Hi everyone! Just thought I’d share a quick summary of the recent events that prompted TWCD to action and a few snapshots of the conditions in the area. Before Christmas, the south central coastal areas around Brisbane were drenched by heavy monsoon rains, followed by continued high rainfall since. Brisbane is the capital of an area called Queensland and is Australia’s third largest city, home to over 1.75 million people. In all, over 20 towns and cities were affected – both urban and rural. Queensland is known for it’s beautiful beaches and it’s agricultural assets – both tourism and agriculture will be majorly affected by the floods.
Queensland is on the north east side of Australia, and Brisbane is situated on the far eastern coast.
So …how much did it rain?
Flooding is caused by lots of factors – rainfall, rainfall over time, sea level, tides, etc. December 2010 was the area’s wettest on record, with an average rainfall of about 8.25 inches. On top of that, sea level was high and rivers rose an average of 16 feet. Some rivers rose over 50 feet – whoa! – covering roadways and threatening to break dams.
How much land has been flooded?
Over 1,000,000 square kilometers (368,000 square miles), an area larger than Germany and France combined.
How many people have been affected?
An estimated 200,000 have been affected – many displaced or losing their homes or businesses completely. Sadly, thirty have lost their lives and many are still missing.
What happened in Toowoomba, where TWCD will be serving?
On top of high rainfall and rising river levels, Toowoomba got nearly 6 inches of rain in a half an hour during a flash flood that claimed many lives, displaced and destroyed countless vehicles, and damaged buildings.
How have the floods affected the farmland?
They’ve had a major effect, destroying over 20% off the crops in Australia. JP Morgan estimates that food prices in Australia will go up by 30%, and global grain prices have already increased 45% due to the damages to Australia’s wheat crops.
So far, an estimated $10 billion – not counting losses in exports and industry. Unfortunately, the peak rainy season for Australia is in February/March, so there is a chance for more rain and more flooding.
We’re excited to join the droves of victims and volunteers who have begun the clean up effort. May they know that they are loved and cared because of the work and words of the TWCD team!