We’ve all heard the saying “it never rains but pours”. It usually means that misfortunes or difficult situations tend to follow each other in rapid succession or to arrive all at the same time. That has been true in recent years I have to say, but also it has not rained but poured quite literally!
It’s been true because since late 2019 we’ve had one thing after another causing stress, devastation and chaos – bushfires, a two going on three year global pandemic, the shocking and heartbreaking invasion of Ukraine by Russia, and a terrible rain event on the east coast of Australia causing flooding, loss of lives, homes and livelihoods.
This post concentrates on the latter – the weather event on the east coast of Australia.
Gympie, the Sunshine Coast, Caboolture, Brisbane, Gold Coast and many places inbetween. And now it’s down in NSW at Lismore and Ballina and headed for Sydney and surrounds. The widespread devastation is heartbreaking. I’ve seen images of people stuck on roofs waiting to be rescued, rescuers cutting through tin roofs to retrieve people from roof cavities so they can be lynched to safety, rescues from submerged cars, and much more that is very hard to see.
And let’s not forget the animals. They have been caught out too and many are not made to swim. I saw a plea for help today from Wildlife Rescue Queensland for donations to their Go Fund Me Wildlife Rehabilitation Appeal. That’s one way to help but I’m sure a quick Google search would find more if you are keen to help save our wildlife. I also saw this post today by Dr Chris Brown outlining some simple things we can do to help make a difference for our wildlife. I must say that the photograph of the drenched Koala wrenched at my heart. As an animal lover it always would, but even more so now that our beautiful Koalas have sadly been declared an endangered species.
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This weather system is like one never seen before. Here in South East Queensland we got 80% of our annual rainfall in just a handful of days. It was relentless and hovered over us longer than expected. Previous floods resulted from ongoing rain over many days or weeks. This one has been described as a rain bomb sitting over us. As well as rain there were severe thunderstorms thrown in now and then as well.
I have been very lucky where I live. We are high and dry and safe. I had a lot of worry about Mum over on the other side of town on her own but thankfully everything was fine at her place and she managed ok. Luckily I had been there just before this all started and had done a grocery shop for her, so she was well stocked with food. My sister is finally over there with her now (after her husband found a convoluted way to get her there due to many of the usual routes having road closures as they are flooded). My heart goes out to all of you who have not been as lucky as me. I am seeing it all unfold on the TV and it breaks my heart to see all the suffering and loss. But you know what warms my heart? It’s the smiles and laughter and humour and people getting in and helping one and other and the positive, resilient Aussie spirit that makes me so proud to be an Aussie and very proud to be a born and bred Brisbane girl.
I think that’s enough ‘unprecendented events’ (are you as sick of hearing that term as I am?) for a long, long, long, long time … don’t you think?
If you’d like to help out those affected by these floods, here’s a few ideas of how you could:
- Donations to St Vincent de Paul Society (‘Vinnies’) Queensland Flood Appeal can be made here.
- Donations to St Vincent de Paul Society (‘Vinnies’) New South Wales Flood Appeal can be made here.
- The Salvation Army is taking donations for both states here, with the funds to be distributed to where they are most needed.
- Shoppers at Myer stores around the country can also donate to The Salvation Army’s flood appeal at the checkout, as can customers at Woolworths stores in NSW and QLD from tomorrow.
- Red Cross – Qld and NSW Floods Appeal – donations can be made here.
- The organisation GIVIT has made a list of more than 68,000 items needed in the recovery efforts, with options for donors to send the items or pay for them to be purchased. The organisation is strongly advising people not to send unrequested donations to impacted areas, noting that unrequested donations hinder recovery efforts by overwhelming charities. Needed items include new pillows, sleeping bags, livestock feed, washing machines and a range of different vouchers. See the list of items and donate here.
- Brisbane City Council and Volunteering Queensland are calling for volunteers to sign up for the Mud Army 2.0 to help clean up Brisbane. People can sign up to join the army or register to alert the army of where help is needed here. There are currently only plans to establish a Mud Army in Brisbane, but Volunteering Queensland has urged people from other regions who want to volunteer to standby for further updates about volunteering groups.
On a lighter note, because things are feeling far too heavy these days, how about a little dash of young Judy Garland singing …. wait for it … “It never rains but pours” !
To my fellow South East Queenslanders, and in fact anyone along the East Coast of Australia – tell me, have you been impacted by this weather event? Are you ok? Are you getting help? Do you need help? Please do share your story in the comments.
Ciao for now,