Far from having adequate notice of the floods, the first that anyone in Brisbane was notified of any risk of severe flooding was lunchtime on Tuesday. By that time, they were releasing over 600 000 ML of water from Wivenhoe down the brisbane river, which is what caused the damage to boats and pontoons and the walkway. Not the flood, in fact one could say that far from mitigating any flood, Wivenhoe has made the damage from floods worse.
We are located at the Rivergate Marina and we live aboard. We were stuck here throughout the flood. On the Tuesday, there was a strong wind
warning for SE 30-35K, ever tried to navigate through 14k tidal stream with an opposing 35k wind
through the largest container port in Queensland
, which was being evacuated so lots of ship movements.
We had decided to get out of the river on Wednesday morning, on the outgoing tide, however during the night, someone had managed to snag a 35ft yacht that was sinking and tie it up at the marina, right across the entry to our finger. So we were stuck there as it couldnt be moved. Eventually the line tying it on broke and it ended up sinking within the marina. It is still to be recovered. Another boat here did decide to leave on the Wednesday. He could run his engines for around 3 minutes before the mud and rubbish in the water caused them to overheat. Each time they needed to stop the engines they were in danger
of being swept into the shore or other rubbish. they had a hell of a time and it took them 3 hours to get out of the river, approximately 6NM.
Notwithstanding the weather
, at lunchtime on Tuesday, the river was running at 14k, measured by Rivergate Marina Staff and it is impossible to describe the flotsam (and submerged dangers as it turned out, as the boat in the video hit a submerged object and sank straight away) by that time. So in retrospect, it was already too late by Tuesday night unless you were a high powered motor boat.
Lots of boats made it out though and lots of strays were grabbed by the Port authority, water police, volunteers with large boats and of course the Tugs (Mavis and Co). Cant thank them enough, one guy here who runs a salvage
operation, spent from lunch time on Tuesday until Wednesday night on the water pushing large objects and piers away from the marina so that they wouldnt damage other boats. They collected at least 30 boats and secured them so that they wouldnt be lost.
The citycat that was tied up at Rivergate was hit by some floating object on Wednesday afternoon and broke its lines. It was evacuated from the river because it couldnt go againt the current
to tie up again.
So saying that people with boats had plenty of notice is not quite true. Conditions were already extremely difficult to navigate by the time the floods were notified. Maybe some sympthy would be good for these people who lost boats. Some of the boats most likely belong to people who have had houses destroyed, families put at risk and several days in an evacuation centre. What could they do?