I’ve decided to change things up a little bit since I haven’t posted for so long…stand by – there will be quite a few posts coming in the next few days. I’ll put up Winder and Iris’ wedding photos and slideshow up in a little bit as well as some “non-event” posts, mainly to review some of my film cameras and other gear…there doesn’t seem to be that much info on the interwebs so I figure why not. Anyway, enough of that – here is their sneek peek. From now on I’ll post up sneek peeks like this. It looks a little more presentable even as a standalone picture…It also beautifully condenses the posts into a more managable scroll range. Let me know what you think – good or bad
This was the view from my office yesterday afternoon.
but lets start from the beginning, shall we? Ok, I’ll tell it how it is.
This is NOT some heroic rescue story. This is simply how I saw it. My account of what happened.
A bit of background for those NOT living in Toowoomba/QLD/Australia. Toowoomba is a city perched on a hill, 700m above sea level and I was just telling my relatives not to worry about the Queensland floods because Toowoomba is *immune* to floods. Yesterday, I ate my words. Also, I live on the very top of a hill, close to being at one of the highest point in Toowoomba, on about a +-10% incline.
Went to work yesterday morning, it was drizzling. Not the most normal of mornings but judging from the weather this past couple of weeks, nothing out of the ordinary.
Went back for lunch around 12.45pm – heavy rain.
At 1.30pm, I left for Noodle Box in Westridge to buy some lunch for Leon. I noticed that my garden was already flooded and at that point in time I remember thinking that it was pretty funny. I took one look outside and was greeted with this site:
Remember this is pretty much close to one of the highest points in Toowoomba, about 3/4 way up on a steep incline. That opposite side has NEVER had water running down it, so to have it fly over the curb like a wave is crazy. As I reversed down the driveway, the water splashed over my bonnet for the first time.
Headed to Westridge and parked right on the corner closest to shelter. I had an umbrella in the passenger seat but figured I’d make the one meter without getting drenched. I was wrong. I remember stepping out and noticing that the water was about an inch high. Why did I take notice? -because I was wearing my new leather shoes
3 minutes later, I walked out with my order and it was like a beach. Water gushing out of the drainpipes and drains didn’t help. When I got to my car the water rushed into my shoes (almost four inches).
Time from office to home for lunch: 10mins. It took me 30 minutes + major detours to get back to the office as I figured some places would be worse off than others. I later found out that I was right as the road that I was suppose to take has a steep incline and at about the same time I decided to take “the scenic route” a similiar sized car to mine tried to climb it (opposite direction from where I was heading) and ended up bogging down on the spot with water rushing over the bonnet. *phew*. As I drove down West Street, I followed a 4×4 pickup going not more than 20kmh. Now, there are small side streets that run into West Street every 50 meters or so. Everytime I saw that pickup go past one you could see the water slam into its sides. I only prayed that he wouldn’t stop because I had a feeling the water was at around the height of the car exhaust and didn’t want to let go of the accelerator. I followed the highest roads I knew and passed a number of cars that had simply bogged down in the middle of the road and finally made it back.
When the rain stopped, I took my camera and walked outside to have a look. As the fog cleared up I could see the worst of it in the distance. (see first photo). I strolled down to have a closer look. I was greeted with a torrent of a current running through the road effectively splitting the entire city into East and West (below picture taken facing dead East).
After a couple of morons tried to go through it failed, officials came to seal off the road and traffic got rerouted away. As I turned the corner I noticed Goggs Street in the distance…
Only later did I realize that the reason the current was so strong was because the place in the picture below acted as a Delta where all the water from the higher grounds in the South side merged and ravaged the CBD (Central Business District) tearing apart everything in it’s path.
Even with water all over the place the water level wasn’t at its highest. At this point it is at about the height of a car tire. A couple of minutes later and its up again. Now its about as high as the button you press for the green man on a pedestrian crossing.
Of course there were the usual a bunch of people taking photos and videos. I’m all for that but why walk into the water? Remember how I said that manholes across the city have pushed their covers out and are now overflowing? What? I didn’t? Well, they are and the bacteria from those drains are now all over the place. Very hygienic indeed.
See this bulge in the water? That’s coz of the two cars that got swept like a bulldozer picking up a person and slamming it into a wall.
If you’re local you’ll see them repeat the video of this happening…right next to Repco (you’ll see it in the background). Viewed from the other side of this shot:
Close up for your viewing pleasure (gotta love the 70-300mm VR lens):
After a little while I thought I’d better head back to do some work. I turned around and noticed something I hadn’t before: Prescott Street. It’s a little street running parallel to the flood that had its worst not too long ago. Have a look:
I went in for a closer look:
This is the Yamaha shop. You can see all the bikes ruined in the background…
At this point I had had enough. I headed back to the office after taking one last shot. It looks like he’s at a beach. On the left you can see some tiles from a sidewalk that had been torn out.
For the rest of the afternoon I got updates from colleagues including facebook photos/e-mails/videos and other third party info. So, after work I made it a point to visit some of the more severely hit places to see if I could get some photos of the aftermath. Got scolded by a policeman in the process – not to mention this very sad way to inaugurate my new shoes – by walking through dirt and mud!
Car bumper with no car…
Check out this slab of asphalt simply ripped up from a road. It looks small bit its about a meter wide:
Towing companies taking advantage of the situation… AUD66/tow multiplied by… 1,2,…3000000!
See that blue Mitsubishi Magna on the right(top)? That’s Winder and Iris’s car…now flooded with water
Below is Russell Street, one of the worst hit streets which saw brand new thousand+ dollar sofas simply thrown into the streets. People had helped clean them up by now and lined them up along the sidewalk.
People volunteering to help clean up the streets as best they could:
These were brand new sofas and La-Z-Boys not more than 24 hours ago…
Dirt and mud littering the downtown city centre:
The Coffee Club on Margaret Street was one of the worst hit. Glass was broken and water pouring out of the cafe. I dare not go closer so this is all I have:
Sidewalks were all piled up by the side of the road probably to be put back when the situation calms down.
All in all it has been an insane day. I’ve been told not to come into work today so I figured I’d write this post. Everyone I know is fine and there were forecasts of rain today but so far so good. Let’s hope it stays this way.
Okay, this is a fun one…
…but first, an explanation for that previous post:
I have WordPress for my iPhone so I can update my blog anywhere (which ironically I never use). It logs in automatically to my account without asking for a password. The rest is pretty much self-explanatory. Aaron, in his not-so-infinite wisdom, decided it would be funny to post something while I left my phone on his table…bad move.
So, moving on, let’s start with a background on what “Serious Fun” is (taken from the City Women website).
Serious Fun is an exciting program designed to connect with women in our community. It evolved to meet a need that was shown through the Girls’ Getaway and Shine programs. Serious Fun give mums a similar experience of being touched by God’s love and being encouraged by members of City Women.
These two ladies have had a rough time these past couple of years (I won’t go into details) but Friday Online and City Women thought it would be nice to treat them to make them feel a little bit special. The real props go to Kady Berry from the Petite Parlour and Hayley Balingall from The Do hair salon located at 4 Russell Street, Toowoomba. They took the time out of their Monday (which is their closing day) to treat these ladies to a beautiful makeover for FREE!
Meet the ladies:
These are the shots after the makeover:
Yes, I do have some close-ups…
Kady and Hayley will be doing another makeover for two other ladies in November so stay tuned for that. What a great thing to do for a couple of strangers, eh? There is still hope for humanity, haha…