Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Eight legs bad, no legs worse

It must be impossible for Central Queenslanders to imagine playing with water at the moment. When we were there in April, it was hot and dry and their earlier heavy rains were forgotten as they settled in to enjoy their sweltering summer. At the Caves A&P show along the road from Rockhampton, there were camel rides, Brahman cattle dozing in their pens in the shade, horses shiny with grooming and sweat zipping round the jumping course in the main ring, and lots of people cheerful and chattering in the bar.

Now, Rocky has - just - been cut off by the floodwaters that have been working their way down the Fitzroy River from inland where they've had quite incredibly massive flooding: an area larger than the UK and France put together. Of course, Queensland is such a huge state that there are still plenty of people with dry feet - but for the areas concerned, it's literally a disaster. More than 200,000 people are affected and 20 towns inundated, and the bad news is that there's more heavy rain on the way.

Apart from the heartbreaking destruction and damage to homes and infrastructure, the prospect for some of months away from their houses, and for others the certainty of weeks and weeks of hard work to clean theirs, in Queensland they have the extra unwelcome consideration of the likelihood of unwanted visitors moving in to escape the water: spiders and nasties with six legs and, worse, those with none at all. Imagine how fraught it's going to be when people are eventually allowed to move back home to deal with the mud and smell and dampness, all the while looking out for venomous snakes that might have tucked themselves away anywhere in the house.


the queen said...

Ah! I've been waiting for your word on the Queensland disaster.

Pam said...

Just call me Calamity Pam.


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