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…as the flood waters recede


…the stank takes hold.  Being on the other side of the world affords me the luxury of only being able to imagine the stink that must be perma-sniffed into our family’s noses right now.  The kind of smell that will probably be imprinted on their memory’s for years to come.

By some extraordinary miracle no one in our family lost their home.  As I mentioned in my previous post, some of our family had to evacuate their homes.  When they left the water was lapping at the back door and there was still 4 metres of flooding predicted.  The water didn’t rise as high as predicted (thank goodness) but it did rise another 2 metres from the time they evacuated.  We all expected the worst for their home…but they returned home when the flood levels had stabilised and discovered the back yard was a nightmare but their home was untouched.  I am just so relieved for them!   A house near by theirs washed away with only the foundations left standing during the flooding so they truly were blessed to be left unscathed.

*photo found here

My sister in law’s business sadly didn’t escape the flooding (it’s in the shopping complex pictured above).  The family started the clean up of her shop today.  The water is contaminated so they donned wellies, face masks and rubber gloves and along with so many others this weekend piled their water logged and muddy belongings on the side of the road to be collected by the local council.  Everything is covered in this awful sludge.  It smells and more importantly people have been warned to shower thoroughly within 45 minutes of it coming in contact with bare skin as the water is contaminated with raw sewage and goodness knows what else.  People in the clean up have experienced eye and ear infections;  gastroenteritis is going around and general skin infections from contact with the contaminated water.  The heat and humidity I’m sure just makes the clean up that much harder.

It’s just downright horrible.

Our house back home didn’t flood.  Settlement was meant to be today but they’ve asked for a slight extension as they couldn’t get to their solicitor’s office to sign papers due to flooding.   Fingers crossed they aren’t stalling and trying to find a way out of the contract.   We are waiting anxiously for settlement.  Paying mortgage repayments and London rental prices simultaneously as a single income family of 5 is starting to take its toll and the end was just within reach when these awful floods threw a bit of a spanner in the works.

As a whole Queensland is in a bad way.  Australia is primarily an agricultural country and right now 75% of one of its biggest states is a disaster zone.  Mine’s are closed, crops are ruined and everything’s in chaos.  Queensland is one of the country’s tourist hub’s and I think it will take a lot of cleaning and rebuilding before any one will want to come for a visit (unless stinky sludge is the way to woo you).

I’m constantly thinking of everyone back home, its hard not being there to lend a hand or to offer moral support.


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2 thoughts on “…as the flood waters recede”

  1. I am so glad no one in your family was hurt or lost their home. I’m sorry for your sister though. I can’t imagine the stench from the water! We had a similar scenerio here when Hurricane Katrina ravaged Louisiana. It will take a great deal of time and money to get Australia back on her feet. I’m sure help, food and supplies are already coming in from all over.

    I know how you feel that you can’t be there to help. Very frustrating. I really don’t think the new buyers of your home can get out of the contract due to natural disasters. It’s not like you sold them the home in this condition. And damage to it from the flood is now their responsibility. You can in turn sue them if they try to back out. So far it seems a ‘go’ and as soon as they can they’ll settle. I’m sure they’re just as anxious to have it done and over with as well.

  2. I’m fairly confident your right about the house settling, I just have a few niggling concerns but I’m sure come Thursday we’ll be almost completely debt free (woohoo!). We actually sold for a little less then land value (out of time restraint…its been on the market for a few months now and we felt we could have held out and gotten a much better offer but with the Australian dollar so high at the time, sending pounds back to Australia to cover home loan repayments was killing us). The house has just been sitting empty since we left in May 2009 because it was in no state to be rented out (earth movement has caused enough damage that the whole front room wasn’t habitable). So its been a money pit for a long time.

    Ideally this would mean the buyers are getting a bargain and wouldn’t dream of pulling out….BUT….now everywhere is flooded and I’m sure there will be many people only too happy to sell their homes for less then land value just to get rid of them. On the up side our house didn’t flood so with Climate Change concerns presumably our land has a hope of not flooded if this all happens again.

    Thanks for the encouragement, with the horrors of Hurricane Katrina (I don’t think we even came close) if they’ve managed to rebuild and move on from it then I’m sure Queensland will get there too.

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