Ten years since the 2011 floods

Ten years ago today, a swelling Brisbane River flooded the city, and made us question whether we really needed that $9 billion of climate-resilient water infrastructure the state government had commissioned in the middle of the drought, when there were fears rainfall would be permanently lower due to climate change.* The Queensland floods, which caused tragic loss of life and billions of dollars of property damage, were Premier Anna Bligh’s finest moment, as she rallied Queenslanders in that challenging time, and we saw thousands of Queenslanders help out in the clean up, the so-called Mud Army.

Ten years ago today, I posted the following images on QEW, which I snapped around Toowong and Auchenflower on Tuesday afternoon, 11 January 2011.

Police officers inspecting the flooding on the street running alongside Auchenflower train station. In the background, the croquet club field is a lake.
Land St, Toowong on the afternoon of 11 January 2011. I had to take off my shoes and roll up my trousers to walk through the water to get home around the corner.
Flood tourism at Regatta CityCat Terminal, hours before the flooding Brisbane River lifted the pontoon off its support poles and it drifted away.

*For more on the mid-to-late 2000s SEQ water crisis, check out my 2018 book Beautiful One Day, Broke the Next.

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2 Responses to Ten years since the 2011 floods

  1. Russell Rogers says:

    Gene,
    Good pictures. It is so hard to plan for the future when you bring in the poilitics of extremism and don’t have a good look at our history. In my opinion then and now, the joining up of the Dams in the SE was a good move and even the recycling system was potentially a reasonble decsion except it could not be sold properly. But the desalitation plant was not resonable.
    The Wolfdene Dam is something that should have been built by the Goss government but too much short term politics and no long therm planning.
    I was around for the 74 floods and I heard a bit about the 1893 x 2 floods when I was a child.
    Climate change is with us but given where we are located we will see la nina wets and el nino drought for a while yet.

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