It’s been hard being flooded. Not as hard as for folk in the 2 big towns either side of me, who have been devastated by rivers more than 11 meters over their banks. But still very stressful. Not as stressful as being bombed in the streets of Syria of course, but still pretty shit.
It came up so fast. Rainfalls of between 500 & 950mm in 24hrs. An entire month’s rainfall in one dreadful night, thanks to Cyclone Debbie.
I’ve had a delightful & significant blog post about Episode 7 in my online dating story drafted for days, but it felt too superficial to post it, when so many of my dear friends, neighbours, & community have been coping with up to 2.5mtrs of brown smelly muddy shitty river water through their homes. People have died, including a mother and her children. Houses have literally been swept away downstream. Business stock has been ruined, and flood insurance is incredibly expensive round here, so not many people have it; there are rumours it’s going to be put up to $30K/year after this catastrophe.
I actually felt a bit traumatized myself, waking up to this view from my [elevated THANK GOODNESS] verandah:
Instinct had woken me at 1am to move my car out of harm’s way to higher ground; walking back in the beating rain, wind, tree branches and pitch dark apart from my trusty head torch was pretty scary. I had gumboots on, but the water was already over them. I lay awake till after 3, listening to the commotion outside, and finally slept till 7.
Imagine opening your curtains to this view of your raised organic veggie garden:
Then of course once ‘Almost17’ woke up (which was a minute after I did, thanks to my very loud “F* F* F* F*”), we had to go explore:
By a miracle, the power stayed on! Which was indeed a miracle, as I had TWO teenage boys trapped inside for 2 days (you can just make out the scooter of the visiting friend almost underwater in the 2nd pic); I’d stocked up on bread, milk and candles, but how good are electricity and internet when you really need them?? 🙂
Then we just had to wait for it to go down… which took 2 days…. slowly revealing my full time stressful cleaning/washing/drying job for the following week:
It kept raining on and off, which was torture. The stories of absolute devastation from nearby Lismore and Murwillumbah were even more distressing; wherever you’re sitting now, reading this, look around you and imagine 2.5 metres of freezing, brown, possibly sewerage-contaminated water rushing through…
But friends came to help. Neighbours supported each other. Facebook cheered us up with gallant stories of assistance. Communities really do pull together, and donation services overflowed with clothes, bedding, toys, books, and furniture.
If you’re reading this and you feel compelled to help, please donate to the following link: Flood Appeal
We lost my son’s $1000 mattress, and I finally wept when I discovered the 70+ vinyl collection I’d had since a teenager sitting in 6 inches of brown water at the back of the shed (I thought it was all high enough). But they’ve been washed and dried, plus de-humidified, and I have plans for a Turntable Toons Party in a couple of weeks. We can borrow another mattress. All over the North Coast, we have been in survival mode; no spare energy for art or creativity. Hence no Blogging. But slowly we will all recover from the trauma I hope, and get back to living our blessed lives, for we still have so many resources, compared to those in developing countries…