#30DWC – April 1 – The Deluge (Part 1)
By Marian Edmunds
It has been an emotional week. In the past 48 hours, we were lashed by the stinging tail of Debbie, a category 5 cyclone that devastated North Queensland last week. We received rainfall that it can take a year to receive normally – in a day, as well as gale-force winds. The stormwater drains overflowed, and the rivers swelled and we received devastating flooding in the region. I grew up in the area and have seen the impacts of natural disasters before.
I respect the force of our river. This flood was worse in many ways than the 1974 flood which I recall from my childhood. It also topped the levels of the 1954 flood.
To be honest I have seen little of this flood with my own eyes, except for the paddocks that are now a vast lake in the valley below. I live on a hill. There was a minor flood in our garage. My son and I had to lift things to protect them.
My husband was not here. He is a social worker for a government department and is in a disaster relief team. I did not know this until Thursday, about 10 minutes before he was due to leave his office. The weather and rain were closing in. He had been deployed to an excavation centre set up in a church hall, diagonally opposite my studio, the rooms where I work and think. He had prepared nothing to take, no change of clothes, no nothing. He had thought people were over-reacting, he had not thought it was terribly serious or well broadcasted. His mind had been on other pressures of his work. He was due to take Friday off to rest from the exhaustion of his work, many long drives, and difficult cases. I offered to bring him things to take. I also wanted to give him my studio keys so he could check on it but also so he might have a refuge if needed. But it was raining torrentially and gaming like the world might end so I remained at home. The schools across Queensland and in our part of NSW were closed. My daughter came home. We were due to have cyclonic winds. I admit I did not relish this with my husband being away. My son was here and as a young man, he had to step up.
When my husband and his two colleagues reached the shelter joined by three charity workers, the charity that would bring food had not been able to reach them, deployed elsewhere. So they rushed to the nearest supermarket. By then it was about to close so their staff could reach their homes before the disaster unfolded. That supermarket is still not opened and within a few hours, the undercover parking area below had flooded …
(To Be Continued )
This is the first #30DWC of two writing challenges I have signed up for in April. My aim is to write personal memoir pieces, fiction, and an e-book and content for my business.