Brisbane under water

Posted on January 11, 2011

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A month ago I stayed in Brisbane. Today I got the following unbelievable report from my friend Wally Wight:

Kjell,

It is very, very wet. Up until today, Brisbane has been relatively unscathed, but we have had as much as 110mm in a day and some deluges of 20mm in 10 minutes. Today, I went to work in Caboolture (50km north) and am now temporarily stranded with both rail and roads inundated. We are hopeful that as the tide recedes further later this afternoon, we will be able to get back via the highway.

In downtown Brisbane, the riverwalk around Pier 9 is already inundated and the low-level restaurants evacuated, with flood levels predicted to be about 3 metres tonight. At the same time, the flood storage capacity of the Wivenhoe Dam on the Brisbane River (built after the 1974 floods to prevent them ever happening again) will be overtopped (inflow from upstream is 20 times the capacity of the discharge gates). At the same time, the Bremmer River and the Lockyer River are in flood (the Bremmer by 20 metres and the Lockyer having wiped out everything in its path and resulted in several deaths) are joining the Brisbane River below the Wivenhoe Dam. By high tide on Thursday night (a “king” tide), the combined flows are predicted to exceed the levels of the 1974 flood in Brisbane which was the biggest since 1893. The room in the Customs House where we had the Brisbane Institute panel event, and the ground floor of the hotel you stayed in will be inundated.

We could say that the worst of the drought is over.

I’m glad I live on the top of a hill! Personally, I’m safe, but there is a great deal of destruction around us. And the tunnels will be huge pipelines.

Best regards, Wally

Posted in: Dagsaktuellt