Friday, February 3, 2012

Stuck on Phillip Island: disaster in Mitchell

One of the best things about my blog and Facebook is that I'm in touch with so many people from all around Australia and the world. I've had the privilege of sharing the many pleasures of our life on Phillip Island and in outback Queensland.

'Robin's Double Life' has taken on a life of its own!

Meanwhile though, Mitchell is still a disaster zone, with the hospital evacuated and over 300 people living in evacuation centres. Flood waters are expected to reach a second peak, due to more rain upstream.

Photos I've seen show water lapping around the floorboards of even high-set Queenslander type homes. The nearby towns of Roma, Charleville and St George are also suffering record flooding. Apart from aircraft, Mitchell is completely cut off from the outside world.

Frog song can be heard loud and booming over the telephone. It's like a frog opera! Meanwhile, stories of snakes seeking higher ground are commonplace. It seems that the power is off at most places throughout Mitchell. Apparently the local supermarket took all its perishable food and more to the evacuation centre. Everyone is helping everyone, which is the way people behave in an emergency in outback Australia.

Doug is planning to fly up to Mitchell on Sunday. This will not be a straightforward trip as it involves a car trip to Anderson, then a bus to Melbourne, plane to Brisbane, bus to Toowoomba, and finally a bus to Mitchell. It's expected that the river will have dropped by the time he reaches Mitchell, but what he finds remains to be seen. How much damage we've suffered is yet to be assessed. Mud and mould will be a huge problem, along with water damage

Will the house be too damaged by flood water and mould to ever live in again? Will it be a matter of an insurance payout and demolish, or a refit? Will we need to build elsewhere in the town? On stilts? The options go on and on and my mind buzzes with this disaster that affects so many people.

But one thing is certain. We will return, no matter what. Mitchell is our home. We love the town, the community and our friends. We love outback Australia!

Inspite of everything, I still love the Maranoa River!!!

I've included photos of our house in Mitchell, prior to flooding. We expect the water to have come as high as the window sills. Not a good thought!

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