The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

News from flooded Queensland

ronnie g's picture
ronnie g

News from flooded Queensland

Well you may be interested to hear from the flooded area of Queensland.  I live in Toowoomba where this week we have had terrible scenes of raging floods and loss of life, as well as destruction and immense devastation.  One of the two major creeks that overflowed and became a raging torrent is just 50 meters from my back gate.  In my lifetime I have never seen this amount of rainfall over so wide-spread an area.  I'm not sure that anyone has ever seen it in this country.  Toowoomba is atop the Great Dividing Range.  We have been in drought for the most part of the last ten years, however during the last couple of months we have been under the influence of the La Nina, a weather pattern which is a reversal of what we have been experiencing.  It is also a very strong La Nina and so we are having tremendous amounts of rain.  

On Monday at about 1pm an incredible cell storm broke over Toowoomba and delivered up to 150mm of rain in the space of a couple of hours.  On already rain soaked land the water ran straight off and into the creeks which are normally sedate and picturesque.  They suddenly became raging and deadly torrents, picking up everything it their paths and causing destruction and flooding without warning.  People were trapped in their cars, trapped in our main shopping centre, trapped at work.  Cars were picked up like toys and whisked down the stream and smashed into bridges, piling up on top of each other.  Within minutes, swift water rescue teams had their hands full as unsuspecting shoppers and workers were caught amidst the wild and deadly waters. 

The waters quickly raged through our city streets and into businesses which were inundated with up to two meters of water.  Everything was destroyed.  Many bridges, shops, roads, cars, lives.

Then the water began it's hurried and dangerous decent down the range on unsuspecting small townships 600 meters below.  I heard one warning on the TV for the community of Grantham (the hardest hit with lives lost and many more still missing) to evacuate as a 7 meter wall of water was heading their way.  The estimated time they had to escape was in minutes.  Another small hamlet called Murphy's Creek was also hard hit with major destruction and loss of life.  In both these communities houses were shifted from their stumps and smashed by walls of water as no-one has ever seen.  People were washed from their homes, the water moved with such power and speed.  I heard that night that twenty-three helicopter rescues took place that afternoon, rescuing people from rooftops before bad weather prevented any more such rescues.  It was heartbreaking to hear of all this unfolding in the valley below us after such devastation in our own town only hours before.

It's only Wednesday today.  So much has happened.  Our major roads have been cut.  Our supermarkets were soon out of fresh fruit and vegetables, milk and bread.  We take all this for granted.  And yet the wall of water moved on, slowing, widening, but not stopping.  It has caused major flooding and havoc, inundating whole cities and causing mass evacuations, including our capital city of Brisbane.  They are at present waiting for a flood peak which will hit at 4 AM in the morning.  My son lives and works in the area which is presently flooding, helping his workplace shift valuables and perishables to higher ground.  His friend lives in a six story apartment, where, because the power has been cut the lifts were out of action.  They were coming down the stairwell when they heard faint cries for help.  It was an old lady who had fallen, broken her arm and split her head while trying to negotiate the stairs on her own.  These two young men called for assistance and didn't leave her till an ambulance arrived.  I am sure there are many more stories like this to be told.  

I have only left my house once since this disaster as the authorities are asking people not to go out unless absolutely necessary.  I suppose I need to talk about what is happening here even though I haven't been hurt in any way or suffered any loss.  My whole community has been hurt, that's what I'm feeling and that's why I need to talk.  Please pray for all those who have been hurt and have suffered loss.  Thanks


yozzause's picture

Hi Ronnie g

Our thoughts are with you here in the West, It all seems quite unreal, something you see on tv from some other country not here on your doorstep.

I know when i was coming onto TFL this evening i was thinking of our Shiao-Ping who resides in Brisbane which is now getting those terrible floodwaters that are expected to flood thousands of homes tonight.

I joked with her earlier last  year that Queensland should be known as the state of high hydration mainly from the wonderfull doughs and breads that she was turning out that had a high water content as well as more rain than usual even back then.

My hope is that OUR governments get things moving and repairs underway, thats if will stop raining. we are thinking of you all and hope you all stay safe. 

kindest regards and warmest wishes YOZZA

caraway's picture

how heart wrenching it is to see the awful videos of your floods on TV.  I am so sorry you all are having to endure this tragedy.  It is truly mind boggling!

My thoughts and prayers are with you, Sue

RobynNZ's picture

Goodmorning Ronnie

The people of Queensland have been very much in our thoughts and prayers. The devastating images shown on TV have brought tears to my eyes. Sorry, for some reason I had it in my head that you were in SA, not Qld (let alone Toowoomba) so I hadn't sent a message.  The energy such out of control water carries down with it and the damage it does is shocking, I've seen it happen a few times in Africa, so really understand your need to talk. Even if we can see and understand technically what has happened, somehow it is is incomprehensible. Such widespread loss, it's overwhelming.

I emailed Shiao Ping yesterday morning, she responded confirming her home is on high ground. But everyone will have to deal with the consequences of the damage to infrastructure. The peak has now passed in Brisbane, however it will be days before the water clears there. Your son and his community will have a lot of work to do. 

Are you able to bake? I'm sure your bread will be welcomed by others.

Take care, Robyn


Daisy_A's picture

Hi Robyn,

I'm so glad that you were able to get through to Shiao Ping. I was concerned about her after reading yozza's message.

With best wishes, Daisy_A

Mary Fisher's picture
Mary Fisher

We haven't a tv but have heard BBC news reports for some weeks about the weather in Queensland. 

This evening I heard an account of a very long day's work by an humanitarian worker from a rescue organisation which, until then, had been the finest and most moving story of the conditions. Yours has added to his, giving a different perspective but making it more real than journalists can do with their repetitive and sensational reports.

Thank you for your post, I'm sure you know that all who know about it is thinking of the plight of everyone in the problem area. Having the bones fleshed out by descriptions like yours is a genuine contribution to our knowledge.

Mary in England

EvaB's picture

I send my best to everyone affected and am happy to only have to deal with cold and snow at the moment, normal for my home this time of year.

We have had floods, nothing like this though, over the years, and I personally don't like flat ground although it would make it better for gardening and so forth, I live up a hill, 300 feet up the hill, so flooding isn't something that would generally happen to me, heavy snow fall is another thing though and that can cause problems too.

The weather is in a terrible state at the moment, my husband called to say that on the Canadian news channel they were reporting that all of the Lower 48 states except Florida were having snow, even apparently New Orleans, so the weather is not the best this year.

Hope that everyone is doing the best they can and condolences to any who have lost family or friends to the weather. Any weather!

JimZ's picture

My heart and prayers go out to every one Down Under. I live in New Orleans and what the people of your area are experienceing is not nice. It was not nice here. I have friends that live In Mapleton, Queensland and so far they are all right, but that was last week before the last rain. Take care and be strong, our prayers are with you-JimZ

Daisy_A's picture

Hi ronnie g,

Our thoughts and prayers are certainly with you and the people of your district. I'm glad that you felt that you could come and share on the board. 

With very best wishes, Daisy_A

GSnyde's picture

Thanks for the report and best wishes for a change in your weather.

My wife is scheduled to attend a conference in Brisbane next week.  I hope (for the residents' sake and hers) she finds the region returning to normal.


Sabinka's picture

Watching all the devastation on all the TV channels, has made me so sad.  When your Premier made her speech, I cried and heartflet for all the people of Queensland.  My thoughts, prayers are with you during this difficult time and hope that the Government help the people of Queensland.


We had a minor flooding in Stockpot in our State, but not to extent as Queensland.  We Australians are strong people and stick together,  we will rebuilt and have courage.


Take care,



margieluvschaz's picture

You are in my thoughts & prayers.  I saw a story today about a rescuer having to choose between 2 brothers & the older one said rescue my little brother.  It broke my heart.  Please stay safe.  I'm praying the flooding stops.


ronnie g's picture
ronnie g

Yes, this story is true and took place one block from my home.  That young man showed more courage and heroism than I could imagine in that moment.  What an amazing sacrifice!  Yes, this story and all the stories that are emerging bring tears to our eyes.  The rain has stopped and the sun is shining, water receding, quickly in most places.  The clean-up will take a very long time.  Some of the missing may never be found.  But I spare a thought for those in Brazil whose flood crisis is so much more devastating than ours.  So much tragedy around the world; a good time for an amazing show of compassion and selflessness for those of us who are unaffected.

Aussie Pete's picture
Aussie Pete

To all Australians affected by flood and famine you are not on your own. Please keep heart as we all endure your discomfort. Our thoughts, prayers and help from your country will come.

Those emergency volunteers putting themself in harms way for others safety...........THANKYOU

I am sure the words from Dorothy MacKellar's famous poem will not go wrong here. I have left out the first verse and started with the second one. More appropiate words to start with under the circumstances.


I love a sunburnt country,
  A land of sweeping plains,
  Of ragged mountain ranges,
  Of drought and flooding rains,
  I love her far horizons,
  I love her jewel sea,
  Her beauty and her terror -
  The wide brown land for me.

The tragic ring-barked forests
  Stark white beneath the moon,
  The sapphire-misted mountains,
  The hot gold hush of noon.
  Green tangle of the brushes
  Where lithe lianas coil,
  An orchids deck the tree-tops
  And ferns the crimson soil.

Core of my heart, my country!
  Her pitiless blue sky,
  When sick at heart around us
  We see the cattle die -
  But then the grey clouds gather
  And we can bless again
  The drumming of an army,
  The steady, soaking rain.

Core of my heart, my country!
  Land of the Rainbow Gold,
  For flood and fire and famine,
  She pays us back threefold;
  Over the thirsty paddocks,
  Watch, after many days, 
  The filmy veil of greenness
  That thickens as we gaze.

An opal-hearted country,
  A wilful, lavish land -
  All you who have not loved her,
  You will not understand -
  Though Earth holds many splendours,
  Wherever I may die,
  I know to what brown Country
  My homing thoughts will fly.

Please keep your chin up................Aussie Pete.

ronnie g's picture
ronnie g

This poem would have to be one of my most favorite!  We used to recite it at school.  It certainly brings tears to my eyes and hope to my heart.  Australia IS an amazing country and I'm glad she's mine!

Aussie Pete's picture
Aussie Pete

I'm glad the poem has given you heart. I wasn't sure if it was appropiate. But it does describe our country to the very last gum tree. Regardless of fate we Australians are always the stronger for it although we dont know it at the time. 

2 years ago it was the destruction by fire in Victoria. They have returned are still returning in spirit and physicaly. I'm sure this will not be our country's last tragedy. Yet we still endure and grow. Please don't lose faith in yourself or human spirit to overcome natures challenges.

Our heart is with you MATE!!!.................Pete.

Mary Fisher's picture
Mary Fisher

"I spare a thought for those in Brazil whose flood crisis is so much more devastating than ours. "


This must be remembered. It doesn't affect our sympathy for those areas in Australia which are inundated but Sri Lanka and Brazil had so little before their floods.  And there's still Haiti ... :-( ... and many other places in the world where people have suffered. Even here in England we've had much smaller but no less devastating floods. And we feel so helpless ...

Aussie Pete's picture
Aussie Pete

Dear Mary,

You are so's just that when something like this happens on a grand scale in your own back yard it is so easy to suffer from tunnell vision. Especially when you are not use to it like other countries. Please don't feel helpless, just say a loving positive prayer for the world as a whole.................Pete