It has been a crazy week dealing with the deluge and aftermath of the 2013 Queensland flood.
Today we were finally able to get into town, rumbling slowly over roads with the pavement washed away, gazing in amazement at once green fields coated with thick black mud and debris.
Our little village of Allora was nearly surrounded by raging torrents and fields turned into lakes. On the outskirts, water was encroaching ever closer, submerging roads and yards.
On Monday afternoon we decided to brave the roads and incessant rain to see what we could see.
My jaw dropped as we crested the hill and saw that the normally velvety green Allora golf course had become a massive lake.
It was a strange sense of deja vu for me. My first trip to Australia in January 2011 found me driving up this hill only ten minutes before the 2011 Queensland flood left us stranded for five days.
We drove outside of town, stunned by the paddocks and fences and trees under water rushing so deep and fast it was only inches from swamping the bridge.
You can’t tell in this picture, but the water was rushing down the street like a river and I stayed well away from the edge. While the depth of water is damaging, it is the speed of the current that is truly dangerous, easily knocking you off your feet.
Our village park was downright scary with flood waters hurtling past covering playground equipment and turning the roadway into a plunging waterfall.
I was able to get close enough to take this video of the river rushing through the trees.
We stopped by the local market to pick up some essentials but were unable to get milk for they were all sold out. By this morning locals were lined up outside the market, cleaning out the produce shelves.
Before I experienced a flood I thought everything would be OK once the waters went down. I know better now. Trucks carrying food and dairy can’t get through because roads are absolutely destroyed, bridges washed out. The food distribution centers themselves are often submerged. Going to the grocery store today there were mighty slim pickings in the fresh food aisle.
My friend in Brisbane is having an entirely different experience. Since the power was knocked out in her neighborhood, their market had to post security guards and only allow 12 people in at a time. The line of people waiting to go in was massive.We’re hearing of water shortages and horrible flooding and I’m so grateful that my friends in Brisbane and Bundaberg are OK.
I’m also thankful for my garden that is producing heaps of kale, beans, tomatoes and silverbeet, so we’ll be fine until produce is readily available again. And after all that rainfall, our water tanks are full and we have no shortage of water.
Our farm, Citadel Kalahari, turned into a watery swamp, but I admit that I quite like all the little waterfalls and creeks and ponds. Although walking anywhere is rather precarious what with slipping through lashings of mud, it really is quite beautiful.
There are so many people in Queensland and New South Wales who have lost so much in these terrible floods. If you are able and interested in helping them rebuild, please donate through this link: Australian Red Cross.