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And the new year commeth

  • January 16, 2011

Tragedy and devastation plagues most of QLD with NSW and VIC set to also contend with the flooding waters heading their way. The raging inland Tsunami that erupted out of Toowoomba and laid waste to Grantham, transformed picturesque creeks and valleys into gouged raw ravines then headed east, quietly engulfing Ipswich and Brisbane to the rafters. Whole properties destroyed, lives lost, livestock and beloved horses gone leaving behind a slick fetid slime and unmentionable debris covering everything. The long task now ahead will take months, maybe years to clean and return to any normality or routine. Our hearts go out to all at this traumatic time.

We have nothing to complain about. Multiple fissures and ravines opened up after the swales were breached, fence post foundations washed out leaving lines teetering and the truck/trailer sank into the ground after the first 2 days of rain needing two days to dig it out, BUT no damage to the house/sheds, flood waters didn’t reach our place on the hill, all the animals and stock are safe and we had electricity throughout so not a lot to suffer as I said….. the eerie lake that manifested in the valley below. locking us in, had us transfixed in horror as tons of rubbish floated down and smashed the causeway leading into Forest Hill town.

On Tuesday they sent out messages to evacuate, we had the luxury of high ground so chose to stay and watched the black hawks ferry people out of Grantham, Forest Hill and Laidley time and time again. We hope we never have to make that decision to leave all that we love behind. Weirdly we were still on email, connected to the TV like glue and the phone rang off the hook with worried friends and family checking how we were doing. By Wednesday a deathly pall enveloped the valley, the beautiful day belied the mess lurking beneath the rushing waters and thousands of toads were blissfully procreating.

We realised the distant highway was silent as were birds and local movements. Shocked residents on the other side of the lake drove in and away throughout the day, the SES, army and TV crews hovered and assessed the damage, the horses went about their daily routines as if nothing had happened, as all animals do. During the day we tried to patch the worst of the treacherous ravines, rationed the milk and communicated with our friends and family to see how they were faring with the now encroaching flood in their direction and continued to watch TV in that “gawking at the accident” fascination that grips us all.

On a more mundane front, Duchess is confirmed pregnant (Luscombe What’s Wanted) and Pearl was inseminated (Minshull Monty UK) last Tuesday 11/01/11 having delivered her to Southbrook on Thursday 6/1/11 through the first flash flooding that Toowoomba experienced (see “Our day”). Rebel, Zar and Kytan are magic, it’s a delight to see them running about each day and it will be sad to see them leave when the time comes. We thank Terry and Sue for their continued efforts to ensure the QLD Shire owners are connected and accounted for with a budding communication between us all established.

Both Dale and I return to work Monday now that the roads are open, although the Forest Hill road is still closed as the entire asphalt surface lifted off and now lives beside the road rather than on it until further notice. We managed to get out and restock the essentials including horse feed for a number of hill side residents that couldn’t get cars out of their mushy driveways. On Saturday we started to dig the truck and trailer out and after 4 attempts and having to fell a tree we were on the road to collect Pearl and with her return home I feel so much happier knowing everyone is safe and well.

To all we thank you for your thoughts and wishes and hope you will in turn be safe if the encroaching mess is headed your way.

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