Thursday, 13 January 2011

Hello from flood-ravaged Queensland

Thanks so much for all the emails of concern for me and my family regarding the devastating circumstances Brisbane has been facing with the floods.  Thankfully, we live on a different river system on the outskirts of Brisbane so have managed to stay safe but our hearts sank deep witnessing what our fellow Brisbanites and Queenslanders have been through.....I've shed many tears.  The situation facing thousands is dire but the Aussie spirit remains strong in the face of it all and we will all pull together and recover. Our Federal and State governments have been amazing and are doing everything in their power to help ease the suffering and are also offering immediate financial relief to flood victims.  The State Emergency crews have been working around the clock and their efforts have been heroic.  Forty-eight evacuation centres were set up where thousands of Brisbane residents sought refuge as their homes literally flooded while the Brisbane River peaked overnight. The stories of heroism and loss of life have been heartwrenching.  Brisbane's sister city - Ipswich - also copped a battering and, Toowoomba, a city in the mountain ranges experienced what has been described as an 'inland tsunami'.  The residents there had no warning and the video footage was unbelievable!  The clean up in the flood affected areas across Queensland will be massive!

75% of Queensland has been declared a disaster zone.
Death toll is currently : 12 15
Persons currently missing : 62 but fluctuates
110,000 Brisbane homes without power
Major road and rail systems cut off and damaged

Some links of interest -
 We are glued to the TV watching the news events as they unfold and feel guilty that we are safe while so many are suffering.  

 My son, Beau, works for the RSPCA - animal shelter/refuge - and, yesterday, he went in to help with the evacuation of all the animals to safe areas as the shelter was going under.  Initially, he had trouble getting there because sections of major roads were under water so had to find alternative routes.  Thankfully, temporary foster families were found for all the animals and a large vet centre took some in too.

Last night, Beau and Reece were going in to the flood affected areas to help with sand-bagging but police stated they had enough volunteers for last night but more may be needed over the coming weeks.  The offers of volunteer help have been amazing!

Food supplies are critical and, even the shelves in our local supermarkets are emptying fast to the point where we are being rationed on the food items such as bread, milk, eggs, meat, poultry etc.  No bottled water was left on the shelves when we were at the supermarket yesterday.  Most of Queensland has been flood affected - farms and crops devastated - and this will dramatically affect vital food supplies and prices for months to come.

I was 15 when the '74 floods hit Brisbane and I remember it well.....this current situation is just as devastating.

Please keep Queensland in your thoughts and prayers.

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Sorry I haven't been able to ease your concerns any sooner but I had a stroke of bad luck when my poor old computer died three days ago and I had to get a new one. It has taken a while to set up the new one and install necessary programs.

Prior to the serious flood situation, I had done another art journal page complaining about the rain.....at that stage, I had no idea just how bad it was going to get.

On the homefront, due to the excessive rainfall and the new housing lot development behind our fence, we have still been dealing with water pouring into our backyard during the rain periods.  While this is a minor hiccup compared to the larger flood disaster across Brisbane, I'm all aches and pains right now because Aaron and I jumped the back fence two days ago and desperately tried to dig trenches in a futile attempt to divert water away from our back fence.  My back injury has flared up and I am battling migraines due to the emotionally gut-wrenching situations we have been seeing in our city. I'm feeling sad and depressed about it all.

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For obvious reasons, I haven't been able to catch up with blogs or respond to emails - a lot of which I lost when my computer died - but my heartfelt thanks goes out to all who have emailed me privately or commented on my blog. 

Again, please keep Queensland in your thoughts and prayers....as the flood waters recede, the hard work of cleaning up begins.

~ Love, light and peace ~

35 comments:

  1. I am relieved you and your family are okay Serena ... I've also had some trouble with my computer ... using someone else's till mine is fixed ... I am heartbroken by what is happening especially to my hometown of Ipswich ... been glued to the tv the last few days, just unbelievable. My family lost all in 74 so I can fully relate to those poor people, but things can be replaced ... life can not. We're okay up here ... Biloela has been one of the lucky towns. Our shelves in Woolies are empty almost as well, panic buying, it's going to be a long time before Qld can recover ... but WE WILL! My love to you and your family xoxo Maria

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  2. So sorry to hear about the devastation caused by the flooding. I hate tornado season, but you can at least take shelter. Flooding can come so quick, none have a chance to run.
    Here is hoping help will be there for all in need, and prayers for all who have incurred loss or injury.

    XXOO~~♥
    Anne

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  3. Serena, Queensland is very definately in my prayers these days. I watched news clips of that "insland tsunami" and was shocked by it's massive power and devastation! I'm so very sad for the people and animals who have lost lives or have been displaced.

    Our thoughts are with you and the rest of Brisbane and Queensland and I truly hope that this tragedy ends soon. Please take care of yourself.

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  4. Thoughts and prayers from my land to yours. Massive hugs. How proud you must be of your sons being so willing to help!

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  5. Serena, I'm sure we all will keep you all in our prayers. So sad. I hope you back is feeling a little better. Very nice journal page despite all that is going on. Take care of yourself.

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  6. What a huge mess! And worse, the lives that have been lost and the people whose homes have been destroyed. I'm so sorry.

    I am glad your family and your home are fine. So very glad.

    Keep up posted!

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  7. Dear Serena..Queensland is in my prayers, we are watching here in Canada with gasps of disbelief...take care and know you are in our thoughts..

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  8. i am so glad that you are all safe! sorry to read about your back tho :/
    looking at all of the flood pictures and it is insane how much water there is. its great to see so many people getting together to help each other

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  9. Serena, I hope everything works out down there. I was watching some videos online earlier and I had to shut them off because I was getting so upset.

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  10. This is just so sad!! I'm glad you are not going thru the worst of it!! Blessings from the states Serena :D

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  11. I am glad you are doing ok. Sending prayers your way.

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  12. Oh, Serena, this is a lot at one time. I'm so sorry for all that's going on there. Please take care.

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  13. Oh, I feel so dumb, Serena. I never watch the news anymore, and I'm sure it is plastered all over the news here...I am so sorry for everyone there in this situation! I will keep all of Australia in my prayers, for sure. The food situation can be so scary too, as we have gone through it many times during hurricanes here...Is the rain stopping at all yet??? I am so sorry to hear about all of this. I know fellow Aussies have been talking about rain lately on the blogs too, but no idea it was this bad. Stay safe...(all of you all).
    Hugs and kisses to the whole family...Julie

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  14. As glad as I am that you and yours are safe Serena, my heart aches along with yours for all the trials your beautiful land and its people are going through. God be with you all!

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  15. Thank goodness you are OK Serena. I have been thinking of you and others in the flood stricken areas. It is tragic and I am still shell-shocked and heart-broken.
    My thoughts and prayers are with everyone affected. I feel helpless that I can only donate money. This will be a mammoth cleanup and recovery time in the months to come.
    Another test for the great Aussie spirit which we will come through together.
    Stay safe
    Lee:)

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  16. OMG!!! Serena, I had no idea things were this bad over there. I just sat and looked at all the links you had on your blog plus more. I am really out of touch when I don't watch the news. OMG!!! I am so glad you guys are okay! I hope you have enough food and supplies to last you. My heart goes out to all those many people. Floods are so horrible to clean up after. (We have them up here, too.) I am just in shock. I am so grateful that you are all okay. I'm glad the boys were volunteering to sandbag. Imagine what you might be dealing with right now if the owner hadn't worked on fixing the yard! Stay safe and let us know how you are. My prayers are with you all!!

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  17. Dearest Serena...My prayers are with you and all that are suffering there. The human spirit is magnificent and it is wonderful that everyone pulls together to help.
    With love...

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  18. Dear Serena, glad to hear that you are well. The news of the floods certainly is unbelievable. Your country seems to have a much better infrastructure for such national disasters. I know it is quite distressing to see all that is going on around you. I pray that the waters will recede very soon and rebuilding lives and homes can begin.

    I love your sketches. My hubby turned 52 this month. Good luck with the self-portraits. Best wishes, Tammy

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  19. We have all the sad news on TV over here too, Serena. ABC has a special programme aired over here continuously, so we know how devastating it has been.

    Our prayers go for you and your family's safety and those in the affected areas.

    So sorry to hear about your migraine coming back. Please stay safe and take care.

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  20. Serena, I'm so relieved to hear you are all safe. I was worried that you hadn't posted on the blog. I really can't believe what I'm seeing on the news, it's just so horrific it's hard to take in - what you might expect in Bangladesh, not Brisbane!

    I know this will sound mean, but try not to worry too much about others if it is making you ill. You have to look after yourself and your family, keep healthy, and do what you can and not worry about events out of your control. I very much hope this is over soon, and so glad you are all OK. Take care.

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  21. Oh my Sereana--sometimes Mother Nature can be very harsh. I hope that all goes well, and that you keep us posted.

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  22. I'm so sorry. I'm glad you updated. How horrible. :( I hope everything clears up soon and all those people are found. So sad and scary.

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  23. You Serena, your family, friends and fellow Australians have not left my prayers for a minute. I cannot imagine how devastating this must be for all of you and I wish I could be there to help. I will continue to pray for your continued safety and that of your brave son, bless his heart for doing what he could for the poor animals.
    Praying each day for all of you!!
    Tina xo

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  24. Serena, my heart goes out to you and your fellow countrymen. I can't believe some of the pictures we've seen over here. It looks horrible! I'm glad you're safe even if you are a bit soggy from all the rain. I'll keep you in my thoughts and send vibes for blue skies and sunshine.

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  25. So glad to finally hear news and that you are okay. I kept checking every day! I'm following the floods of course, what devastation ...feel so sorry for all involved. So glad you are all safe. I kept thinking of michelle and the new baby and all of you having to evacuate....

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  26. Oh, what a terrible situation Serena. Even over here in Canada...we have been seeing plenty of footage of it all... it's unbelievable...
    I have to say that mostly I've thought of those areas as mostly desert and hot and dry... just lumped in with Australia in my mind.... how little I know in reality of most geographic locations..., but, I suppose it's not abnormal as most folks still think we live in igloos....

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  27. Thank you all so much for the overwhelming support. Your thoughts and prayers have been so appreciated. (((Hugs)))

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  28. Serena, thank you so much for taking the time to post this in your blog. There are many unpleasantness and tragedies going on in your life right now. I pray for strength, health, and safety for you. And, of course for those who are severely affected by the flood.

    Much love, Luci.

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  29. Serena, I'm glad you and your family are safe and healthy. It's so tragic when these natural disasters strike. At the same time it is a thing of awe to see so many people pull together to help. Please know you are in my thoughts and prayers.

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  30. Serena...yes, you have been on my mind...hearing the news...and wondering...I'm glad that you are alright. It is just so upsetting to see so many people displaced from the comfort and peace of their own homes...and unsettling. My thoughts and prayers are with all those affected. Thanks for sharing your insight.


    Carmelina

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  31. Oh Serena, so happy to know you and yours are safe! I had read your post and thought I had left a comment and now looking through them didn't see one from me. :(
    You are in my thoughts and prayers and also everyone else that has been affected by this trajedy. :(
    Love and hugs

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  32. I am glad you are alright and yet I am also sad at what has been happening to those who are badly effected by this nightmare, I also been wondering how you were making out as well.

    My prayers are for all over there and thank you for you for letting us know how you and your family is doing.

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  33. Serena, I have been thinking of you while I have been away for the past three weeks. Looking at the news and wondering how you have been. Just got back and looked into your blog to check out how you were doing. I am so glad that you are safe but so sorry for all the meyham and destruction the floods have caused. Hope the rain has eased off now and slowly life gets back to as normal as can be under the circumstances.

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  34. What an interesting blog, introduced by a thought-provoking photo. The unusual wall painting of the dwellings is
    also a strangely modern interpretation. Something like this hieroglyphic view of a park by Swiss painter Paul Klee, http://EN.WahooArt.com/A55A04/w.nsf/OPRA/
    BRUE-8LT475
    .

    The image can be seen at wahooart.com who can supply you with a canvas print of it.

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