Blackwell Street, Tannum Sands. The river has gone through to the street.
Blackwell Street, Tannum Sands. The river has gone through to the street. Lisa Maynard

Learn the lessons from previous flooding disasters

WAKING up before 6am last Saturday I had hoped the rain would have passed over and the roads would be safe to travel south to Brisbane.

Instead all I could hear was pounding rain and the sound of the news blaring.

My parents had received an SMS there was risk of flooding in the area, warning we may have to evacuate our house in Tannum Sands along the Boyne River - next came the knock from the SES.

Our street was evacuated on Saturday night as the river reached unprecedented heights.

Built on high ground, our home was fine but people down the road and in neighbouring streets weren't so lucky - kayaks were a good way to get about on roads inundated with water.

The view from our part of the world not only allowed me to send photos and updates into work but also provided an ideal vantage point to see the community banding together and notice people were still not learning the lessons of floods from years past.

Everything from panic buying to sightseers speeding past residences and not taking into account the people who actually live there or the ripple effect of moving still water, to venturing into the Boyne River without lifejackets and attempts to go boating in a tinnie.

Clearly, the "If It's Flooded, Forget It" message hasn't sunk in.

People even risked their safety by going on strolls through floodwater and sending a young child in first to see whether the water was shallow enough to push a pram through.

On the other hand there were too many occasions to note of good deeds by residents, neighbour helping out neighbour and people manning the streets warning others about floodwater while the emergency services had their hands full.

This week it was back to work and talking to residents affected, including those in the Boyne Valley, which opened my eyes to the many who were still in crisis, isolated, with properties devastated by the floodwater and in need of supplies.

Our region and the state's crisis is far from over, the clean-up and recovery will take time.

If there was any time to play it safe on the roads and waterways, show basic human compassion and start learning from the past, it is now.

The back of Blackwell Street, Tannum Sands. The Boyne River has risen to the backyards of homes.
The back of Blackwell Street, Tannum Sands. The Boyne River has risen to the backyards of homes. Lisa Maynard


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