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Thursday, January 13, 2011

Brisbane: 'Horrifying' flooding set to worsen

Expecting Floods to be worse than the Disaster  of 1974

12-Jan 22:18  By Jono Hutchison
A worker sprays a message for Queenslanders on a building in Brisbane's CBD (Reuters)

New Zealand has promised to send more aid to flood-stricken Queensland as the disaster intensifies.
Parts of Brisbane are already under water, but the situation is expected to grow worse before it improves.

The Australian Bureau of Meteorology initially predicted the Brisbane River to swell by 5.5 metres by tomorrow - making it the worst flooding in Brisbane's history - that prediction has tonight been revised to 5.2m. The river currently sits at 4.3m above normal levels.

Even some of the swiftest on their feet have found themselves treading floodwater.
Overnight, the swollen Brisbane River pulled boats from their moorings and carried them away.
On land nearby, people packed up their possessions in preparation for floods expected to be worse than the disaster of 1974.

"Just protecting my dad's business, trying to keep the water out of it," says resident Emily Whitman.
"It [the Brisbane River] flooded in 1974 so the odds are it will go."

Brisbane club owner Rita Lorry says the situation is "horrifying".

"We're here moving as much as we can. We have a lot of people moving stuff this morning. We're moving the grand piano out tomorrow and then really we're in the lap of the gods," she says.
Daylight further revealed the extent of the situation.

New Zealand has promised to send more aid to flood-stricken Queensland as the disaster intensifies.

The death toll stands at 12 tonight, but with dozens still missing and more flooding to come, that is likely to rise.
Aucklander Brett Ryan moved to Brisbane just over two months ago, into a riverside apartment.
"I have river views, and soon river views from my front door," he says.

The Brisbane River peaked at four and a half metres today but tomorrow it is expected to get to five and a half metres, which would bring the worst flooding the city has seen in more than a century.
Further inland, in Toowoomba, floodwaters have begun to recede, revealing homes forced off their foundations, debris, and cars tangled in trees.

Further east, in the city of Ipswich, the rain stopped for a short time this morning, but there was still plenty of water around.

At least 1000 residents spent the night in evacuation centres.
Others packed up and headed for higher ground.

"It's out worst nightmare. Houses are going to be inundated and I'm just asking people to stay calm," says Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale.

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard says it is the worst flooding in decades.
"This looks like it will be the worst flood that Brisbane and Ipswich have sustained since the early 1970s. So this is a major flood crisis with loss of life," she says.

But Queensland residents know that the worst is not yet over.

In Brisbane, the waters have further to rise before they fall and when they are finally gone, the city will look very different.
3 News

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