Queensland floods – Wivenhoe Dam 1.5 months ago and now

I’m lost for words.

I can’t comprehend the amount of flooding that there is in Queesland at the moment.  And that residents, even in the city and modern suburbia of Brisbane are experiencing flooding, loss of their family members, homes, businesses, pets, belongings… 

At first I was angry, thinking that operators of the Wivenhoe Dam could have chosen to hold more water back in the dam instead of letting it out.   But then I read that the amount they’re letting out barely keeps up with the amount of inflow.  And that the releasing of water from the Dam has only contributed to about 50% of the flooding of the Brisbane River – the rest is from natural runoff from all the rainfall.   And then I saw an aerial photo of the Dam, and read how close it is to spilling over and how much water it’s holding now.  And realised that it’s just this “little” concrete wall holding back a massive amount of water from causing even more catastrophic damage.

Here’s a photo of the Wivenhoe at 100% capacity back on 30 November 2010:

[From http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/wet-spring-turns-to-soggy-summer/story-e6freomx-1225963595192]

And here’s a photo of the Wivenhoe at 190% capacity, I assume taken days ago:

[From http://www.smh.com.au/environment/weather/turning-down-the-volume-trying-to-control-the-vast-amount-of-floodwater-20110112-19np9.html]

Just looking at the height of the water on those incoming walls, and the grasslands to the right all underwater, plus imagining the weight of all that water on that wall, just puts into perspective how much the dam is doing now and how much rain has fallen so far.

Thanks to the prolification of digital cameras, the internet and social networks like Twitter (search for #qldfloods), personal photos and stories are all over the web.   The more I read of people’s loss, the more saddened and helpless I feel.

How can we help?

Pray for all the people affected and donate money.

For now, donate money to the Queensland Premiere’s Queensland Flood Appeal (http://www.qld.gov.au/floods/donate.html) or Lifeline’s Queensland Flood Appeal (http://www.gofundraise.com.au/DonationPage.aspx?eid=585&cid=280).


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