A Day (a week) I’ll Never Forget…..

…..nor ever wish to repeat. (Warning long post and no pictures)

Dear blog readers, I’m sitting here at my computer, wondering if I should blog or not. I’ll see how I go. 

BEFORE

 This week, the place where I lived experienced what has been described as one of Australias worst natural disasters. A wall of water, 8 meters in places, has ripped it’s way through the Lockyer Valley, Queensland, Australia. I live in the Lockyer Valley.

It has been raining here for weeks, starting before Christmas, and everytime it looked like the roads would be cut off, I always left my home and headed up to a farm in a nearby valley, to stay with my boyfriend. My main reason for doing this is, I live by myself and I didn’t want to be stranded alone. By the 4 January, many parts of the surrounding valleys had experienced heavy flooding with extensive damage to roads. The last creek crossing into the farm had been washed away, and by now I had been use to carrying supplies/clothes across the creek through the waters and walking the rest of the way up to the house.

Sunday 9 Jan, I came home for a few hours, but the rain was coming in hard again. I had to leave, again. My course of travel took me through a small hamlet Grantham. It was constantly flooding, and I wanted to get through before it was too late and I was cut off. I made it to the farm only to find the creek at the last crossing very swollen, but still fordable. 15 minutes later and I would have been too late. By now most of the state of Queensland is under flood.

DURING

At the farm I settle in, to wait out what we believe to be the biggest rain to come our way yet. Monday, I’m doing my best to keep myself busy, wondering when the rain will stop enough for me go home again. Monday night we sit down to watch  the news, and what we saw stunned us. Toowoomba, 30 mins drive west of us up on the range, had a flash flood unlike anything we’d seen before. Worse yet, the town of Grantham in the Lockyer Valley, had been destroyed by a raging torrent of water charging it’s way down from the range. Scenes of people scrambling to get onto their roofs (sp?), houses lifting off their stumps and floating around in the swirling waters, cars getting tossed about. And reports of lives perished. It was unimaginable. My house is situated on the bank of the creek between Toowoomba and Grantham. I was very worried about my home, but even that worry paled into significance to the horrors of what was happening in the town 5kms from where I live.

Monday 11 Jan, it is still raining and raining more than ever. Mid morning, we turn everything off and basically bunker down. A short time later we hear one of the dogs in distress, and find water up to his kennel. A meter of water is running past the house and looking beyond we see the creek, a size that my boyfriend has never seen or heard before. He has lived here since he was born, and his father before. We could see the top of the dam (the size of a football field) rising and falling 50 cm every 15 mins. The water was coming down the hills so fast opening up land slips.  We called anyone we knew who lived in a low place further down our valley to ‘just get out of there’, ‘don’t go back to your homes’. The news of the day before, and now this rain had us very concerned. The previously unimaginable was now possible. We made plans to run for the hills with food to last for a few day, if need be. Fortunately, that senario didn’t eventuate, but one word from Bryan and I was ready to run like I’d never run before. It was a very tense day, and we hardly spoke for fear, all day. Eventually the rain eased off a bit.

AFTER

Wednesday 12 Jan. Sunshine! It was a tiny break but it was sunshine none the less. A nieghbouring farmer came to check on us, and I was so relieved to see someone else after three days. He told us our car was still on the other side of the creek safe and sound. We were certain it had washed away. Joy! We went down to check on the car and saw Byran’s sons walking down the road towards us. More joy! News was my house was safe. Amazing! Of course I wanted to go and see it, so we set out. Grantham of course was shutdown, so we had to take a much longer diversional route. My home was intact, like nothing unusualy had happen. But a mere 30 m across the road was devastation. Farms were ruined, sheds and machinery wrecked. Miraculously all the homes were safe. As glad as I was that my home was safe, I didn’t want to stay too long. It was hard to see the destruction. And always in my mind is knowing that 5km down the road was a town and people suffering trauma I could not begin to imagine.

After several more days I decided it was time to come back home and stay. I needed some normalcy. My mother came out today with a care package ( we are now facing a possible food shortage) and my teenage children in tow. I was so happy to see them. I took them for a little tour down the street to give them a glimpse of the now changed Lockyer Valley. It’s hard to look at and comprehend it all. Compared to many, I escaped the disaster that swept past my home, both visually and physically. Others were not so lucky and will be haunted for a long time.

The waters eventually made their way down to Ipswich and Brisbane, flooding those cities. And we remember, by now many other parts of Australia are also flooded due to the wide spread rain. So many people hurting, in a lot  of different ways, but hurting just the same. As for me, I’m safe and well. And this blog? Card making is the last thing on my mind right now. We’ll see what happens down the track.

If  you read all the way to this end, I thank you for bearing with me as I unload. There are many aspects that I chose not to mention because it’s painful and just plain hard to put words to. This is just my small story. Looking forward to brighter days.

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Categories: About me | 14 Comments

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14 thoughts on “A Day (a week) I’ll Never Forget…..

  1. Glad to hear you and your loved ones are safe and well. Sending you hugs and good fortune.

  2. So glad you made it through safely (physically) and my heart and soul are crying with you. The numbness of shock and trauma comes through quite clearly in your writing and made this situation I’ve been following from the comfort of my home in Oregon much, much more real. Thank you for taking the time and fortitude to put it all down for the rest of us to read. Praying God will wrap his love, comfort and peace around you and your community as you both begin the healing process.

    Hugs from far away – Jean

  3. Phyllis

    I will be praying for you & your family’s safety & for the rebuilding that will take place. That people will come together and help with the healing process. There are so many trobuled places in the world. We had flooding last summer here in Iowa and it is good to here to stories of people helping each other. We all need God’s light to shine on us.

    Hugs from Iowa, USA

  4. Words cannot express the pain that you must be suffering along with your friends and neighbours!

    I can totally understand that cardmaking is the last thing from your mind at this time.

    I have set up a website to help SU! demo’s who have lost some or all of their stamping supplies through natural disaster, so if you know of any please let me know so that we may be able to help them!

    Take care, and take each minute, hour and day at a time! The journey will be long, but remember that you have the thoughts and prayers of the nation behind you!

    Kind Regards

    Sonia Garbutt

  5. Babe! I was worried for you! I have tears reading your story for how lucky you were and for the devastation that has hit the Lockyer valley. We have experienced something I hope to never ever have to see again in my lifetime. Know that my thoughts and love have been with you, wherever you are. xoxox

  6. So very thankful that you are safe and well. Your post is very profound and I am just so close to tears thinking of you and your neighbors. You’ll be back to blogging and creating when the time is right for you. In the meantime take care and know that so many people care and are praying for you and with you. {hugs}

  7. We’re all just so thankful that you and your family are safe. The devastation is huge and far reaching. I can only begin to fathom what it is like. Please know that we all care and will be here for you when the time is right for you to be back in touch. Big warm hugs!

  8. Traci Major

    Theresa, I admire your ability to write through your pain and hardship. I see the Lord’s hand in your safety especially when I know how many were praying for you specifically. I am thankful for your safety, and hopeful for you and your community to heal and extend hope to others. Blessings on your day. I will look forward to your next post, whenever it will be! May God’s love and protection cover you, and extend beyond your borders.
    Your friend, Traci M

  9. Oh my … I popped in here because you were on my mind. And now I realize it was God’s leading. I’m so thankful for your post and for the opportunity to pray for you and your community. I cannot begin to fathom what you’ve been through, but I know God must have a very specific purpose in mind for putting you in the middle of it. He has been so faithful to you … the testimony He has given you is incredible. I pray His purposes are met in every way. Much love to you, my friend. Kay

  10. Robyn S

    Theresa! How devasting for you and your countrymen! You are in my thoughts and prayers.
    Thank you so much for taking the time to write about what is happening.

  11. Barbara Story

    Thank you so much for your inspiring story. It helps me to realize how very fortunate some of our lives are. I’ve been kind of whining about the cold here in central Iowa and you have really opened my eyes. God must certainly have some great plans for you. With all
    my prayers and a HUGE hug for you and the other people in your community, I will be looking for further news on how we can help out our fellow demonstrators. Much love.

  12. I have tears running down my face after reading your story. I am so glad you are safe but can not even begin to imagine what the last few weeks have been like for you or others in your community. Take care.

  13. Michelle & Cat's club

    Hi Theresa,
    Read your story and all our thoughts are with you and glad to hear you and family are all safe. Please know we all feel for you and all the others in the Valley and know there is always a support team at Cat’s club when you need us. Big hugs from us all

    Michelle and Cat’s club.

  14. Wendy

    Hi Theresa
    Can feel your pain about the January floods as I live in Toowoomba….
    Was wondering where your Mother had purchased the wax paper from as I am chasing some as well, but must add that have only looked in Woolworths at this stage.
    Thanks Heaps
    Wendy

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