Weekly photo challenge: Liquid

St Mark's Square flooded

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Liquid this week’s topic for the weekly photo challenge instantly makes me think of Venice and waking up to a high tide which flooded St Mark’s Square. On this morning we went for a stroll before breakfast to see how the piazza and surrounding areas fared after a night of rain and a high tide. We had seen photos of flooding in Venice, but they were extreme and I wasn’t prepared for how beautiful Venice looked with a layer of water covering most of the piazza.

“Venice never quite seems real, but rather an ornate film set suspended on the water.”

Frida Giannini

A wild night

…and no, there wasn’t any alcohol involved just mother nature doing the wild thing and creating havoc for us humans, again.

Australia Day was Saturday, January 26 and it was a wet day, but at least there were moments when you could venture outside to walk the dog or do a bit of shopping. Yesterday it rained, and it rained and it rained, our Premier appeared on the news telling us to brace for a wild night of wind and rain, flooding in Brisbane and further destruction in towns like Gympie and Bundaberg. For many, it was reminiscent of the 2011 floods which caused devastation in places like Toowoomba, Grantham, Brisbane and Ipswich to name a few.The Gold Coast got off reasonably lightly then, the rain fell yet the flooding was minor, not so this time.

Live coverage of the flooding can be found on the ABC website: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-01-28/qld-flooding-alert-moves-south/4486666

erosion at Kingscliffe beach
Beach erosion at Wommin Bay, just north of the Kingscliff Beach Bowls Club rock wall. January 30, 2012 (ABC Gold Coast: photo submitted by Tania Phillips). Source: http://www.abc.net.au/local/photos/2012/01/25/3415384.htm?site=&xml=3415384-mediarss.xml#bigpicturepos

On the Gold Coast, high rise buildings are creating major wind tunnels making it difficult for locals and tourists in Surfers Paradise to get around. In our local area trees have fallen and roads are flooded, we’re being asked to stay off the road and flights from the Gold Coast have been cancelled or redirected. I usually spend my Sundays at a local animal welfare league but after a couple of hours of cleaning, cuddles and toilet walks there was little I could do, the rain was just too heavy and the dogs were better off warm and dry in their beds.

My husband and I spent the afternoon indoors watching DVDs, Maxi and Bundy were also not inclined to be outdoors, they followed our every move and if there was a chance to go for a ride in the car, Bundy could be found ready to go at the front door. We live near the bush, a huge Eucalyptus tree sits right on our fence line and there are several more within a hundred metres of our house, to hear the wind roar through those trees is frightening. The wind blew all night, speeds of 140km/hour were mentioned on the news but I have no idea how fast it was moving near our place, we kept the windows of our bedroom open in the hope that if one of those trees were to come down we would be able to hear it. As it was, the neighbour’s bamboo was the only thing we had to worry about, it had been uprooted by the wind and now lies across our fence and on our roof. Damage appears to be minimal, water is not coming through our ceiling and no windows have been broken, it is hard to know anything more until the weather eases and the bamboo can be removed. With so much worse being experienced in other areas of Queensland, I can’t complain, these things happen and we’re still safe and dry. My heart goes out to the people who have lost their homes and for the few who have lost their lives as a result of this wild weather.

Updates on Vernazza and Monterosso

Lovers seat, Via dell Amore Cinque Terre
Lovers seat, Via dell Amore Cinque Terre

As I slowly work my way towards finishing my first photobook of our 2011 holiday in Europe and the rain continues to pour down I am reminded that it has been a while since I provided updated information on the progress of cleaning up Vernazza and Cinque Terre after flooding and mudslides in October last year.

The best sites for getting up to date information and photographs are two of my favourite travel blogs (I have quite a few favourites): Cultural Comments and Once in a Lifetime Travel, the other important website to check out is Save Vernazza, through this site you can make donations to help with the rebuilding. I don’t need to repeat everything they have written, but it is important to acknowledge the hard work that all the residents, volunteers and emergency services are doing in order to clean up and restore the town to its former beauty. Monterosso, another of the 5 villages of the Cinque Terre was also devastated by the flooding and badly needs your support, local residents have worked tirelessly to restore Monterosso, go to the Rebuild Monterosso site for more information on their progress and on how you can help.

My husband and I are planning another trip to Europe for 2014 and will definitely be heading back to Cinque Terre, I know it is a long way off but the income from tourism will be essential for the rebuilding of Vernazza and Monterosso.

A feeling of déjà vu

It is raining, heavy, constant rain that leaves you wondering if it will ever stop. At the moment there is a choir of frogs in the yard, they are almost louder than the rain falling on the tin roof of our outdoor area and at times it can be deafening.

With two days of solid rain and 6 or 7 more days of wet weather predicted it leaves me feeling as though we’ve been here before, only 12 months ago 75% of Queensland was under water including suburbs of our capital city, Brisbane. Already roads are flooded and with predictions of another 200mm to fall it must be quite frightening for the people who lost loved ones and homes in the floods of 2011. There are still those idiots risking their lives and the lives of others by attempting to drive through flood waters, already 3 people have had to be rescued from their car despite warning signs erected all over the state.

Photos taken during the last 24 hours of rain: http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/photogallery/queensland/severe-weather-hits-southeast-queensland-20120124-1qf10.html

With Australia Day celebrations scheduled for Thursday it is unlikely to be the usual day at the beach, playing cricket and enjoying a barbeque. Undercover barbeques prove extremely popular at this time and at least you don’t have to worry too much about flies or sunburn. Think I’ll stay home, maybe catch up with friends for a coffee and take the dogs for a walk between showers of rain, it will be nice to not have to go to work regardless of what the weather is like 🙂

Rain falling in our backyard
A wet and rainy day

Queensland floods: Eerie calm as Brisbane braces for worst | Latest news on the Queensland Floods | News.com.au

Queensland floods: Eerie calm as Brisbane braces for worst | Latest news on the Queensland Floods | News.com.au.

It is surreal, the sun is shining and yet the flooding is only going to get worse. Driving in the pouring rain yesterday was nerve-wracking, wondering if the next bend would reveal a flooded road but we’ve been very lucky and there hasn’t been much flooding in our area. Today all we can do is help those who need it and then sit, watch and wait until the waters recede.