Monday, January 24, 2011
I just heard on our (Australian) news that Qantas(the Aussie international airline) has a deal that Americans can fly FREE to Western Australia (Perth or Broome ) to then travel anywhere within Australia!!
I have no idea of the conditions or details - just that this is available!!
Come-on down-under!! This could be your chance!!
Contact Qantas for details!!
This link might help you understand more
Sunday, January 16, 2011
Salvation Saturday and Sister Suburb Sunday!!
This blog, and the pictures in it, give me great pride in my fellow Queenslanders and Australians. I wasn’t going to write more on the floods here – but the world needs to know – that we are already bouncing back – “the weather may break our hearts but it will never break our spirit!!”
On Salvation Saturday – the Saturday after the floods in Brisbane – the Council asked for people to help clean up.
They were over-whelmed by the response – estimates range from 35,000 to 60,000 people turned up to registration points – and were briefed on what they were to do and what to take care of, and where they were being sent, then were bussed out to all the areas that had been flooded. They worked in 2 shifts, morning and afternoon.
From the air it looked likes swarms of ants descending on the city
They were supposed to register and show photo ID – as a form of control as they were going into strangers houses, businesses and private property to clean up, however twice the number that registered also turned up to help!!
They stripped houses of spoiled things, hosed off things they could save, cleaned sporting areas, child care centres, schools, pressure hosed rooves, scraped mud off roads, cleaned out businesses and others even turned up with bob-cats and back end loaders to help
There were lines of trucks taking rubbish away – and all this was freely donated, the time, the equipment they used, the vehicles – everything!!
They were even showing Queensland pride – or maybe defiance!!.
As well a lot of tradesmen turned up to help, donating time and expertise, – builders, electricians, plumbers etc – all going round assessing houses to see the damage and where the owner needed to start on repairs.
Help came, and is coming from local to great distances away – I just heard of some wonderful people coming from South Australia to help – and a few have even flown in from overseas.
The volunteers were asked to bring their own buckets, and cleaning things, water (to drink) and a snack. They were told to wear rubber boots or strong closed shoes, long trousers and a long sleeved shirt and to wear gloves!!
They found rubbish everywhere – a safe on top of a pergola roof, and all sorts of things in washing lines!!
Even frogs that had got washed up were rescued
Everyone who can is helping in one way or another – some are even cooking BBQ sausages for the workers, some are feeding (literally) the workers so their dirty hands don’t come in contact with the food,
4X, the local beer company, took a pantechnicon (huge truck) full of beer round the suburbs and gave out free beer to helpers, Thankfully for Queenslanders who are quite fond of their beer, the brew house escaped flooding and most of their stock was kept away from the brewery so was OK. The main buildings, though, were several meters under water!!
The same happened on Sunday as well as Saturday and will continue all week at least until the work is done!!
It is strangers helping strangers, all pulling together to get the city cleaned up and working again!! And its giving hope to the people who were so badly affected and had almost given up!! Its putting smiles on people’s faces and creating friendship that will last a lifetime!! But most of all – its Magic!!
Photos from the local Brisbane Paper
Friday, January 14, 2011
On day 23 these floods seem to be over as far as Queensland is concerned, water is either dropped or receding fast, roads are opening and clean-up is started.
The death toll is 16 confirmed to date, but 55 are still unaccounted for.
75% of Queensland has been declared a disaster zone
A comparison of Australia and USA, with the State of Queensland defined by the black lines (its an approximation but gives a rough idea of the area that has suffered flooding)
86 communities were affected by the floods
Several communities have been flooded twice or even 3 times
Many thousands are in evacuation having lost their homes canters
The bill will be many billion $
Many businesses have been wiped out
The pride, spirit and unity of the Queensland people is showing through strongly.
These photos are from various sources – but show a different side of the floods in Brisbane and the Lockyer Valley that occurred this week.
Everyone pitches in to try to save one person’s things!!
Debris from the flood in the Lockyer Valley – a rail bridge!!
Queensland’s main wholesale market and supplier of fresh fruits and veges!!
Maccas is starting a new trend – swim-in!!
The clean-up begins!!
Road closed? What road??
Touring the streets of Brisbane!!
Sorry Fuel shortage. Back in 5 metres!!
Sign on door of shop.
For a high speed (boat) rally in this area
Dates – 11/01/2011 – 15/01/2011
Hours – 24hr
Promoter – Brisbane Sporting (yacht) Club
A modified sign seen on a road in the flood area!!
And – finally – “The little tugboat that could!!”
Steering the broken walkway between the pylons of the Gateway Bridge in a very flooded, fast running Brisbane River, saving the bridge and many other pieces of superstructure from certain destruction!!.
Our thoughts now turn to the people in New South Wales, Tasmania, Victoria, South Australia and West Australia who are getting heavy rain and flooding, West Australia for the second time this year.
Also to the people of Brazil, Philippines who are getting floods and Norfolk Island who are getting a Cyclone.
And to the many other communities who are experiencing extreme weather.
Thursday, January 13, 2011
As I go about, down town and talking to people – I hear a lot of stories that have come out of the floods!!
A few are strange and even amusing, a few are of tremendous bravery, a lot of tremendous sadness and a few are of the best and the worse side of people!!
A few are worth repeating here – but remember these have been told to me – all except the tugboat – I saw that happen on TV!!
Among the strange was a story to come out of Rockhampton –
A farmer lost a prize and very valuable Brahman Bull – washed away in the floods. He was very sad as this was his way of building up his stock again after the floods.
About a week or so after the bull went missing – he got a phone call – please could he go and collect his bull – it was grazing quite happily on Kepple Island, He was amazed – and sure enough when he got there – there was his bull calmly grazing on the lovely long grass – it had swum or floated 40miles down the river and across the sea to Kepple Island – an off shore island. Problem was to get it back!!
Among the many, many acts of bravery was sight of the “Little Tugboat that Could” - it guided a long piece of the River walk that was washed off and into the fast flowing river, down stream to safety. The walkway was at least 200m long and flexible – like a line of supermarket trolleys – and made of concrete and steel. He guided this structure down a very fast flowing river to the safety of the mud flats, through bridges and past wharves and boats moored with people on them – in safety with a tiny little tugboat. Had it hit the pylons of the Gateway Bridge it would have done a lot of damage and that is the only river crossing still open so was very important. He undoubtedly saved lives too.
Then there is the story of the woman in a food supermarket – when she picked up 3 loaves of bread, was told that since supplies are limited she may only have one loaf. So she started ranting and raving and took the loaves and emptied the slices over the floor and stood on them, then walked out, still ranting!!
Or the story of the woman going through the checkout with 3 trolleys of frozen and perishable items. They asked if she had huge freezer and fried space – she said she had a freezer but it eas nearly full and her fridges were full too!! So we fear half or more would go rotten before it was used. The mind boggles – by the way she lives in a normal type house with a husband and 2 kids!!
But to counteract that sort of thing – there are many of the good side of people – like the huge number of volunteers that are turning up at evacuation centres to help, the many people who are turning up to strangers houses to help clan up, the many times strangers have gone into evacuation centres and taken elderly strangers to live in their homes, and the mounting piles of household items, clothes and other things being donated to the evacuation centres.
But things are on the improve, and the sun is out, the rivers falling, supplies have got through overnight to our town. There will still be shortages for a long time of odd things – but the main things are in – milk, bread, eggs, etc, Petrol was in but fresh fruit and veges will take time to return.
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