Saturday, May 30, 2009

Six months later, we flooded again

Water height line on our fence. Yes, the post box needed to be cleaned out!
Creek mud on the front path (all pics from Thurs 21st)

Downstairs main room. That's the upright freezer on its SIDE.

Assorted mess in downstairs big room. Water went entirely over the piano.

My CM shelving. Water went to part way up the second-top shelf here (the last shelf with albums)
Looking from the scrapbooking room towards the big room.

The amazing hovering shelf of books - the books stayed thanks to the water expanding them, but the shelf had fallen out from underneath them.

Bubbling in the paint in the craft room, after the big white shelving was removed.

New table legs (added to the table on Monday) - note the expansion!

The pile of trashed books that took Megan four or five hours to catalogue.
The 2009 Flood
So, when we bought our house, we knew that that area of the street flooded in the 74 floods, the largest flood to hit Brisbane in most people's living memory. We knew that, but we loved it, loved the close location to the CBD, and bought it anyway. And that's worked well for us, until the past six-and-a-bit months. Because on Nov 20 last year, Enoggera creek broke its banks, and flooded most of our street, including around 30cm or so of water through the bottom of our house. Thanks to our awesome parents, my Grandma, family and friends, we got everything cleaned up in a few days, and eventually the insurance got all settled, and some things were replaced (others hadn't been searched for yet).
Then this year, on May 20, I was sitting at work thinking about getting home and putting everything up high that night that wasn't in plastic tubs or those space saver bags, given the huge amounts of rain we'd had on Mon and Tues that week (well over 200mm in those 48 hours). Megan texted me from her bus home to say they'd been diverted from Bowen Bridge Rd, and the alarm bells started ringing for me - Bowen Bridge Rd is near our house, and if the creek overflowed onto it, then our house would be under water, as the road is higher than our street.I had been checking the Bureau of Meteorology website that afternoon, checking the flood warnings, and checking the creek level readings, NONE of which had me worried or gave ANY indication that Windsor was likely to flood.
We got home at about 6pm to a blacked-out street, and water much higher up the street than last time. Again, we found out too late to do or change anything, and would have to deal with the consequences. We had a farewell dinner with Dad and Lylia on Tues night, and Dad had suggested we put everything up high - which we planned to do on Weds night, but even looking back, we couldn't have guessed we'd get up to 1.4m / 5 feet of water through our house.
Luckily on Weds I had bought some new Crocs for our tropical holiday, so I waded through the hip-high water (about 1m, I guess) to get clothes, nappies, etc, for us to spend the night at John's parent's house. John was going to be the gentleman/boy scout, but I wouldn't let him in the water in his leather work shoes, nor without shoes. I grabbed the most random assortment of clothes while he dealt with a tired, cranky, and confused Matilda in the car.
6:30pm was high tide, and we went to John's parents for the night.
In the middle of Weds night, John and Brett went to our house to open the doors and let water out, so that it wouldn't sit there seeping through the doors until we got there in the morning. He got back at about 2am, and told me it was as bad as I imagined.
So, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday were spent cleaning, with heaps of help from Janet, Megan, Brett, Lexie, Jonathon from Property Blitz, Will, Chrissy, Kate, Darren, Glenda, Noel, Narelle, and Jacey (I'm sorry if I forgot anyone!). Our power was out until Friday lunch time, as water got through the power box thingie. The fridge and freezer had to be emptied, all electrical goods downstairs are written off after being submerged, the freezer made a hole in one wall as it floated about, over 10,000 photos were immersed in water, as well as a number of scrapbooking projects that were in progress (luckily fully completed albums were upstairs, but in progress albums included Matilda's first volume and memorabilia from our Gallipoli trip). Megan spent Saturday cataloguing over 400 books that were ruined (and is probably signing me up or renewing my membership with the local library - wonder if they'll have Harry Potter in German? ;) ). The downstairs walls will need to be replaced, there'll need to be some electrical work done - none of the sockets downstairs are working, and only half of the upstairs ones are, as well as sitting down and figuring out the cost of the books and scrapbooking items that have been destroyed.
Sunday, I moved my focus to our trip - our flights and accommodation were all completely pre-paid, and we didn't have time to see about rescheduling, so on Sunday afternoon we left the house in our housesitter's hands, and flew to Sydney (2 hours late, so it was a bolt from the domestic to the international terminal, and no time for duty-free shopping!), and then on to Honolulu, where we are enjoying living in a hotel room where we don't have to worry about not having a washing machine, not having power in 1/2 of the upstairs sockets, we have internet, and most of all - doesn't smell like creek silt. The smell from the last flood had barely gone ... bugger!

Friday, May 29, 2009

When soap attacks...

After being attacked by a bar of soap in the bath. Matilda recommends relaxing on the couch with an elmo dvd, an improvised ice pack and breakfast cereal.