First is was Rockhampton, then on Monday it was Toowoomba. Today the floods in Queensland have inundated Ipswich, and they are tipped to peak in Brisbane tomorrow.
Brisbane is already under siege. We had an e-mail from one of the whanau last night, who used to work at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC). We saw QPAC when we were in Brisbane four years ago, and it is a long way above the level of the Brisbane River. QPAC is likely to be flooded tomorrow, which suggests to use that the damage in Brisbane is going to be on a huge scale.
The photograph above is of Southbank, in Brisbane. The last time that we were they Mrs Inventory and I strolled along Southbank on a sunny Brisbane morning, had a coffee or two, and left some money in the local economy courtesy of the markets. That whole area has already been flooded, and it's only going to get worse in the next 24 hours.
The physical cost will be huge. The human cost will be far greater. Already 10 people are confirmed to have died after the Toowoomba flood on Monday, and over 60 people are still missing. At least those downstream have had a heads-up to head for higher ground, and we can only hope that there will be no more loss of life in the bigger population centres.
Toowoomba is a sister city of Wanganui, so the devastation there is keenly felt on this side of the Tasman. Cr Ray Stevens has organised two appeals in the last four months (for the Canterbury earthquake and Pike River disaster), and is already on the job. We're only too happy to support his efforts. With the news just a few moments ago that the number of homes expected to be flooded in Brisbane alone has risen to 20,000, our Aussie neighbours need our help.
We can only hope that the worst-case scenario doesn't eventuate. In the meantime, there is wall-to-wall coverage of this catastrophe, and the Herald is carrying updates as they happen.