven’t had that opportunity needing the resources you will require. So you are also preventing them from getting the help they need.

    Emergency workers have families and friends, they will be prepared to die to save you, if you have the power to avoid that situation please use it.

  16. Brian

    An evacuation centre has been established at the RNA showgrounds if you can’t bunk down with family and friends. Bring bedding and medicines.

  17. Ambigulous

    Good luck to all of you who may be in harm’s way.

  18. Ambigulous

    or better still, get out of harm’s way….

  19. Joseph.Carey

    Even the most conservative modelling didn’t or more pertinently couldn’t predict this. A lesson there.

  20. OB

    What’s ABC radio in QLD doing?
    Both NewsRadio and ABC Local Radio?

  21. Enemy Combtant

    Great centre-ing thread, Mark.
    Best to all delugees.

  22. FDB

    “Even the most conservative modelling didn’t or more pertinently couldn’t predict this. A lesson there.”

    Yep – and it has nothing to do with ‘conservative’ modelling or otherwise. The lesson is that it’s not currently possible to accurately predict weather more than a week or two out.

    Just like it always hasn’t been.

  23. FDB

    In solidarity with our Quincelander cousins, I just got drenched riding my bike home from the shops.

    I hope nobody takes this in poor taste – my concern is genuine.

  24. Brian

    OB @ 43

    What’s ABC radio in QLD doing?
    Both NewsRadio and ABC Local Radio?

    I’ve been listening to local radio. Full-on coverage all day. Interviews, press conferences, information, official and listener generated. I’ve just heard a list of where all the evacuation shelters are in the various centres. Followed by presser from Lard Mayor, now Laidley SES fellow what goes there etc.

    Heard this afternoon the kangaroos were escaping floods in Pine Rivers and heading onto the Gateway expressway.

    Now a list of roads closed etc, etc. Gateway closed in both directions.

    Steve Austin is going to focus on Ipswich tonight.

    Doing well, very well indeed.

  25. Paul Burns

    For anybody thginking of coming south.
    The New England Highway is blocked by flood at Tenterfield and Tenterfield residents are being evacuated.
    The Pacific Highway is blocked by flood at Grafton.

  26. Salient Green

    42 and 45 “Even the most conservative modelling didn’t or more pertinently couldn’t predict this. A lesson there.”

    The error is in modelling the weather thinking that this will save yer, whereas they should be modelling the massive overdevelopment for it’s increasing effect on runoff under regular, recorded and what should be expected, severe rainfall events.

    Gee, but that would put a dampener on someone’s profits. All of Australia pays for damage done in flood prone development while those who pushed the development and made the fat profits are laughing from their high ground.

  27. Peter Ryan

    Great work Guys. Thanks for all your efforts and picking up the slack so skillfully. A great service appreciated by thousands.

    Nicely done!

    Today’s Gentleman

  28. Eric Sykes

    All my friends in the city seem to have got themselves safe so far, hope that they stay that way. I to offer accomodation, in Slacks Creek, for anyone that needs and can get here..could take two. Best.

  29. Paul Burns

    More details on conditions just across the border.
    I’m not a motorist so I’m afraid I can’t give advice for alternative routes for anyone who might be thinking of coming south for the duration. Sorry.

  30. steve

    RSPCA animal refuge about to flood. Please call 3426 9999 [please leave phone lines for emergencies only – email them instead ~ Moderator] to register your name if you can foster an animal.

  31. Paul Burns

    Oh, and I can still take 1 for anybody who can get to Armidale. See other flood thread for details.

  32. CMMC

    Anyone remember John Friedrich and the National Safety Council of Australia? They were supposed to manage natural emergencies such as this.

    Makes me wonder about the Insurance Companies, will they ask for Govt underwriing?

  33. Brian

    The figure of premises to be affected was upped from 6,500 to 9,000. I think there is a definitional issue there, as Campbell Newman was talking about premises with at least half a metre through them.

  34. Brian

    Mark @ 63, yep, I think you’ve got it. I couldn’t remember the larger number or the attached epithet.

  35. steve

    It looks like the best new restaurant 2010 might become drftwood shortly.


  36. Lefty E

    Any have a theory as to why Bligh provided an actual estimate for Bremer river peak, but not for the Brisbane (other than “bigger than 74”)?

    Perhaps its just harder to work out.

  37. Craig Mc

    You’re doing some nice work Mark. Good luck to everyone up north.

  38. wpd

    Fantastic work1 Congratulations to all concerned.

  39. steve

    Premier Bligh about to address the State according to 4BC.

  40. joe2

    Yes, well done Brian and Mark. I am getting a better idea of what is happening, here, than the endlessly repeating tv loop.

    All the best Brisbane folks.

  41. Lefty E

    Makes sense Mark.

  42. steve

    Boats in the Brisbane River have all been ordered out into the open sea because of risk of damage from debris etc.if they stayed in the river.

  43. AT

    He, put the floods in perspective folks – Annie O’Rourke of the Byron Bay hinterland had her wallet stolen this morning, and Jonathan Green saw fit to publish it as a The Drum contribution. Can you believe, she is complaining that she was charged for police time – on a day of catastrophic floods, 10 dead, and dozens missing. Frecking idiot.


  44. Fiona Reynolds

    Mark, you will be roped in by Qld SES any moment now. Congratulations on a brill job in such appalling circumstances

  45. jane

    Hope all Queenslanders keep safe and well in this disaster.

  46. jules

    CMMC @ 60 Don’t get me started on John Friedrich… (slaps himself.)

    Seriously, good luck everyone. It hasn’t rained here for hours – hope its the same where you are and in the catchments.

    Brian @ 61, I vaguely caught that update on the figures, Bligh said it, and I got the impression that the way she said it the figures had risen from 6500 to 9000 due to changing conditions. That implies she would be using figures based on the same standard Campbell Newman did. If not, and its a definitional issue as you suggest then thats the sort of inconsistency that needs to be identified in the post clean up examination of what went right or wrong.

    There’s probably other issues too, but one thing that was clear from Black Saturday was that its hard to access good info in bad situations, without the added confusion of competing terms of reference. Honestly its probably not an issue. But if you think it is follow up on it.

  47. Fiona Reynolds

    With you there, Mark (@ 81); also delighted to see that the ABC staff are doing their bit (just as their Vic counterparts did in 2009 – will never forget that).

  48. steve

    Translink has suspended all train services till 6-00am tomorrow for safety reasons and will then run on an hourly timetable.


  49. Cuppa


    Quite a few links in the OP to the ABC. Normally I would condemn copious linking to that organisation (on account of its recent pattern of disreputable political coverage). But their coverage of the floods, even I’d have to say, is beyond reproach. Not that that makes up for their shortfallings in other areas…

  50. Fascinated

    Mark and all affected – fingers crossed. Have been watching closely. Mark – if you are having trouble continuing tomorrow, let me know if I can assist in some way.

  51. steve

    Here’s a colourful animation of what the predicted flood level will look like.

  52. David Coleman

    The Brisbane city council now has a low bandwidth site up provide basic information and flood maps as well as updates.

  53. Paul Burns

    I hope for all of the you that the good news keeps on coming. Am thinking of you all.
    Your’e doing a wonderful job btw, Mark.

  54. Paul Burns

    The severe weather warning for the Northern Tablelands NSW has been lifted as of about 10.30 tonight. I don’t know if this means the roads south are now clear as I have not been able to find any more up to date info. But if any of you are inclined to leave and head south, that’s the situation. At the moment. It could change of course.

  55. Lefty E

    Great to finally hear some sort of better news!

  56. James Rice

    Just a quick question… The ABC suggests that during the 1974 Brisbane flood the Brisbane River peaked at 5.45 metres. But this report (mentioned in Wikipedia) suggests that in 1974 the Brisbane River peaked at 6.60 metres. Does anyone know whether the river peaked at 5.45 or 6.60 metres? The question is significant for me, unfortunately, since the lowest ground level at the place I live is at 6.20 metres (according to the Brisbane City Council Floodwise Property Report).

  57. steve

    Police are asking people to avoid the Brisbane CBD today and Translink is asking people not to travel anywhere that is not essential.

  58. Tyro Rex

    I’m looking for a cached version of http://www.brisbane.qld.gov.au/map_models/Fig116_7000_Inun_east.pdf anyone got one? BCC offline. Again.

  59. Brian

    This morning the estimate is for 19,500 homes to be flooded to the extent that they will have water right across the block, in 2,100 streets.

    The figure for businesses was, I think, an additional 3,500.

  60. Lloyd

    For a real treat go read the comments on Piers latest poisonous posting.

    It’s all Julia’s fault!


  61. Brian

    James Rice @ 101, frankly I don’t know. I had noticed the discrepancy between Wikipedia and the official figures being handed out.

    I’d be inclined to ignore Wikipedia. There are a couple of reasons for the discrepancy that I can think of.

    First, they may be referring to different gauges, but I doubt that is the case.

    The more likely reason is that the basis of calibration has changed. The Brisbane CBD is on a tidal reach, so there is a question as to what constitutes zero. One method could be to take the lowest tide. Another could be to take the average low tide. Another could be to take the average midpoint. But you’d think now that all the official information is in sync.

  62. Brian

    We pulled a comment yesterday with the somewhat bizarre suggestion that everyone should turn on their taps and have long showers so that more water in the dams is used. Last night I heard the official response.

    It’s a very bad idea.

    Authorities have been careful to see that all the secondary storages around the city are as full as possible. One of the things you want to preserve in a crisis is the supply of clean water at suitable pressure.

    If you send clean water down the sewers it has to be replaced immediately by more purified water, putting undue strain on the water supply system.

    It’s one ‘bright’ idea we don’t need.

  63. Paul Burns

    Below is a travel warning for conditions south of the border from ABC News.
    Travel warning

    Motorists intending to use the Pacific or New England Highways to travel through northern New South Wales have been advised to cancel their trip.

    Flooding has closed the Pacific highway from Halfway Creek in the south to Maclean in the north.

    The New England Highway is closed north of the Queensland border, and the Orara Way between Grafton and Coffs Harbour is also closed in both directions.

    The Bruxner Highway remains closed between Grafton and Glen Innes, and the Summerland way has been closed overnight from Grevillia to the Queensland border.

    In western NSW, the Kamilaroi Highway is closed between Bourke and Brewarrina.

    So, I guess the best advice is don’t.

  64. Pavlov's Cat

    Lloyd, at #105, that really is beyond demented, isn’t it.

    I can’t remember, but someone else may be able to: about that reference of Akka’s to ‘Labor’s pink batts insulation scheme’. Wasn’t the whole point of the problem that it was not pink batts but foil?

    If so, it would be no more inaccurate than the rest of that paragraph. Journalism at its finest.

  65. steve
  66. Fine

    Note the lie that the Federal Government is only giving Queensland $1million in flood relief. I also heard Abbott last night politicising the floods by saying he’ll ensure that the government is scrutinised over every cent spent. And note the contradiction with Akers.

  67. Katz

    Re Akka’s rant.

    Where are Barnaby’s dams to be built? Australia is the flattest continent on earth.

    Akka’s point about the unfortunate consequences of decentralisation of control of inland waters is valid enough. But it was the colonial Right, at the Constitutional Conventions, not the labour movement, that championed “state rights”.

  68. steve
  69. Tyro Rex

    Akkers column is disgusting, the commenters, calling Gillard a “whore” and the like, are absolutely beyond the pale. Those people should be ashamed of themselves. The people down the street – some of my friends – will lose their houses to the flood and even our house isn’t completely in the clear. And here’s Akkers and his evil zombie army crowing about base politics in the most abject way possible. It is indescribably heartless.

  70. Tyro Rex

    Actually its worse than abject.

  71. Lefty E

    Piers’ contribution is especially demented since a warmer world will be a wetter world – warmer air holds more water vapour than cold, and eventually all that water comes down.

    If we fail to do anything about this in time, f*ckwits like Piers will bear a disproportionate share of the collective blame.

  72. Tyro Rex

    Piers also attacks the Brigadier, Mick Slater, because he doesn’t seem as “media friendly” as Cosgrove. I mean, really. His job isn’t to be “media effective”. It’s to organise a fucking flood recovery operation.

  73. Lefty E

    Such subtleties are lost on elite media insiders like Piers, Tyro. Life’s merely a pageant put on for the benefit of their demented culture war.

  74. steve

    The Drift restaurant is drifting in the river.

  75. jules

    Tyro, don’t worry about Ackerman. Everyone else in the country is thinking about you lot in the path of these floods (and those already hurt) and wishing you the best.

    Good fortune to you, your friends and neighbours.

  76. Tyro Rex

    LE, the only pageant I want to put on for Piers is a proper Roman Triumph. Except I’m the one wearing the red face paint and he’s the one dragged in chains in front of my chariot to the garrotte at the base of the Capitoline.

  77. Tyro Rex

    Sorry that was a bit intemperate but he should be put into stocks in Queen St mall and pelted with rotten vegetables.

  78. Brian

    Slater, seems sharp and business-like. He’ll do me.

    Katz @ 112 on dams, there are no more good dam sites in SEQ or the Condamine-Balonne, as far as I know. In the Fitzroy there are dam sites at Nathan Gorge (near Cracow, google or go here and zoom out) and on the Mackenzie River, but I’d be astonished if they have more than a marginal mitigation effect with rain like we’ve had.

    There are potential sites in the coastal streams and in NQ but not, I think, with any serious mitigation potential.

  79. CJ Morgan

    Further to Paul’s comment at #108, the New England Highway is now open from Warwick to the border, with some single lane sections. The problem would be getting through Warwick, which is isolated from all directions.

    I think Paul meant the Gwydir Highway from Grafton to Glen Innes, but the Bruxner is also cut between Casino and Tenterfield, and also west of Tenterfield at Mingoola. Not sure about getting from Tenterfield to Glen Innes.

    I agree that nobody should be travelling anywhere by road in this area unless they really have to.

  80. Paul Norton

    The other thing to say about creatures like Akerman is that their advocacy of climate denialism is helping to bring about a situation where Brisbane’s expected flood peak over the next day or so will become the new “normal” due to sea level rise.

  81. Paul Norton
  82. Paul Norton

    In Brisbane the busway system and the rail network will start closing down between midday and 1pm this afternoon. The advice is that if you need to catch a bus or train, decide to do it before noon.

  83. Brian

    In Brisbane the power is being cut off in certain suburbs.

  84. Brian

    A business in Woolloongabba has just had to sandbag their business a second time. Some #^&*%@$! nicked the first lot!

  85. myriad74

    Fantastic effort, well done Mark. Greens staff are using this and putting it out there on FB

  86. Cuppa

    Is Their ABC playing politics with the floods? Poster, Dee, at Poll Bludger, Wednesday, January 12, 2011 at 11:59 am:

    Did anyone notice how the ABC edited the Rabbott’s speech on Qld floods?
    They cut all the vitriolic politicking out but left in the part when he states that now is not the time for politics.
    Talk about a protected species!


  87. Paul Norton

    I’m off home and can’t say when I’ll reappear. Good luck everyone!

  88. Muuske

    @Cuppa: You think they were trying to tell HIM something? I saw the uncut version and was disgusted. The man has no sense of propriety; no feeling or sensitivity to what can be said in certain circumstances. I’m glad he’s not a surgeon!

  89. Fine

    Good luck to you Paul and all the other Quincelanders.

  90. AT

    Are trains running between the Gold Coast and Brisane?

  91. jane

    I couldn’t help myself and posted 2 links on Pies apology for an article, detailing the amount of money already allocated to flood victims in Qld.

    Probably never make it out of moderation, though.

    The OO, of all places had published an article which said that WA flood victims would receive the same amount of compensation as their Qld counterparts. It’s bizarre in WA at the moment, though-floods, drought and fires.

    It’s disgusting enough that Akerman and the other RWDB moral vacuums are plumbing the stygian depths to politicise such a disaster, but it’s even more disgusting to find the Smuggles Set engaged in the same tactics!

    Here’s hoping that the rain will stop soon and let people start to repair their shattered lives. In the meantime, let everyone be safe and well.

  92. Paul Burns

    CJ Morgan @ 123,
    It wuz the ABC got the names of the highwayz rong not me. :)Not to worry. Hope all is okay with you.
    And every other Queenslander. You are all facing a couple more really dreadful days and our hearts and thoughts are with you.

  93. Brian

    60,000 without power now. Remember boats and power lines are not a good mix!

    On flood level measurements, just heard a hydrologist explain. Madonna King could have nailed it better, but I gather the Brisbane measurement relates to mean sea level. He said a ‘normal’ high tide was about 1.6 meters.

    The rain in the catchment area petered out a bit earlier than expected last night, which has taken the edge off what might have been.

    On the Wivenhoe Dam, while 225% is full capacity, after 200% they have to open a suite of extra valves which provides an “uncontrolled release”. They try to stay away from that territory, which is why at 190% capacity they try to balance inflows with outflows, which is what’s happening now.

    Tomorrow at 4am and 4pm seem to be the expected peaks in Brisbane.

  94. tigtog

    Mark and Brian have just let the LP authors know that Mark’s suburb currently has no power therefore Mark has no internet other than accessing Twitter/Facebook via his phone. Brian is going to go and get Mark and flatmate so that they can stay with them and at least have some electricity.

    So they’re fine, but that’s why they’ve gone a bit quiet.

  95. Casey

    Quincers, you brave brave people. You are always on our minds.

  96. Brian

    Poor bloke couldn’t even find a transistor radio! Not much fun reading by candlelight. Also your fridge goes off.

    I’m heading out to retrieve them in about an hour. Even though it’s high tide I’ve plotted a route which should be well away from trouble.

  97. Fiona Reynolds

    Take care everybody in QLD – Brian you in particular, and look after your pore leg.

  98. Mindy

    Stay safe Brian.

  99. Sue

    Hi there everyone, Yes the Gold coast to Brisbane train is still running on an hourly basis. I work at a hospital up there so no other way to get there but by train. hope it stays open to get home again!

  100. habby

    During a flood situation, Wivenhoe Dam is designed to hold back a further 1.45 million megalitres as well as its normal storage capacity of 1.15 million megalitres. Floods may still occur in the Ipswich and Brisbane areas but they will be rarer in occurrence. Wivenhoe’s flood control facility, together with the existing flood mitigation effect of Somerset Dam, will substantially reduce the heights of relatively small floods.

    It is anticipated that during a large flood similar in magnitude to that experienced in 1974, by using mitigation facility within Wivenhoe Dam, flood levels will be reduced downstream by an estimated 2 metres.

    Full supply level or 100 percent capacity (in the water level analysis) is indicative of the optimum level intended for town water supply, and does not take flood mitigation levels into account.

    Taken from –


    The 2 metre reduction is interesting

  101. jane

    Be careful, Brian. Hope everything goes well and you return home safely with Mark and flatmate.

    I never thought I’d pray for rain to stop!

  102. rumrebellious

    The floods are on the news over here; well after the reports on the floods in Sri Lanka.

    Makes me homesick. Missing all my friends and family in Brizvegas. Hope you stay safe.

  103. Paul Burns

    Stay safe, Brian, Mark and flatmate. It will be an anxious wait till we hear from you again. Godspeed!

  104. Enemy Combatant

    Jane @ 135 sez:

    “It’s disgusting enough that Akerman and the other RWDB moral vacuums are plumbing the stygian depths to politicise such a disaster,…..”

    Piers’ brain-stem is probbly responding to the many boat-people floating menacingly across his workplace screen.

  105. jules

    Nice one Brian. Take care.

    You too Paul N.

  106. jules

    Brian don’t forget to keep an eye for potential safe refuges on the way, you probably won’t need them but its a good habit in those circumstances.

  107. Fiona Reynolds

    Not to mention critters like this, Enemy Combatant. But, sadly, I suspect that the reverse analogy that I have been toying with regarding this old tale is one that The Akerperson would find only too appealing.

  108. jules

    Thats a great photo Fiona R, cheers.

  109. Fiona Reynolds

    Hat tip to today’s Crikey, Jules, which is where I found it.

  110. mick

    Any news from Bulimba? My mum’s apartment is in Waterline Crescent.

    Not such a good street name today.

  111. Wantok

    Just heard Anna Bligh’s latest community briefing; she is growing in stature as a true leader able to take effective, competent and compassionate control when the situation demands.
    Well done Anna.

  112. Hal9000

    I hate to interrupt the ‘Aussie Spirit in the Face of Disaster’ narrative, but I finally got out of Upper Brookfield today into Kenmore to try to bring back supplies for the beleaguered neighbours, only to be confronted with closed supermarkets, with odd-reading notices about how they would not reopen until customer numbers had diminished. Apparently the comfortably well-off, coalition-voting and unthreatened-by-floodwaters denizens of Kenmore had been bashing down the supermarket doors well before 0830 opening time, and had then literally clawed each others’ eyes to get the last litre of milk and loaf of bread. The supermarkets were closed by the police to preserve public order.

    I myself then witnessed a near riot at the BP petrol station – the only one open – where there was a queue of about 400 metres. The 18-year old attendant was having issues with the computer, as each transaction had to be cleared before the next pumping could be authorised and the customers were enraged with impatience. One matron managed to calm down a few hotheads by pointing out that no-one would get any fuel until the issue was resolved and that patience was the only solution. I was there not to buy fuel – my ute’s tank was easily half full – but to get cigarettes for one of the islolated addicts at Upper Brookfield. As I observed the scene I started to take note of the purchases being made by the enraged queuers. $40,, $45, $35, $40, $42… In other words, panic top-ups, not fuel that was needed to make the vehicle go. That Aussie spirit was in short supply in Kenmore this morning.

    This is a marked contrast to the scene in Kenmore during and after the 1974 floods, when the bakery kept baking day and night to supply bread to locals, allowing unaffected customers a loaf each only, with those collecting for isolated people allowed several.

    We are only one short step from barbarism, I learned today. If this is how people behave when confronted only by the fear of food and fuel shortage, how will they behave when the shortages are genuine?

  113. terangeree

    Floodwaters in East Brisbane (Stanley Street East) are at about the level of the 1970 and 1972 floods.

    Power has been cut off.

  114. Eric Sykes


    Brisbane River Walk too dangerous and will be destroyed…this is the river walk that uncle Jim Sorely built…right across the front of all the rich people who opposed it cause it spoilt their quiet and exclusive use of the river bank, that they of course “own”. Being a floating walk, not actually attached to the “owners riverbank land” meant he got it built and claimed it gave the people of Brisbane access to their river again….irony upon irony methinks…the most expensive real estate in Queensland, mostly built since 1974, is now under water.

  115. jules

    We are only one short step from barbarism, I learned today. If this is how people behave when confronted only by the fear of food and fuel shortage, how will they behave when the shortages are genuine?

    Hal9000 thats why I left melbourne years ago, well one of many reasons.

    Seriously there’s only one response – teach your community resilience. That may be the only answer.

    You can take the survivalist individualist US mentality or the one we try to mythologise in Australia, and that for the vast majority of people in real shit when this stuff happens is true. You might have seen the results of both types of behaviour. My car only takes 40 bucks to fill btw.

  116. jules

    Add to that, you are actually living that behaviour Hal simply by helping out your neighbours. Good one.

  117. Fiona Reynolds

    Hmmm, Kenmore, Kenmore, why does that name ring a bell….?

    In general, by comparison to the Brisbane LGA, the study area community can be described as:
    • slightly older;
    • affluent with higher incomes;
    • higher levels of families (either couples or sole parents) with children;
    • higher levels of home ownership and owner occupiers;
    • extremely high levels of single dwellings housing stock;
    • higher levels of private vehicle commuting to and from work than use of public transport or active
    • having a similar ethnic background;
    • longer periods of residence in the same dwelling; and
    • high levels of volunteering indicating a strong sense of community.

    … not to mention an illustrious history of CONservative parliamentary representation.

    Didn’t that great Conservative, Baroness Thatcher, have something to say about community or society or something?

  118. CRAIGY

    On ABC news.
    A bloke named NORRY.
    Saved a lady by catching her on a flooded bridge as she floated by on her car.
    Humble as
    Gave her the credit for doing well in the situation.
    Thats an AUSTRALIAN.
    He should be on a BEER ad at least.

  119. Martin B

    warmer air holds more water vapour than cold

    Somewhere in the distance a science communicator howls.

  120. terangeree

    @ 162:

    That was at Grantham

  121. rumrebellious

    Oh bugger off fiona and anyone else doing political bitching.

    The supermarket referred to services a large area. There are places near Kenmore that will probably be under water like a chunk of Figtree Pocket that should never have been built upon, not too mention the further outlying area’s where Hal is which will be cut of from the rest of Brisbane and Ipswich. I’ve seen pictures of the bellbowrie coles underwater. I just read the Moggill ferry has been wrecked too by the waters.

    Class doesn’t mean shit if your worried about having enough to eat.

  122. CRAIGY


    My hat is off to NORRY of GRANTHAM……HAZZAAARRRR!!!!!


    HAL9000 is a dramma queen who makes assumptions about people he hasn’t met .APPARENTLY !

    This is a time to join together,not divide.

  123. CJ Morgan

    On the silver lining front: a truckie who can’t get through to Brisso with his load of freshly packed mushrooms called into our business today, along with the pub, shop, butcher and servo that constitute our CBD, and unloaded several trays of mushies to give away because they’ll just go off otherwise. He said he was going to unload them like that all the way to Warwick, where he’ll wait for the Condamine to drop and await instructions.

    No mail in or out of our town today, but you could get free mushies at the post office (or pub etc).

    A bit further down the road, the annual Deepwater Races are scheduled for this Saturday – one wag declared that if they go ahead they’ll be living up to their name… it has a reputation for being a heavy track at the best of times :)

    Not to make light of the catastrophe that people are suffering, but things like that certainly help me deal with heavy shit like what’s happening in Briz Vegas (and just about everywhere in Qld south of Rocky) right now.

    I was quite chuffed to get a call from my 20 y.o son this morning, who is supposed to be holidaying with me and his sister at Brunswick Heads right now (but is instead staying with his mum with friends at Mt Gravatt after evacuating their house at Indooroopilly yesterday) to tell me that he and my ex were going somewhere to volunteer instead of just sitting around. She has experience of doing the same thing in the 1974 floods when she was at uni, so that sounds pretty cool to me.

    Just so long as he doesn’t end up a social worker… just kidding :)

    Despite being cut off from anywhere for a couple of days, we’re probably in the best part of Southern Qld to be right now. At least we have fruit and vegies in the garden, eggs from the chooks, and more flour, rice, powdered milk etc than you could poke a stick at – we always do. The creek’s dropped and we haven’t even had a blackout or Internet outage, and no post means no bills and nasty medical letters… and no bloody truck noise from the highway!

    Our thoughts and prayers go out to all those who are doing it tougher than us.

  124. CJ Morgan

    Also, @ Paul Burns – no worries. How’s Armidale? I gather the New England’s open between here and there.

  125. Paul Burns

    CJ Morgan @ 167,
    Its been sort of fine all day. I did hear the NE Highway was closed at Deepwater and Emmaville as well as Tenterfield but that was yesterday. Things apparently sentled down in New England about 10 30 last night. Certainly, touch wood, there’s nothing to worry about.
    Anybody heard from Mark and Brian?

  126. Hal9000

    CJMorgan @166

    Lovely story. I saw a chap at Brookfield this arvo with the contents of his chest freezer in the boot of his car. He was holding up a sign saying ‘Free meat – flood cut off power’. It would have been fine if thawed and cooked. I have my own supplies so I smiled and waved. I remember in the ’74 flood five isolated households in my little valley were kept going by the contents of a chest freezer cooked on camping equipment.

  127. steve

    The QTAC office at Milton is flooded so offers for the University of Queensland have been pushed back to the 20 Jan.

  128. Eric Sykes

    @ 164

    “Class doesn’t mean shit if your worried about having enough to eat”


  129. Anita

    Mark, wherever you are, you provided a magnificent and helpful coverage of the floods.

    Where was Campbell Newman today? He seemed to be little in evidence as we went under. Not so much ‘can do’ as ‘missed the boat.’

    I think you should run for mayor, Mark.

  130. FDB
  131. steve
  132. FDB
  133. Fiona Reynolds

    ditto, rumrebellious, and I have witnessed in more than one country the entitlement of the self-styled ruling class when it comes to the possible deprivation of their comfortably full bellies.

  134. steve

    The Gateway bridge has been closed because of fears of damage from a 300m section of the riverwalk that has broken off and is floating down the river.

  135. Robert Merkel

    Fiona, I’d request we keep partisan comment to a minimum on this thread.

  136. Brian

    Anita @ 173, Mark is at our place. Last night we had a long chat and could almost forget that Brisbane has a flood problem.

    This morning we are going to retrieve his friend from Redcliffe. Not sure how much blogging will get done.

    The river seems to have peaked at about 4.5m about a metre below 1974. Not much drop off today but then it will gradually go down over 3-4 days.

    They are advising people to do minimal travel. Driving yesterday it was like Christmas/New Year holiday traffic. Quite light and no problems if you know where the trouble spots are.

  137. bmitw
  138. jane

    Brian, great to know you and Mark are OK. Hope everything goes well getting mark’s friend.

    How is the leg?

    All Quincelanders and NSWelshmen in our thoughts down here.

  139. Brian

    jane, thanks for your concern. I’m booked in to the doctor for a review tomorrow, but this morning, for the first time and in the ninth day of antibiotics, I think we may have it beaten.

    For those who came in late, I got a dose of cellulitis in my ankle as a Christmas present. It’s a staph infection below the skin and has to be taken very seriously. Just before Christmas I had a sinus infection with a seriously aching face. Three teeth literally ached like mad with reflected pain.

    There is an unwritten law that I must be in extreme pain every Christmas. Always happens.

  140. Brian

    Hal9000, the Cunningham Highway and the Toowoomba road have been cut. Not sure about to the south. It’s a problem of resupply.

    In Ashgrove we have the biggest Woolies in Qld, plus Coles and Aldi. Yesterday when we came through Mark went into Coles and said bread, milk, fresh fruit and veg had all gone.

  141. steve

    Just how much people are under-insured by will be interesting to see in the next little while. QBE was almost impossible to deal with when we tried to increase our house insurance last year. It was a case of talk to one person on the phone and think everything was sorted and then some other arm of the organisation would send out a repeat letter of the underinsured amount we were trying to get QBE to increase. This cycle repeated about four times before they finally got it right.

    [Professor Michael Sherris, head of Actuarial Studies at the Australian School of Business, comments:

    “As supply falls and demand increases, premiums increase. In this case demand is increasing due to the catastrophic events, and supply is falling due to capital constraints on insurers.

    Premiums reflect the underlying risks so that those with houses in flood or catastrophe prone areas will have relatively more expensive insurance. Recent reports, such as one by the ASIC that examined home insurance after the Canberra bushfires, show that Australian homeowners are under-insured. The ASIC report indicated that as many as 81 per cent of consumers have insufficient insurance coverage of at least 10 per cent for the costs of rebuilding their home.”]

  142. steve
  143. CJ Morgan

    I’d like to add my thanks and best wishes to Mark for the excellent coverage of the flood. Also to Brian, with whom I can empathise, having suffered a bout of cellulitis some years ago.

    Very painful, and I imagine quite debilitating if it’s in your ankle. Glad to hear it’s responding – as I recall it took the dreaded Doxycycline to get rid of mine, but I was in PNG at the time…

  144. steve

    There is a moderate to high chance of a cyclone developing in the Coral Sea over the next week which might or might not come down towards SEQ according to some modelling by the weather bureau.

  145. Fascinated

    For some time now Anna Bligh has been under sustained attack for her policies and actons. The rights or wrongs aside, she has come into her own. Very impressive Madam Premier.

  146. Eric Sykes

    @ 190

    Yes. And I am very disappointed in Julia, she seems so wooden and scripted next to Bligh, who speaks directly and sounds like she means it. Julia: drop the script and the fake body language and say what you actually think now and again.

  147. jules

    Honestly, its not really julia’s place to do anything. She has to be there so she is, but its only symbolic.

    Bligh on the other hand has a real leadership role in the actual on ground events, even if its as a figurehead. She has provided information, moral strength by recognising the emotions everyone is feeling, acknowledging them and then moving on to what needs to be done, in a way that inspires confidence.

    Campbell Newman has done the same, and even Rudd actually got it right too. For their situation they have all come across well.

    Gillard has to be there, to be seen, cos she has resources to provide, but thats about as far as her role should extend. Cos Bligh is the leader in this situation. Its her show and her responsibility.

    So Gillard has actually done well, and shown she understands the concept of delegation, and the concept of jurisdiction.

    Thats also good leadership.

    The shameful circus that followed Nixon after the fires was bad. No comment on Nixon there, just the media response to a disaster. But I think the leadership here will show themselves to be capable and in control, as much as is possible in a disaster.

    But its not over yet and people are still at risk.

    Good to hear Brian made it back. And Mark and friends are OK, take care out there its still dangerous.

    BTW This thread is awesome, and it really shows the positive potential of “new media”. Well done all esp. on that quick action to dispel rumours.

  148. Sam

    There’s no doubt that Anna Bligh has had a good flood.

  149. steve

    Tropical cyclone outlook over the next three days:


  150. Enemy Combatant

    Fiona Reynolds, funny old world orright, the green frog becoming helmsman to the serpent. Deeply fascinating is the process whereby some animals set aside their bestial “lifestyles” under acute survival stress.
    Perhaps practical applications of this phenomenon are worth an investigative squiz furthur up the food chain.

  151. steve
  152. Paul Burns

    Brisbane’s iconic XXXX brewery has assured Queenslanders they won’t let supplies run dry, despite going under water overnight.

    Water was 2.5m deep at the front gate, while the packaging plant and reception were submerged by about a metre.

    “The good news is the beer is kept in a warehouse at Hendra, which did not flood,” corporate affairs manager Leela Sutton said.

    “We’re looking at how to get products to flood-affected areas once the roads reopen, or possibly by boat.”

    © 2011 AAP

  153. Down and Out of Sài Gòn

    My wife and I have had a lucky flood indeed. We have literally been on the extremety of the thing.

    We were in Scott street, West End – the street off Montague opposite Davies Park. (I say “were” for obvious reasons – we evacuated ourselves and most of our stuff on Tuesday.) Water came up half way the road, flooded many of the houses and most of the backyards, including that of the property next to ours. But our backyard appears to be completely untouched. That’s just half a metre difference in elevation. If the floods had hit the predicted level of 5.2 m, half my house would have been under water.

    The luckiest escape of all goes to 6 or 9 abandoned budgeriegars left behind in a 1.5m tall steel birdcage bolted to the ground outside a mate’s units in another part of West End. The flood waters came up 70 cm its walls at high tide. My friend would have unlatched the doors if things had got really bad – and then kayaked out. I’m glad it wasn’t necessary.

    Be careful of looters, folks. There haven’t been many, but they are out there. Last night, some thieves broke in to one of the houses opposite ours. The tenants had evacuated the house, but left all their heavy gear on the verandah. Fortunately, some neighbours saw them in the act, and they did a quick runner; cops were called soon afterwards. I don’t know yet if anything was stolen. The landlord’s been told.

    Apart from feeling lucky, I feel thankful – thankful for the landlord who encouraged everyone to evacuate as soon as possible. Thankful to all my wife’s friends who pitched in quickly once we started abandoning the property, and got six car loads of stuff out of the place within a hour and a half. Thankful to Mark, tigtog, Brian and Robert M. (and all other LP regulars) for keeping everyone informed. And finally thankful to all people at all 3 levels of government working on the problem for being more or less competent. No Katrina for us.

    Be safe, everybody.

  154. steve

    For electrical checks prior to moving back into houses phone:

  155. steve

    Translink is now saying Public Transport will return to normal where possible tomorrow.

  156. Debbieanne

    Just as an aside; my d-i-l is from the US and she can’t get over how caring and supportive Aussies are, having barbies donating stuff etc. US is very different apparently. Suprises me, I thought that in a crisis a majority of humanity does the ‘right thing’. Oh well. Maybe we are just a little bit special.

  157. steve

    Highway from Brisbane to Cairns will be open tomorrow.

  158. Tyro Rex

    The luckiest escape of all goes to 6 or 9 abandoned budgeriegars left behind in a 1.5m tall steel birdcage bolted to the ground outside a mate’s units in another part of West End. The flood waters came up 70 cm its walls at high tide. My friend would have unlatched the doors if things had got really bad – and then kayaked out. I’m glad it wasn’t necessary.

    Geez, our number one plan was to get the budgies into a small cage and get that in the car. Computers, photos, and other stuff after that.

    Be careful of looters, folks. There haven’t been many, but they are out there. Last night, some thieves broke in to one of the houses opposite ours. The tenants had evacuated the house, but left all their heavy gear on the verandah. Fortunately, some neighbours saw them in the act, and they did a quick runner; cops were called soon afterwards. I don’t know yet if anything was stolen. The landlord’s been told.

    Some friends far less fortunate than ourselves around the corner (Auchenflower) have reported that their neighbour at the back busted a couple of young guys swimming in their backyard claiming to be “looking for something” when challenged. Then they said something like “we’ll just go next door” but the neighbour made them come up into her yard and out onto the street. So lets hope these two contract some sort of poisoning for their scumbag efforts.

  159. Tyro Rex

    The luckiest escape of all goes to 6 or 9 abandoned budgeriegars left behind in a 1.5m tall steel birdcage bolted to the ground outside a mate’s units in another part of West End. The flood waters came up 70 cm its walls at high tide. My friend would have unlatched the doors if things had got really bad – and then kayaked out. I’m glad it wasn’t necessary.

    Actually just on that can you ask your mate when the water goes to to go over and make sure the birds have fresh CLEAN water and importantly – bird seed?


    budgie fancier.

  160. Tyro Rex

    If there’s no bird seed available then fresh seeding grass which can be obtained from almost any unmown street verge will do as long as it’s not been inundated. I have spare seed but probably no way to get it to West End for several days.

  161. steve

    All beaches at Redcliffe are closed because of debris from the Brisbane River finding its way there.

  162. steve

    Latest from Goondiwindi where the McIntyre River will be peaking just below the top of Levee banks between midnight and dawn.


  163. Fiona Reynolds

    ok, suitably chastised, rumrebellious. I am so impressed (but not surprised) by all the different communities gathering around. Which just hightlights the supermarket behaviour. Don’t know how or why to explain it.

  164. terangeree

    There may have been a run on bread in the supermarkets, but there wasn’t a run on yeast.

    I have now learnt how to bake bread.

  165. steve

    Tory representation at its best from Dr Flegg and the Curious Snail.

    [Dr Flegg has attempted to organise an emergency drop of essential supplies to the area but has so far been unsuccessful.

    “I have been fielding desperate calls constantly from people, the calls I am getting are increasingly distressed,” he said.

    “These residents are sitting in the dark, they can’t watch the crisis on the TV like everyone else has because there’s no power.

    “They mostly can’t listen to the radio, their batteries are flat, there’s no torch batteries out there.”

    He said he has made numerous attempts to contact authorities, the Prime Minister, police and Emergency Management Queensland to get supplies to the area.

    On Thursday night a truck arrived at Bellbowrie with only enough supplies for 100 people, leaving many residents with no assistance.

    “I just don’t think you can leave 25,000 people without food when things could be done,” Dr Flegg said.]


  166. steve

    According to the ABC, Police and the army have just delivered food the evacuation centre at Bellbowrie on the corner of Mogill Rd and Kangaroo Gully Rd.

  167. steve

    Essential food and other items such as baby formulae, nappies and pet food will be available from the evacuation centre from 8am today at the Bellbowrie evacuation centre.

  168. steve

    Apparently Coles at Bellbowrie went under head high water.

  169. Brian

    I’ve started a new thread.

  170. Melissa

    Does anyone know how bad musgrave road, coopers plain is? what was the water level approx if affected?

  171. rumrebellious

    Im sorry Fiona, just that’s near my hood. I worked with people who live there, alot of my friends parents live there and while I consider them rich, in truth, alot of them are just asset rich, having bought into the area when house prices were alot lower about thirty years ago. Alot of them can’t afford to retire yet and still work for their weekly crust. The nouveau uber-rich tend to buy the old qlder’s closer to the city.

    Regarding supermarkets; it’s not uncommon for a shop to be emptied if the load doesn’t arrive daily – they are meant to arrive each day. If for some reason they don’t eg. car accident or a flash flood (both happened once at my store), the shop will be surprisingly bare. And that’s without people preparing to be without access to their daily shop, let alone their local eg Bellbowrie, being out of action and people panicking.

    I’d be surprised if it wasn’t repeated at shops across Brisbane. Incidentally, I was told once that in times of national crisis, the army has contingency plans to take over Woollies and Coles distribution centres. Their supply lines are THAT crucial in Australia’s modern industrial/commercial food network.

  172. jane

    @210, maybe that was all they could get their hands on at the time, steve? And I suppose that getting hold of the authorities is difficult in the extreme with so many people in parlous situations.

    Hopefully, the situation will start to normalise now that water levels are dropping and delivering support to people may be less difficult.

  173. Fiona Reynolds

    Thank you for your courteous reply, rumrebellious, and my apologies again for my earlier stupidity. I was crass, offensive, and unfeeling.

    Mea culpa, mea maxima culpa (and I don’t even have Casey’s excuse).

  174. James Rice

    Brian at comment 106, thank you belatedly for the information. Now that the floodwaters have receded I’ve realised how little I really understand the flood-related information available. Eg, the mouth of Oxley Creek, which is close to where I live (well, used to live…), peaked at around 9.27 metres according to the Bureau of Meteorology, while the lowest ground level at the place I used to live is at 6.20 metres according to the Brisbane City Council Floodwise Property Report. The difference is about 3 metres, but the place I used to live was only flooded to a depth of about 50 centimetres. I have no idea what the numbers mean, but I guess it could have been worse!

  175. Brian

    Sounds a bit of a conundrum, James!