Our River City
06 March 2022 | Brisbane River
Jenny Gaskell | Wet - heavy rain system
Whilst weather and tide checks are not uncommon in our daily lives, I and every other Brisbanite have never checked an app as often as in the week passed. This weather was reminiscent of the severe weather He Who Hums and I rode out 2013 as river dwellers. We sailed out of the Brisbane river in 2019 after 8 lovely years under the Story Bridge and relocated to Southport Yacht Club where a Condesa safely awaits our weekly sleepovers.
However in Brisbane last week, there really was no point in the tracking weather, as the mass of rain hung relentlessly over Brisbane, surprising us all by the intense deluge and rapid rise of our river.
From our elevated inner city doorstep beside the Mowbray Ferry terminal, I watched the never ending procession of people flock to the broken banks of this raging torrent, trying to understand where the outrageous noise stemmed from.
She, our Brisbane river was confused and the white-water broiled through our normally tranquil waters. All of us disbelieving of the number of pontoons, boats, jetskies, trees, logs and horrendous amounts of debris tumbling hopelessly downstream hitting a docked ferry overturning it. The added shock of seeing the houseboat collide with a fixed structure and swallowed up whole before anyone could count 'one-missassissippi-two'. The real fear for people who might fall into this water-trap because the undercurrent was far greater than what we could see. Some miraculously survived, sadly others didn't. These painful reports nibbled away at each and everyone's heart. But they kept coming, trying to digest the carnage unfolding on the river before them.
By viewing it up close, it helped the inconceivable breaking news of ..."A years worth of rain in less than a week" become somewhat more believable.
Meanwhile our winding, snake like river struck random suburbs with venom. The cruelty paralysing the people not once but twice, even three times over the past decade.
So many residents were again traumatised by the rising muddied waters, reliving the nightmare that was 2011 & 2013 events.
And, as for the homes she slithered past without a sideways glance, well they lived in fear as well, simply because of the nature of the beast known as 'flash flooding'.
No one felt safe, not even when the sun came out..... and for good reasons. As it turned out, just when they had finally cleared their household possessions onto the streets, aired and cleaned their muddied ceilings, walls and floors the rain began again and neither the people or the river had had a chance to rest.
The nightmare continues in the aftermath, but in true Aussie style the strength, kindness and dedication of so many who join the Mud Army rise to the surface and some faith, hope and charity is restored back into the hearts of all.