Queensland floods: Eerie calm as Brisbane braces for worst

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

BRISBANE - An eerie calm prevails in Brisbane, the capital of the Australian state of Queensland, as it braces for an expected devastation of life and property through floods.

According to the BBC, the impending flood is expected to trump the infamous 1974 floods.

Queensland authorities are struggling to predict the extent of the damage.

The Central Business District of Brisbane is uncharacteristically silent and calm. There is a worrying stillness compounded by air that is hot and an atmosphere that is humid and stifling.

Joggers and cyclists can be seen making their way through the suburbs, defiantly striding across trickling water and intent on keeping their routine.

Among those in flood-prone areas, there is a great mix of emotion. Some are terrified, others are excited - almost all are stressed.

The list of affected suburbs keeps growing and has, just recently, reached 50.

Brisbane is quietly confident, but never complacent.

As the flood’s peak looms, many turn their thoughts to those in Toowoomba and Ipswich whose towns lay in devastation.

Among the missing and the dead are undoubtedly many who, only a night or two before, opened their wallets to those in the flood-ravaged north, with no idea the fury had already sighted their homes.

The city’s children, on the other hand, are relishing the suspense and excitement as their parents hurriedly check supplies and move furniture and valuables.

Older generations who lived through the ‘74 floods, like 87-year-old Newfarm resident June Parton, are mostly calm and collected.

But even these hardened flood veterans are a little nervous.

“”It’s all very shocking, just the same,” Ms Parton said.

Brisbane’s younger residents are also unsure what to expect.

The figures, so far, are grim.

Up to 40,000 properties are expected to flood tomorrow based on the latest models. Of these, 19,700 are residential properties, which will have flooding across their entire property, while a further 12,000 are expected to see water across part of their property.

Around 3500 commercial premises will have flooding across their entire property and a further 2500 will be partially flooded.

Another 2300 parks and vacant lots are also expected to go under water.

Police are still urging residents to stay at home, though only few need reminding.

With more than 2100 roads likely to be closed, most are content to stay at home and finish sandbagging.

The city is now well and truly braced. (ANI)

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