My city experienced a disaster that some residents thought could not happen again.
In 1974 the city of Brisbane flooded and a dam was built to prevent a similar disaster to occur again. Unfortunately the dam was designed to hold back water from one particular area, not the whole basin of the Brisbane River. On Wednesday 13JAN2011 the level of the river rose to just about the peak of 1974 bringing disaster to areas close to the banks.
A usually slow flowing river (tidally affected) was suddenly gushing like a mountain torrent.
Brown with silt the strong current was suddenly carrying debris from towns and properties upstream. I have seen an incredible amount of belongings just wiz past me while helping my friends save their home on the banks of the river. Trees, boats, pontoons with boats and barbeques attached, beach balls, kid's toys.
While most of the floating debris ended up in the bay where I often paddle, the silt deposited along the way.
In the following couple of days the water retreated and the mud is now exposed.
Coating everything from a light film to feet deep this sticky greasy mess now stinks.
The waters are contaminated with god knows what and paddling anywhere near this disaster area would be out of question.
The shores of the bay are now filthy with floating refuse. Some larger items have been salvaged by crews before they could reach the bay while others have made ground on surrounding beaches. Some will be lost forever.
As much as the disaster impacts humans, the marine life is impacted more so. A clear line between flood waters and salty one can be seen in Moreton Bay. It might take some time before the local waters are once again clean enough to safely kayak in the Moreton Bay.