Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Who’ll Stop The Rain?

Image: Residents in flood damaged Lockyer Valley wait for flood waters to recede
Long as I remember, the rain been comin' down,
Clouds of mystery pourin', confusion on the ground.
Good men through the ages, tryin' to find the sun,
And I wonder, still I wonder, who'll stop the rain?
Who'll Stop The Rain? ~ John Fogerty
Image: Southbound traffic on the Bruce Highway grinds to a stop due to flooding

As I write this, I am keeping an eye on a live television stream from the Australian Broadcasting Commission reporting on the devastating floods that have swept across vast swathes of eastern Australia.

It is impossible to get your head around the massive volumes of water involved. Flood waters have not only covered hundreds of square miles of Queensland, but flood waters are slowly traveling along Australia’s river systems into New South Wales, Victoria, and eventually even into my home state of South Australia. To give you a sense of the distances involved, floodwaters from Queensland will take up to three months to reach South Australia, although heavy rainfalls in that state are already causing minor flooding along parts of the River Murray, one of the longest rivers in Australia.
Image: Cars piled up as a result of flash flooding in Toowoomba, Queensland
Image: Flash flooding roars down Herries Street, Toowoomba

While scenes of the devastation are reminiscent of those seen after Hurricane Katrina made landfall over New Orleans in August 2005, that is about the only comparison that can be made between the two events. Australian authorities, including various branches of the armed forces, have had plenty of time to prepare as best as possible for the flooding, as have non-government agencies like the Red Cross, Salvation Army and other charitable organizations.

Those readers wishing to make donations towards the flood relief effort will find a mass of agencies collecting clothing, goods and money for Australian’s affected by the flooding.

Some suggested websites…
The Queensland government’s official website is a good place to start.

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