Major rain event

JodieDownUnder Posts: 1,483 admin
edited February 2022 in Emergency News

The rain in our area started last Tuesday 22nd Feb & has rarely stopped. We are very close to 500mm (20 inches) and we received that on an already saturated landscape. A low pressure system formed just north of Brisbane & has been very slowly moving south ever since. As a consequence of this low, major flooding has occurred in many places, evacuations, deaths & general pandemonium. Emergency services stretched to the limit.

We are safe and although we have flooding around us, our house will never get flooded. I have spent the last 2 days with my local SES,(State Emergency Service) who deal with floods, storms & tsunami. In a crew helping community members with tarping roofs, helping Ambulance across flooded rivers to get to injured people etc. I clocked off today, so I can get home as it looks like the roads will be cut very soon. Crazy conditions, just need to be resilient.

this is a radar pic of the rain, we are the red dot!

This is our very swollen creek


  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,690 admin

    @JodieDownUnder I moved this over to the emergency news category. This is a big event. What a huge amount of rain.

    Stay away from that creek! So easy for the banks to give way.

    It makes you feel useful, doesn't it, working for Emergency Services. Makes me calmer when I am able to do something to help.

    Keep us updated as to what is going on.

  • Michelle D
    Michelle D Posts: 1,465 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @JodieDownUnder I love hearing about how you help your community. Please take care and be safe.

    I was unaware that there was anything that major going on. Thank you for informing us. That seems an unimaginable amount of rain to me compared to what I usually see. I know all climates and areas are different. How much rain do you typically see in your area?

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,604 admin
    edited March 2022

    @JodieDownUnder Wow. I had no idea!

    I'm glad that you have your wits about you and can stay safe even while helping others.

    Keep us updated.

    The kids wanted to know how much snow we'd need to equal that much rain. We found this (not clickable).

  • JodieDownUnder
    JodieDownUnder Posts: 1,483 admin

    Flood update, our Feb monthly total was 777mm, roughly 31inches of rain for the month, of which 650mm fell in the last 7 days of Feb. By no means the largest total from this event but you get the idea. Our area actually dodged a bullet. The low pressure went out to sea, just north of us but is gaining intensity and moving back to the coast line south of us, around Sydney(it will get a bit more media coverage when it affects the largest population, at least overseas)

    Our average rainfall is roughly 1250mm (50inches) in January we had had 233mm, so a total so far of 1010mm or 40 inches, just in 2 months! We are predominantly summer/autumn rainfall with a drier winter & into spring. Last year was our wettest on record 90 inches, so this rain has already fallen on a very saturated landscape, all runoff.

    To date, 9 deaths (mostly from driving into flood waters!! Never, never do that under any circumstances) 4 still missing presumed drowned. 1000’s of evacuations, total disruption to food, fuel supplies & many displaced people. It’s the least I can do to help my community. Like I said our area was lucky enough but north of us, some of the biggest flooding on record.

    @torey thanks for moving this thread, my mind has been racing! This has turned in a natural disaster, so the state & federal govts are throwing resources at it. It does feel good to help, I wish more would. Then I just read about the looting!! Where’s my gun😡

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,690 admin

    @JodieDownUnder I know just what you are going through. I'm glad your area didn't get the worse of it.

    Driving into flood waters is never good! Even if it only looks to be a foot or so, you don't know what has happened to the road bed below that. It could be much deeper or could have hidden dangers (logs, rocks, fencing, debris) just under the surface. That's really too bad that you have had loss of life for something so preventable.

    Shooting is too quick and easy. Looters should be hung, drawn, quartered and their still beating hearts fed to the flames.

  • marjstratton
    marjstratton Posts: 1,132 ✭✭✭✭

    Wow, great that you are safe and able to help others. Glad to hear that you got home ok. We had some bad flooding this fall with many people displaced. We were fine on our little hill. But still, one doesn't like to have ones friends and neighbors to go through all that stress.

  • JodieDownUnder
    JodieDownUnder Posts: 1,483 admin

    An update. Another low pressure system has embedded in our state & has produced further rain on already flooded areas. The capital of Queensland is Brisbane, they’ve had major flooding & the clean up is on. Brisbane is north of us. Sydney is the capital of my state, New South Wales & its been hit hard by the rain/flooding also. It’s to our south.

    As you can imagine, between the 2 major cities comes a lot of our goods & services. For a week the main hwy between the cities was closed in the northern part, due to flood water. The supply chain was greatly affected. Empty supermarket shelves, no fuel etc. The map below shows the area I’m talking about. I live just west of Coffs Harbour & the main flooding in my state was in Lismore- Ballina area. We’ve had another 100mm in the last week!

    Ballina & Lismore are just south & south west of Byron Bay.

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,690 admin

    More rain! Just to add insult to injury. I'm glad you weren't in the direct line of fire so to speak.

    I know what you are going through. I hope the rain stops soon so the real cleanup can begin.

    We got two of our major highways opened in record time but there is still one highway that has major washouts in several areas that will take months to repair.

  • Monek Marie
    Monek Marie Posts: 3,542 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Stay safe, My best wishes to everyone there

  • annbeck62
    annbeck62 Posts: 1,028 ✭✭✭✭

    Stay safe, I hope things start taking a turn for the better really soon.

  • JodieDownUnder
    JodieDownUnder Posts: 1,483 admin

    So far 21 deaths, 1000’s of houses, business’ flooded, with many to be condemned. Roads, rail, bridges wiped out. The devastation of livestock & animals is heart breaking. Dead cattle found in flooded houses, many swept out to sea. It’s mind boggling & so very sad. The Australian Defence Forces are now involved with the clean up in the north & the event is still unfolding in the south of the state. Drought, fires, flooding rain, add the pandemic to the mix, wow!!

    Dorothea McKellar in 1908 wrote a famous poem My Country. The 2nd verse is an iconic Aussie saying.

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,604 admin

    @JodieDownUnder That's quite a vividly descriptive poem!

    I don’t know what to say. That'd so much rain! I am glad that you are safe.

    We've had bad flooding in areas of my province, and some animals were lost, but I'm unaware if we've ever lost any lives due to flooding...although I think we were lucky in one of our last huge floods (2011) that none were lost.

    The province of Manitoba was experimenting with backing up & redirecting floodwaters (holding it back & forcing it through a really tiny space). The stack of super-sized sandbags they used were certainly moving a little with deep (15'), angry churning waters on the other side. It looked calm on the surface, which was deceiving. I found a picture. The bridge they were forcing water under is way over to the left and out of this picture. This bunch of water was backed up 108+ km in a wide valley over large swaths of farmland, for months, destroying highways, roads & changing everything underneath. That didn't matter though...its just farm land and rural folks can drive 2+hours for what should have taken 5 minutes. The city folks were inconvenienced by having to go slow through this space. Priorities...

    Most people really had no idea how extremely precarious that fence of plastic & sand was and continued to normally shop in & eat at the large mall complex that was in the path...a mall complex full of the usual huge & expensive box stores that should have never been built there on that floodplain, not to mention all the fancy housing behind it all. They were told it was safe even though fingers were crossed and stress was high by those in the know.

    I knew a bit more about it than some as my husband was working for the highways department at that point in time. Needless to say, we shopped there very little in those months as we did not want to be caught in the deluge if that blockage zippered open. It would have been devastating. You wouldn't have a chance.

    Two separate huge flooding events were almost back to back. One was caused by spring flooding. The other was intense rain in a very short time. I think this flood I mentioned was the worst one in recent history in my end of the province. The Red River Valley to the East had its worst in the spring of 1997.

    It will be interesting to see what happens this spring. A lot depends on how fast all of our snow melts. We just keep getting more and more. But even if it melts quickly, it won't add up to the amount of rain you've had in such a short time.

  • JennyT Upstate South Carolina
    JennyT Upstate South Carolina Posts: 1,273 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited March 2022

    It's crazy what's happening over there but I'm glad you're not in danger @JodieDownUnder.

    Please stay safe.❤️

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,690 admin

    Oh, Jodie. That's awful!

    I hope the clean-up goes quicker than ours.

  • JodieDownUnder
    JodieDownUnder Posts: 1,483 admin

    Blaze Aid is a volunteer based organisation, specifically designed to help people living in rural Australia rebuild after natural disasters. We are going to let the situation settle. At this stage it’s still too wet & there are many people who are homeless & there seems to not be a lot of organisation. Our Prime Minister only yesterday called it a National Disaster, more than a week after the main event, so now federal govt money will get thrown at the flooding event.

    We both have farming & organising experience. Jayne has 1st aid & I have cooking & herbs. We will volunteer in the near future. We have friends who live close to the area, up on the escarpment, which did not flood. So we can base ourselves there & help local farmers & produce growers. Even if we made a small difference to one family, it would be worth it.

    This is where my Ozgreen training will come to the fore. Our govt either can’t or won’t govern. So it’s left up to communities & leaders within to step up, become prepared, resilient & ultimately lead a better life. Thanks to my TGN family for your support.

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,690 admin

    Its the same here, Jodie. Leaders who won't step up to the plate until they have had days of meetings to "discuss" what to do. The discussions should have been made long before the disaster. Communities that were destroyed during the fires and floods have had other communities (often just groups of people) offering them support for the immediate essentials. Individuals jumped into action immediately feeding people who were still involved in evacuations. All this long before the government started talking about what services "would" become available.

    It has been 8 months since the fire that destroyed the community of Lytton and the clean-up is just now starting. Residents are still in limbo. No one knows what the future holds because the government stalled in its efforts and even worse, wouldn't allow people in to start the clean-up themselves.

    I'm a very impatient person when it comes to getting things done. We have a saying I put up in our fire hall.

    The best thing you can do is the right thing. The second best thing you can do is the wrong thing. The worst thing you can do is nothing.

  • MissPatricia
    MissPatricia Posts: 318 ✭✭✭

    We have also had a lot of rain. You in Australia and you in Canada sound like it is much worse. Really sorry for you and sorry that the governments are not doing much but aggravating the problem. We have had so much last year or two that our average rainfall stats were increased. Right now our ground is waterlogged. I have lived here since August 1986 and have seen flooding one year and drought the next. We had had quite a few years of drought, but now two or more years have been very rainy. A few months ago it rained so much that it washed out our road just to the south of us (it is a short road), leaving the road bed but nothing under it. A very young girl, about age 4, and a teen-aged driver were drowned. Our house is high, but our town has quite a few low spots.

  • jowitt.europe
    jowitt.europe Posts: 1,467 admin

    @JodieDownUnder sorry to hear all this. It is really dangerous for people and disastrous for animals. Hopefully the rain ends soon. Stay safe. You are doing a great job helping others.

    Here, on the other side of the earth we would need rain, but not these amounts. The fires start in the forests, the dust is all over. Fresh alpine air has disappeared. But all this is minor worry compared to yours