QUEENSLAND FLOOD CRISIS - JANUARY 2011
Beginning in December 2010, primarily in the state of Queensland including its capital city, Brisbane. The floods have forced the evacuation of thousands of people from towns and cities. At least 70 towns and over 200,000 people have been affected. Damage initially was estimated at around A$1 billion.
The floods were a result of heavy precipitation caused by Tropical Cyclone Tasha that combined with a trough during the peak of a La Niña event. The 2010 La Niña weather pattern, which brings wetter conditions to eastern Australia, was the strongest since 1973. This La Nina event caused a prolonged period of heavy rainfall over Queensland river catchments. December 2010 was Queensland's wettest on record, with record high rainfall totals set in 107 locations for the month. The state average rainfall level of 209.45mm far exceeded the previous record of 200.1mm set in 1975.
The city of Toowoomba, in the Darling Downs, was hit by flash flooding after more than 160 millimetres of rain fell in 36 hours to 10 January 2011, this event caused four deaths in a matter of hours. Toowoomba sits on the watershed of the Great Dividing Range, some 700 metres (2,300 ft) above sea level. A three week period where it had rained on all but three days had left the soil around Toowoomba saturated and when a line of storms hit the city on 10 January, the resulting torrential rain rapidly ran off down gullies and streets. The central business district of the city sits in a small valley where two small water courses—East Creek and West Creek—meet to form Gowrie Creek. Unable to cope with the volume of water heading toward them, the creeks burst their banks, pushing a devastating wall of water through the city centre.
Nearby Gatton saw voluntary evacuations as the Lockyer Creek rose to a record height of 18.92 metres (62.1 ft), exceeding the previous record set in the 1893 Queensland floods. The surge passed through the Lockyer Valley town of Withcott, where the force of the water pushed cars into shops and forcing the evacuation of hundreds of people. The scene was described by an onlooker as "like Cyclone Tracy has gone through it ... If you dropped an atom bomb on it, you couldn't tell the difference." Grantham was also hit hard by the flooding rains. Houses were left crumpled by what Premier of Queensland Anna Bligh described as an "inland tsunami". According to local media, the flood waters had reached a height of 7 or 8 m (23 or 26 ft) by the time it struck Grantham. Nine people were confirmed dead, and many more feared dead among 66 reported missing. The body of one victim washed away at Grantham was recovered 80 kilometres downstream and Queensland Police Commissioner Bob Atkinson warned that some bodies may never be found.
Here are some special photographs and footage the Andy and Cam recorded at the height of this one-in-over one-hundred year event.
MAJOR FLOODING IN AND AROUND BRISBANE
MAJOR FLOODING IN AND AROUND IPSWICH
A resident looks on as the Brisbane River encroaches up his street.
January 12, 2011 - Chelmer, Queensland
Brisbane River in full flight flooding at 4.25 metres
January 12, 2011 - Mowbray Park, Brisbane - Queensland
Flooded streets in Oxley
January 12, 2011 - Oxley, Brisbane - Queensland
Queen Street Brisbane as viewed from Kangaroo Point
January 12, 2011 - Brisbane CBD - Queensland
Ulster Hotel in the main street of Ipswich
January 12, 2011 - Ipswich CBD - Queensland
A family home swamped in Goodna
January 12, 2011 - Goodna - Queensland
Damaging to Businesses along the Ipswich Motorway
January 12, 2011 - Gailes- Queensland
The Bremer River swells to a massive 19.25 metres
January 12, 2011 - One Mile Bridge, Ipswich - Queensland