Tuesday June 27, 2017

The Big Wet: Bundaberg Flood 2013

Written by Renae Henry & David Marler
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The Bundaberg House Washed From It's Foundations Onto The Road
A Bundaberg house washed from its foundations onto the road
Photo courtesy of Renae Henry, Channel 10 Queensland.

Renae Henry's Coverage Of The Bundaberg Flood 2013

Path Of TC Oswald
The path of TC Oswald
On 17th January 2013, a patch of low pressure in Australia's Gulf of Carpentaria began to develop into a storm system. Situated between the Northern Territory (NT) and Queensland, the storm made landfall just below Borroloola, NT. Over a 24 hour period, it completed a clockwise loop and headed back out to sea. It was an event that would have a devastating outcome for the town of Bundaberg on the east coast of Queensland, nearly 2,000 km away.

Cyclones tend to lose power over land and gain it over water. The moist air was whipped into a fury as it crossed the warm waters of the Gulf. The system was now officially labelled a tropical cyclone and given the name 'Oswald'.

Oswald made a second landfall to the north of the Gulf town of Kowanyama, Queensland. Considered a weak storm, what made this cyclone unique was the large monsoonal flow drawn in from the north. As Oswald broke up over land, torrential rains hit the northern most towns of Queensland. The 'Big Wet' had begun.

Downgraded to Ex-Tropical Cyclone status, remnants of Oswald were now drawn further south by another low pressure system. Flood and water damage occurred all along the east coast of Queensland and into Northern New South Wales, cutting roads, isolating towns and blacking out homes and businesses. The lashing tail even reached as far as Sydney.
I was on Queensland's Gold Coast at the time it hit. Wind gusts of up to 100+km were recorded. The wind and lashing rain combination went on for a good 36 hour period. I'd never experienced anything like it.

Channel Ten Queensland's Renae Henry was in Bundaberg to report on the devastating flood there. I'd been following her reports on twitter as the events unfolded. It had been the worst flood Bundaberg had ever experienced. Parts were inundated that had never been touched before. North Bundaberg was almost wiped from the map.
Renae Henry, Channel 10 Queensland: @renaehenry10
Renae Henry, Channel 10 Queensland: @renaehenry10
The most poingnant moment for me was when Renae reported on her journey into North Bundaberg to witness the destruction. "Couldn't believe my eyes", she tweeted. It evoked my own memories of Brisbane floods, 2011, when I'd served with Anna Bligh's 'Mud Army'. That moment when I first stepped into a damaged Brisbane street was quite a jolt. It's like walking out of civilisation into a warzone.

I asked Renae if I could display her Bundaberg twitter coverage and her field reports from the time.  I felt this was the best way to record and tell the story for the Bundaberg community.


Ten News Queensland: Jan 29, 2013
Up to 2,000 people have been evacuated from the northern parts of Bundaberg as the river reaches the biggest peak in recorded history.





Ten News Qld January 30, 2013
Some Bundaberg residents have started returning to their homes after a record flood.









Ten News Qld Jan 31, 2013
The Prime Minister has toured the flood-ravaged city of Bundaberg, as the full extent of the disaster is just starting to be revealed.





Ten News Qld Feb 1, 2013
More than a thousand furious flood victims have been left devastated all over again after authorities cancelled plans to take them to their homes in the worst hit areas.





Ten News Qld Feb 2, 2013
More than a thousand people have been allowed to visit their homes, for the first time since Bundaberg was ravaged by floods.







Ten News Qld Feb 3, 2013
In Bundaberg the council is now considering buyback schemes 'or' even relocating suburbs.


Ten News Qld Feb 4, 2013
Queensland's Flood Appeal Committee has made a desperate plea to big business to dig deep due to a massive shortfall in donations.

Ten News Qld Feb 5, 2013
That war over national flood assistance has ramped up with Canberra claiming all the Premier has to do is pick up the phone and the money will start flowing.


Ten News Qld Feb 6, 2013
Flood victims in North Bundaberg are preparing to spend their first night in their broken homes.

Ten News Qld Feb 7, 2013
Temporary houses will be built across Bundaberg for flood victims as the Council considers bying back homes.

The Big Wet Bundaberg Flood 2013  E   Newmania: Queensland's NDIS And Budget Surplus Deathly Embrace

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