Home > Australia, Life, Social Commentary > Queensland Floods: city-crabs, runaway restaurants & goodbye Riverwalk

Queensland Floods: city-crabs, runaway restaurants & goodbye Riverwalk

More than 75 percent of Queensland is under water. The flood has reached Brisbane, with the peak of 5.25m expected at 4am tomorrow (and again at 4pm tomorrow).

Milk, bread and fruit/veg shelves are bare. Inner city supermarkets were emptied out yesterday. Today, this spread to suburban shops which are nowhere near the inundation. I took this photo this afternoon at the Aspley Pick ‘n Pay Hypermarket (Coles).

Fruit, veg, bread, milk, torches, bottled water - empty shelves

Because I didn’t engage in pre-emptive panic buying, my kids will be eating brussel sprouts, squash and organic zucchini. They’ll be so pleased (not). They should be, at $11/kg, $10/kg & $11/kg respectively. Not to mention the $7 for half a loaf of bread (the only one left, which happened to be made of bricks and gumboots for the gluten-free market).

This afternoon, Oxley’s restaurant floated down the Brisbane River in pieces, with stacked chairs and tables still on it, until it hit Brekky Creek.

Oxley's Restaurant broken up & floating down Brisbane River

A strange sight near the Riverwalk today, when crabs were found between New Farm and Teneriffe.

Crabs on the grass near the Riverwalk between New Farm & Teneriffe!

Fortunately, the rain stopped today. It was sunny and humid, but still the river rose.

Sunny & humid: a day without rain

A few more photos around New Farm and inner Brisbane.

Alford St New Farm

Brunswick St New Farm flooded

James St New Farm flooded

Lower end Brunswick St flooded, view from Merthyr Rd

Nandos New Farm, sandbagged

River Walk to Power House


Boats on pontoons were drifting down the river at about 10 knots. There’s so much wreckage in the Brisbane River – it looks like a moving dump-site. The Moggill Ferry has broken a guide rope – a massive anchor will be helicoptered to it at first light. The Island barge might have to be scuttled (sunk), to prevent it from tearing away from its moorings and destroying infrastructure like bridges (to be decided tonight). The floating walkway around New Farm (being a heavy concrete object) is to be broken up into sections and disposed of during tonight.

There are currently about 127,000 people without power and 3,600 people in evacuation centres. Current estimates are looking at 2 years to rebuild Brisbane. And, the worst is still ahead of us.

What’s moving, is how people are chipping in and helping, friends, family and complete strangers alike. Nick Earls writes about Aussie stoicism here.

The peak (revised down to 5.25m) is expected around 3-4 am
Over 50 suburbs in Brisbane expected to flood
12 confirmed dead (another likely)
43 missing
9 feared dead
Chinchilla water is contaminated with e-coli
7,500 properties are already affected by water in Brisbane
20,000-30,000 people will be affected
the peak in Brisbane, will last up to 16hrs
water treatment plants in Brisbane are suffering under the strain …
we’re being asked to conserve water (oh, the irony) for the clean up.

Crime Stoppers (to report looters) ph 1800 333 000
Red Cross National Reporting & Inquiry Line: ph 1800 727 077
Police (non urgent) ph 131 444
Donations Flood Appeal ph 1800 219 028
Check out my earlier posts for further info.

[Many thanks to Reader Joanna for the photos. The 850m of walkway, 5.5m wide known as the Riverwalk – is being broken up tonight – so the photos Joanna has provided are probably the last ones. So sad. People lurvz the Riverwalk and it’ll be no more.]

UPDATE: The Rocklea Markets have flooded, so our fresh fruit & vegetable supplies are devastated. This isn’t good. Not a lot of point buying frozen either, with uncertain power supplies. Tinned food, here we come.
UPDATE: check out these photos from the other side of the river.

  1. January 13, 2011 at 2:14 am

    This breaks my heart. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

    Best of luck to you and all impacted by this crazy natural disaster.

  2. January 13, 2011 at 2:19 am

    Its sad to hear Brisbane resident had to work from home due to the flood and the list of missing person kept growing.

  3. January 13, 2011 at 2:39 am

    This is the second blog I’ve stumbled across which has detailed photographs of the Brisbane Flood. My prayers go out to those affected, who I’m sure are grateful to you for bringing this tragedy to light. Kudos on FP!

  4. January 13, 2011 at 2:45 am

    Too bad the crabs were so tiny. If they were big ‘uns you could have a feast to assuage your flood frustrations. I hope you and all of yours are safe and mostly unscathed as a result of all the water.


  5. January 13, 2011 at 3:07 am

    I have seen the footage from Brisbane on the news. My prayers and thoughts go out to all of you. The power of nature is awespiring, and at the same time very frightening.

  6. nearlynormalized
    January 13, 2011 at 3:10 am

    From no rain, to overly dry conditions and then the sky opens up. Do you believe in God? Who knows, Australia with the rains, and the U.S. with the guns and stupidity.
    It will dry up in Australia, but the guns are everywhere here.

  7. January 13, 2011 at 4:43 am

    Praying for no more loss of life or damage. Good luck!

  8. January 13, 2011 at 5:30 am

    Best wishes from Canada to all Australia at this difficult time

  9. January 13, 2011 at 6:32 am

    I’m amazed that i’ve heard nothing about this in the U.S., but best of luck with everything! (I found the lil’ girl, with the crab, from the “crab grass” pic adorable ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. January 13, 2011 at 7:28 am

    I can’t believe how horrible it is there! I have seen alot about it on the news here in the US, and have been feeling bad for everyone there. I wish you the best.

    One funny thing from your post…. your “-Hyper-market”… I suppose that’s like what we call a -Super-market here, and hyper is what we call wild children – so all I could envision is a grocery store with crazy kids running rampant! (not that that never happens, lol)

    • January 13, 2011 at 10:33 pm

      Funny observation, made me smile, thanks. We call ours “supermarkets” too, but this one in particular was branded “the Hypermarket” or “Pick ‘n Pay” (children have fun with that description, something about noses …). ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. January 13, 2011 at 7:43 am

    The crab is cute, stay safe.

  12. January 13, 2011 at 11:58 am

    thanks for the post! I texted my aunty who lives in Yeronga and she was the shops amoungst the chaos of people going crazy buying anything and everything. A friend sent me pics of Oxleys restaurant floating away – we had NYE there a few years ago – I cant believe it floated away! Good luck and stay safe.

  13. January 13, 2011 at 12:10 pm

    Sending lots of positive thoughts to all of you affected by the flooding. I know it is a bit late to be referring you to this site but Maria Schriver Schwartzenegger has a disaster preparedness site with advice on what to always have on hand. We should all have a look at it and have a plastic box of supplies stashed away somewhere – and no, I am not an alarmist. I wish you courage in the cleanup and the taking stock.

    • January 13, 2011 at 10:30 pm

      Thanks for that tip, Kerry – I’ll certainly pass that on. I think more people will wish that they’d prepared better. We’ve had 3 decades to become complacent in Brisbane, since the last major flood.

  14. January 13, 2011 at 12:32 pm

    Crazy stuff, must have been really weird to see a restaurant floating off.

  15. brightgarlick
    January 13, 2011 at 1:39 pm

    My heart goes out to you Theresa and all the other flood affected people (including my family). Three things might make this much worse – 1. If the sun continues to maintain a low sunspot number and does not become more active. 2. If Southern Oscillation Index continues to stay hight. 3. If the predicted 6 cyclones of the year begin moving across while the state is under flood.

    I pray for all of you. May the best in humanity shine through !

    Thanks for keeping up the blog posts and keeping us connected !

    Bright Garlick.


    • January 13, 2011 at 10:44 pm

      Thanks, Bright Garlick. Sounds like you know your stuff. Sunspot theory is particularly interesting, but people outside of the scientific community don’t get to hear about it nearly enough.

      We can only hope that we have time to dry our feet and have a cup of tea before anything else dreadful happens. Hope your family pulls through okay.

  16. January 13, 2011 at 2:26 pm

    All of your messages of support are greatly appreciated.

    I managed to stay high & dry, but am busy trying to help others in small ways.

    I’ll put together an update later today. We’re expecting another peak in the next 2hrs.

    Spread the love.

  17. January 13, 2011 at 3:28 pm

    ouh..i hope things will get better soon..

  18. January 13, 2011 at 4:08 pm

    Greetings. For those in the USA who have not heard about this EPIC disaster, I urge you to watch the PBS Newshour or BBC WORLD news who have covered it DAILY. Network US media is so caught up in ONE story at a time for a half-hour that they ignore the rest of the planet.
    I send my heartfelt “religiously agnostic” prayers to the down-under every time I see the videos of this…they are INcredible…Nashville’s flood were wicked, but there were no cars washing down stream rapido…Please dry them out.

  19. January 13, 2011 at 8:47 pm

    Oh God…. how are the people managing… I pray to god that we all should spend a safe life..

  20. freedomdances
    January 13, 2011 at 9:39 pm

    Have a good friend who lives there, but thank God she’s ok and not near the flooding and therefore is not effecting her & family. My heart goes out to all those effected by this flooding. and prayers have been going out to all the people there effected.
    I pray this is the last time flooding of this magnitude ever happens again. Jesus touch all those effected by this flood & help to restore lives, homes, jobs. Help those who have lost loved ones and heal all grieving hearts…heal those Father God from who are still frightened by all this..heal emotions, both mentally, emotionally and help all those to heal those who may have been injured. We ask this in Your name, Thank You Jesus, Amen & Amen!

    • January 13, 2011 at 10:24 pm

      Amen, indeed. I’ll second that: Amen, Amen.

      We’re all grateful that it didn’t rain today and that the peak was less than expected.

  21. Steph
    January 13, 2011 at 10:24 pm

    OMG the Queensland floods are just terrible. I hope things do ease for Queensland. I have Family to moved to Brisbane in Queensland from South Australia. My Mum is in Chapel-hill(South west of brisbane) One Half sister in Indooroopilly and the other in Noosa. I don’t hear much from them but Iam sure they are doing there bit to help as much as possible during these floods.
    I know that there is Hope and that Queensland can get back on there feet and work to rebuilding their great state.

  22. cookielle
    January 13, 2011 at 11:43 pm

    This is absolutely devastating ๐Ÿ˜ฆ I’m from Manila and this happened to us over a year ago and it breaks my heart to see this happening to other people. This sucks ๐Ÿ˜ God bless you all x

  23. January 14, 2011 at 12:16 am

    bu trajedi deฤŸilmi acaba

  24. January 14, 2011 at 1:25 am

    My thoughts go out to all of you – I lived in Sydney from 2001-08. Now I’m back in Germany but <i still feel very attached to Australia and its people.All the best regards from Germany. Our newapapers and TV programmes are full of news from your country. We are all thinking of you.
    Regards, Uta

  25. January 14, 2011 at 2:33 am

    This is probably the umpteenth article I’ve come across talking about the floods in Queensland. I wish all of Australia good luck for recovering from these words. I’m sure you’ll be able to, and I’m sure you’ll come out of this more determined to fix the damage than ever. I’ve kept Australia in my prayers and will continue to do so.
    As a thought, we’ve had really bad rain here in LA and we whine about that a lot. This serves as a lesson to us. Even heavy rain is sometimes a blessing, as compared to what happened in Australia.
    Ashley, aka TheEverydayMuser.

  26. January 14, 2011 at 9:38 pm

    Hi, I saw this news on TV and many people have been evacuated to shelter or puclic facilities and 20 people dead there? How awful it is ! ๐Ÿ˜ฆ Its also pity that foreingers who wanna to go back thier home would be postpone few days.. ?! This blog is interested for me. Thanks.

  27. January 18, 2011 at 7:09 am

    I live in Canada and I watched the terrible site on television. We get a lot of snow here because we are up north and I gotta say I stopped complainiing when I saw the flood situation in Australia.I pray for those lives lost and hope that Australia recovers soon.thanks for this post.

    • January 18, 2011 at 8:49 am

      Thanks for stopping by and for your prayers, Sepi. Snow has its own dangerous challenges and I don’t envy you that (although I love snow, for skiing on). Would love to see some photos on your blog.

  1. January 13, 2011 at 3:59 am
  2. March 5, 2011 at 7:32 am

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