Brisbane has flooded, if you didn’t know that, you’ve been under a rock.
We’ve been safe and high and dry – life in this corner of the universe is as close to normal as you can get.
I have lived in Brisbane my entire life – I love it here and the places, people, sights and issues are part of me. The city is an extension of my soul. Brisbane isn’t big, it only has 2 million people. After our whirlwind visit to Melbourne and Sydney, coming home felt like a breath of fresh air. I cannot describe how special this place is to live. Everyone knows someone – we are connected by less than two degrees. Imagine having less than two degrees of separation between you and your state leader, doctors, teachers, astronauts and more… Which means, of course, that we are a strong community, parochial as all heck and…. and the flood has hit the psyche hard. No-one really thought the flooding would happen again – we have a flood mitigation dam. So seeing Brisbane as a grey-tinged battlefield is painful. Driving through streets piled 6 foot high with junk – which last week were someone’s special possessions – digs deep and hurts. It’s not just the individuals affected by the flooding that hurt, it is the whole community.
I took photos of the river in full flood, but haven’t picked up my camera in the aftermath. It feels private. It is intense. No-one can truly understand what it is like until you see it first hand, or that’s how I feel. Realising that in people’s homes, popular and expensive suburbs, that the water had to rise over 8 metres to do the damage it has done is challenging. I still cannot fully grasp the magnitude and the devastation that my beloved river has caused.
I’ve wanted to help clean up, and finally scored an opportunity to do a really hideous job yesterday that I shall not be detailing to my mama, lest she worry…. It was the afternoon by the time we could help and finding somewhere to assist was hard. Groups of strangers have been knocking on doors offering to do the most disgusting jobs – mopping out sewerage tainted buildings, disinfecting and tossing out rubbish. If people cannot help, generally if they have children, then they make and bring food – there are literally hundreds of strangers supplying food and water to the workers.
It is humbling and raw. I am so fortunate to live in this community.
And that’s one of the reasons that I love Brisbane.