Posted by: debrakolkka | January 12, 2011

A Dark Cloud over Brisbane

there is no silver lining

The rain has stopped but it is too late to save Brisbane from flooding.  The water catchment areas were still getting heavy rain until last night and the dams are all filled to capacity, so the water has to go somewhere.  Unfortunately that somewhere is the city of Brisbane.  We live close to the city but we are high enough that we are unlikely to be badly affected.  People closer to the river will not be so lucky.  Towns further inland, such as Ipswich are already flooded.  The destruction is going to be huge.

I took some photos late yesterday and I went back to the river this morning to see the difference.  The water is expected to go much higher in the next 24 hours when the floodwater meets king tides.

the city from the Goodwill Bridge

It was still raining at this point and the city looked very dismal.  This morning the Goodwill Bridge is closed.  It is quite high, but debris rushing down the river is being caught on the pylons and could do serious damage, so I suppose it is better to be cautious.

Here are some pictures I took  at Southbank (opposite the city centre) yesterday afternoon and early this morning.

This yellow machine was marooned on a little island yesterday.

too late to move it now

You can see how much the river has come up overnight.

it will soon be under water

You can see the goodwill Bridge in the background, with debris collecting around the pylons.  It can only get worse.

The ferry and city cat services were suspended a day ago – for obvious reasons.

the pontoon yesterday

this morning

no ferries today

Nobody was much interested in the water park at Southbank yesterday.

part of the waterpark

Today is it turned off.  The CBD is without power for safety reasons.

steps to the walkway

steps to the carpark

Today the carpark is full of water.

steps to car park today

the water would be at the ceiling of the car park

This was the walkway in front of the restaurants yesterday.

watching the water rise

The area today.

the same area today.

Some people don’t seem too bothered by the situation.

sunning herself on Southbank beach

The Southbank lizards are having a lovely time with lots of grubs brought to the surface of the waterlogged earth.

he has just finished off a dragonfly


keeping an eye on the water

lizards are popping up everywhere

this bird was making the most of things as well

Who knows how much higher the water will come.

the river is edging towards Southbank pool

I hope it doesn't go that far

 There are workmen everywhere, doing what they can to prepare for the deluge. 

sandbagging the entrance to the art gallery

today that area is completely under water

the entrance to Southbank car park

the city from Victoria bridge showing the gallery pontoon mid river

perhaps he can scare the water away from the museum

roads blocked

no cyclists today

a railing to nowhere


a pigeon dries his feathers

As I said, there is no silver lining to this dark cloud.  Let’s hope the water doesn’t come as high as is expected and that Brisbane survives without too much damage.  The clean up is going to be huge.

click here to see the next stage.


  1. Ooh it looks bad. I know Southbank and QPAC well. Extraordinary to see them like that. Let’s hope people keep themselves safe!

    • It is just about as bad as it can be. The fine sunny day just doesn’t seem right.

  2. Just tried to ring you but answer service on home phone, is power off Roz

  3. yesterday we helped to evacuate friends house on the river at Chelmer, they are away in the US. Managed to get the precious things which can’t be replaced. Couldn’t get back this morning to salvage more…. It will be a sad homecomimg for them.

    • It is awful for so many people. I can’t bear to think of the clean up. Our rental house is already under water.

  4. From one Queenslander to another living in a different state (SA), your pictures are much appreciated, Deb, to keep me posted on the Brisbane situation. I remember well the 1974 Flood, so hope the Brisbane waters won’t reach that height. Keep safe and thanks again for keeping us posted.

  5. I took my grandkids to GoMA on Monday and i was parked in the QPAC carpark. my son has evacuated from east brissie. he is behind mowbray park. my friends and family are safe hope everyone else is.

    • There will be no GoMA today. That car park is under water. I’m glad you are all OK.

  6. Thanks for posting these great photos of the flooding. They really illustrate how serious the situation is.

  7. Thanks for sharing these photos and letting know how things are. I hope everyone remains safe. Thoughts go out to all those affected by the flooding there and in QLD.

    • We have no power in our house now so we are at my brother’s house to cook dinner. The water should peak tonight and hopefully start to go away on Friday. Central Brisbane is a no go area. What a mess!

  8. […] the original post here: A Dark Cloud over Brisbane « Debra & Liz's Bagni di Lucca Blog Questo articolo è stato pubblicato in Hotel, Hotel Lucca, Lucca e ha i tag brisbane, […]

  9. Just dropping in to say hi Debra. Seems wrong to say great photos, but thank you for posting them. It is good to see events through different eyes from the ones you see on the News channels. Flash floods are the most terrifying things… but wholesale inundation on this scale is almost unbelievable.

  10. Stay safe, Deb. Hopefully the waters will recede soon. We’re thinking about you all!

  11. Hi Ladies, great post, thanks. I’m in Brisbane, too, and dreading what tomorrow will bring. I’ve been blogging about it from the other side of the river, at

    Hope you’re all safe & dry.

  12. […] UPDATE: The Rocklea Markets have flooded, so our fresh fruit & vegetable supplies are devastated. This isn’t good. Not a lot of point buying frozen either, with uncertain power supplies. Tinned food, here we come. UPDATE: check out these photos from the other side of the river. […]

  13. Hi, I’m a friend of Sue and Mike Gower who’ve taken me to Bagni. I now live in Hawthorne and work in the CBD in the arts. So very interested especially in your South Bank pictures. My today photos show Brisbane Powerhouse very vulnerable…

    Eerie here – what a waiting game…

    • At least the river didn’t come quite as far as expected – it is still terrible though.

  14. Hi, I am a friend of Pat Swell who has recently moved from the UK to Brisbane. I sent her your link & she has just contributed to this blog with some photos of the flooding. I have a villa I rent out above Bagni di Lucca in a little hamlet called Livizzano, part of a village called San Cassiano, high up at about 500 metres. Just below the Prato Fiorito. I have just thought of something I should put on my advert. If you go to San Cassiano for a holiday you needn’t worry about floods! I am so sorry to see all these pictures, it must be terrible, especially for vulnerable people. I do hope the levels go down soon. Sue Gower.

    • I will be back in Bagni di Lucca in about 3 weeks. I will be wet and cold instead of hot and wet. Perhaps I will see you in the bar one day.

  15. Deb-thanks for the update and the photos-I’ve been thinking about you and hope that you and your family (and your property_ are safe.

  16. Keep safe!

  17. Debra I hope this morning everyone will start to see the waters go down.

  18. Its 6.00am and in Sherwood the level has dropped about a foot on last night. It seems to be lower than than the 1974 level, certainly in this locality. Lets hope the rain stays away and it keeps dropping.

    There is a cyclone due north of NZ and a couple of thousand km off our coast. We will have to see where that tracks. They are so unpredictable.

  19. Deb so glad to hear your home in Westend is safe. When I first read you lived in Westend, my thoughts were “oh no” as I know other there whose homes are inundated – so glad that yours isn’t added to the list.

    Thank you for the photos. It seems like I can’t get enough of them down here. So many people and places I know being affected and the photos make me feel some tiny bit closer and not so helplessly removed (although of course I am)

  20. Just saw the devastation on CNN. Probably wouldn’t have triggered my emotions months ago, but now that I’ve gotten to know you through this blog I am worried about my friends and hope everything is okay.

    Just read through the comments today, glad your safe.

  21. […] UPDATE: The Rocklea Markets have flooded, so our fresh fruit & vegetable supplies are devastated. This isn’t good. Not a lot of point buying frozen either, with uncertain power supplies. Tinned food, here we come. UPDATE: check out these photos from the other side of the river. […]

  22. I don’t think anyone realises the tragic things that have happened here. Most of us can only give generously in answer to the hurt that Brisbane and all areas that were flooded have suffered.

    • People have been happy to help each other. Disaster brings out the best in some people.

  23. *fingers crossed for you all*

  24. […] here, here, here, here, here and here for the full story of the flood in […]

  25. […] here, here, here and here to see the Brisbane river and the flood in […]

  26. […] here, here, here, here, and here to see the floods in […]

  27. […] here to see the next stage of the flood. GA_googleAddAttr("AdOpt", "1"); GA_googleAddAttr("Origin", […]

  28. […] It is hard to believe that 2 years ago this week Brisbane city was devastated by floods. Click here to see a post I wrote at the time about the rising water. I did a series of posts about the flooding […]

  29. […] A Dark Cloud over Brisbane […]

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