Being in some of the badly affected areas over recent days, however, shows just *how* bad it was in some areas - houses totally flooded to above roof height, commercial premises flooded through the second floor. Ther amount of debris that's been cleaned out of flood affected buildings over the past few days and being collected into tips (some normal rubbish tips but many additional temporary ones) is astounding - there's almost no end to the piles of debris along the roadside in the affected areas.
Helping with some of the cleanup, you get a good taste of the smell (yes, you do taste the smell - it is almost thick enough to chew in some places) and get a first hand look at the devastation that was wreaked across the South East of Queensland last week, across other areas of Queensland and Western Australia this past month, is still happening in some parts of Queensland, NSW, Victoria and Western Australia and also in places such as South Africa and Brazil.
As a mate tweeted recently, "it's a little weird, sitting here at breakfast and watching troop carriers full of armed services just driving up your street." It is also weird driving through residential and business districts where military vehicles are blocking entry to streets and military troops are getting their hands dirty helping remove tons and tons of debris from buildings.
There are some places where I was sitting in my car, looking up a meter or more to the flood line. It took me 50 minutes to get to a client site this morning - normally a 10 minute trip. And the trip usually doesn't stench, involve driving around military vehicles nor nearly a dozen lollypop people safely marshalling the traffic and hundreds of workers and volunteers through piles of mud and debris.
To all the volunteers throughout the State and from other parts of the country - your efforts are much appreciated. Without your selfless efforts, many people would be struggling not only under the weight of emotion with what they've lost, but under the enormous weight of mud and filth that you're cleaning up with them.
To the Qld Police Service - congratulations on the work you've done in the community, in the media and using social media keeping us up to date as well as safe. It is a shame that we need to have Operation Safeguard at all, and as I commented on that page:
I feel disgusted, as a Queenslander, an Australian and a human being that we even need to do this. Good on you for doing it, and I trust that those truly responsible of looting cop a maximum sentence, no good behavior and posters with their names, faces and crimes around their local areas.
To Anna Bligh (Queensland Premier), Campbell Newman (Brisbane Lord Mayor), Paul Pisasale (Ipswich Mayor), Tony Perrett (acting Gympie Mayor), Brad Carter (Rockhampton Mayor), Peter Maquire (Emerald Mayor), Peter Taylor (Toowoomba Mayor), Ray Brown (Western Downs Mayor), Steve Jones (Lockyer Valley Mayor) and the other Mayors around Queensland's flood affected regions and the teams behind them, congratulations on a job well done during trying times.
I've posted a number of images in a few prior blog posts and there's a lot more online. Here's some great before/after images, Near Map has some awesome satellite images available and Google will find you a lot more. :)
The Outspoken Wookie