A land of sweeping plains,
Of ragged mountain ranges,
Of droughts and flooding rains.
That is the second stanza from Dorothea MacKellars famous poem "My Country". It is, quite easily, one of the most known four lines in our country, perhaps second only to the opening lines of "The Man From Snowy River"
The vast majority of Australia has been in the midst of drought for many, many years and on very strict water restrictions.
In March last year, some good rains came.
It was wonderful, and we rejoiced.
In December, it rained some more. The catchments were full. We were delighted!
But this time, the rain didn't stop.
It's been raining in Queensland continuously for about a month. At the moment, there are recordings of 4" per hour.
The parched ground hasn't been able to absorb the rain quickly enough, and the south east of Queensland, an area the size of France and Germany combined, is now under water.
Last night, Toowoomba, a town with no river, was hit with an "inland tsunami"
8 people died. Including a woman and her child, who couldn't get out of their car before it was swept away.
In total, 15 people are dead (as at Jan 10), and there are 72 people missing in Queensland.
The floods began in Rockhampton, and have since claimed 22 towns (at last count) and affected approximately 20 thousand people. The damage is reported to be in the AUbillions. 3 hundred roads have been closed, including 9 major highways.
Brisbane (state capital) and surrounding areas have started to be evacuated.
To give you an idea just how catastrophic these floods are, I found a couple of inset maps and then I drew on them*...
It really is horrific.
Please pray for our country.