Archive for January 16th, 2011

We’ve been back out into the garden today for the first time since it flooded, it was too soggy before now.  Whilst playing we discovered this still standing in the ground, it may have been flooded in the garden but it’s still standing tall :)

Silent Sunday

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It’s been a long week here and I’m soooo glad it’s coming to an end.

It’s been a very wet few weeks here and watching the flood disaster grow in Northern Queensland was awful, then at the start of the week the awful events in Toowoomba and the Lockyer Valley occurred. Along with the rest of Australia our hearts broke for the people there, the footage on TV was truly shocking.

Tuesday the floods were suddenly at our front door, (well the back door actually). My mobile bleeped with a message to move to higher ground, evacuate due to flash flooding and then the phone rang. I answered and all I heard was an alarm and then the same message – evacuate due to flash flooding, move to higher ground. After seeing the terrifying footage of the wall of water in Toowoomba we were panicked – would we flood, would the house go under, would we be safe, where exactly would we evacuate to, the roads around us were flooded and closed. Coming from the UK you’re probably thinking we should be used to rain, but let me tell you I have never seen rain like that before! It was unbelievably heavy, I spoke with a friend (in the UK) on the phone Tuesday morning before the flood here took hold and we struggled to hear each other because the rain was so heavy and so loud! And the flooding came so quickly.

I discovered via social network sites that all roads out of my husbands workplace were flooding and so began worrying that he wouldn’t get home, luckily he did. I frantically packed a couple of bags with important documents, photos, clothes and such like just in case……… and only finally unpacked them yesterday! My neighbours gathered discussing what we should do, it was decided we were on a hill, the roads around us are closed and flooded so there was nowhere to go, we would sit and wait…….and hope. It was long night with little sleep but by morning, thankfully , as quickly as the waters had risen they were receding………… but where was all that water going? By the afternoon despite the river still being very high and surrounding towns still being flooded we took a drive to the local shops. We filled the gas bottle, just in case we lost power, this was still a real possibility due to the rising flood waters in Brisbane. We then went to the local supermarket to get a few groceries and we were greeted by empty shelves, bread, milk, bananas, potatoes and baked beans were all sold out……….. people were panic buying, “due to the extensive flooding around Queensland there will be no deliveries until further notice”, was one sign put up on an empty shelf.  At that point I was worried but not panicked I had food, bottled water and gas in my bottle, we’d be ok.

We tried watching the TV for a while but on every channel there was flood coverage and whilst we wanted needed to know what was happening, we didn’t want J to see some of the footage. He was already very anxious (resulting in a large number of meltdowns) and was convinced that we and his toys would drown and the house would fill with water. This increased when he heard the alarm and message when the phone rang telling us to evacuate.  Whilst out driving Wednesday afternoon we pointed out some of the mess that the flood had left behind, just so that he could see the water was gone. But it’s been hard and impossible to shield him from everything that has happened in Queensland and on Friday he packed a bag of toys for “the boys and girls whose toys drowned” and we took it along with some bags of clothes to our local donation drop off point.

Yesterday my husband went into Brisbane with 2 friends, (and again today), to help with the cleanup and it was then that it really hit home just how much J has been affected by recent events here. He didn’t want Daddy to leave yesterday morning and again today, all day yesterday, (and again today), he was extremely meltdowny and anxious, he kept asking things like “will Dad die in the floods?” “Will Dad be safe?” “Will he drown?” “I don’t want him to be in the floods when will he be home?” This continued until Daddy arrived home and was greeted with a cuddle from his son, a sign of his relief that his Daddy was home safe. Today has been much like yesterday. He seems happy with my explanation about how the water has gone now and Daddy is helping to clean everyone’s house and I watched the news briefly with him to show him that the water was gone and now it was very muddy. I watched him trying to process what he was seeing and what I had said to him and finally he said to me “So will Dad be safe?” I guess this is just something that we have to help him with over the next few days or weeks, we have an appointment with the child psychologist next week, (if it hasn’t been cancelled) so I’m going to have  chat with her too, maybe she will also have some ideas on how we can help J process everything that has happened.

It’s the end of a very long week, one that as been a huge mix of emotions – fear, panic, worry, tiredness, relief, sadness, grief, shock………….

I’m so glad that this week is over and now wonder what the coming weeks will bring…………………

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