Last night and today Darwin experienced the continuous thunderstorms and persistent heavy showers which are a feature of the Wet Season. The rain turns everything luscious green, and creates nostalgia for the Dry and its continuous days of blue skies and sun. At the same time we feel our luck to be safe in our homes and neighbourhoods.
Today I woke early to thunder booms and lightning flashes and decided to get my run in while it seemed there was a break in the rain. However to many in the State of Queensland to go for a run would be a longed for luxury as more and more communities battle against floods, clean up after them, or prepare for their arrival. To give an idea of the sheer volume of water assailing the State is to note that just this year Brisbane’s Wyvenhoe Dam was at a low of 16%. Families had to learn to cope with severe restrictions on water usage. In contrast currently the dam is filled to 193% capacity, where 100% indicates storage of water needed for the city of Brisbane and surrounds, and the 93% indicates the dam’s capacity for flood water storage. With water levels set to peak on Thursday the CBD of the city of Brisbane is under threat.
Today the small town of Grantham was hit by a torrent of water seven metres in height. A torrent so powerful that the water ripped houses from their foundations and floated them away 100 to 300 hundred metres from where they were standing.
All Australians, not unfamiliar with natural disasters of fire, flood and cyclone, tonight have concern for those who have borne the brunt of this castastrophe and are struggling to accomodate the extent of the damage to lives and property which will continue for weeks to come as the water travels further into other waterways, other towns, and other States.