Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Brace yourself, beautiful brisbane..

They are saying that the floods that have recently hit Brisbane, in south east Queensland, are comparable to the floods that Brisbane saw in 1974.. Although there is a break in the weather today, which is expected to last for a few more days, that in no way means that the flooding will stop.. With the Dams at bursting point, we are in trouble!

Brisbane is situated in a cove, of sorts.. There are mountains surrounding us on most sides.. Just to the west of us is The Great Dividing Range, a mountain range which keeps the east coast of Australia separated from the inland.. From the mountains to the coast, which is only a couple of hundred kilometers away, it is all farm grazing land..
To the west of Brisbane we have the Lockyer Valley, a place that I have passed through so many times on my childhood summer adventures out west.. It is made up of many many small townships and farmland..

But what is most important about the Lockyer Valley is the water system.. The Brisbane River itself sources from this valley! So this is probably the most important thing to look at.. As of yesterday, the 11th Jan 2011, the banks of the Brisbane River broke.. Which means disaster is on its way.. More or less..

Flood Risk

The Brisbane River catchment covers an area of approximately 15,000 square kilometres of which about half is below Wivenhoe Dam. The Lockyer-Laidley Valley drains into the Brisbane River just downstream of Wivenhoe Dam near Lowood. The second major tributary, the Bremer River, flows into the Brisbane River at Moggill. Heavy rains in these areas can cause severe flooding of rural districts in the Lockyer and Bremer Valleys and along the Brisbane River. Severe flooding of the Cities of Ipswich (refer to brochure for the Bremer River) and Brisbane has occurred on several occasions. Although Wivenhoe Dam significantly reduces the frequency of flooding in Brisbane City, major flooding can still occur.

Flooding in the Brisbane City area can also be caused by local creeks including Oxley and Bulimba Creeks on the southside, and Kedron Brook, Moggill and Enoggera Creeks in the northern and western suburbs. During intense rainfalls, the suburban creeks rise very quickly and can cause significant flooding of streets and houses.[Source:]

Brisbane to Toowoomba, with the Dam system in view..

If the weather doesn't ease up over this current wet season, well, we are in for a hell of a summer.. Our normal wet season, or storm season, usually comes into effect sometime in January, but this season it started months early, so what happens now? Only god knows..

In the mountains just above the Lockyer Valley, there is a city known by the name of Toowoomba.. The city where my mother was born.. Although I would not call it a city personally, more a big country town..

Toowoomba, from Google Earth..

Toomoomba is situated on the Great Dividing Range, on our treks out west we pass through Toowoomba..

More to come.. The next post will detail the strange weather patterns that we have been encountering this summer..

In the mean time, here is an idea of what is going on in Brisbane at the current time..

BRISBANE'S Suncorp stadium is on fire after rising flood waters short circuited, fire-fighters believe, a generator box.

Smoke is streaming out of a second story vent where it is believed a generator lurks behind.

With Brisbane River having broken its banks flood waters have begun flooding through Brisbane city and right now the water level is about 1-1.2m high on the ground floor of
Suncorp stadium.

As yet the playing surface inside is yet to be covered in water.

However, streets surrounding the stadium have flooded well over 1m and close to 2m high.

Meanwhile, the Queen Street Mall has been locked-down as shops and restaurants prepare for the flood

Shops, including Myer and other major chains, have put sandbags out and boarded up their entrances.

The Regatta Hotel has already been flooded as they prepare for a scenario similar to the 1974 floods when the entire first floor was under water.[Source:]

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