Caterina Sestili is a director at iFORM SA, in Brisbane. She sent us this account.
I live in the Brisbane suburb of Tenerife, in the New Farm area. My building is nearly on the river so it is truly amazing that it wasn’t affected, apparently it was on high enough grounds. Everywhere in my neighbourhood people were piling sandbags in front of their doors and evacuating their belongings – the river was rising very fast and we were being advised to pack up and evacuate.
I went out on Wednesday to stock up on grocery shopping. When I tried the day before, there was absolutely nothing left on the shelves and there were lines of people that went out into the street!
My office is directly adjacent to SouthBank, in Brisbane, which was mostly submerged in water. Employees were all granted remote access to the computer system and we have been working form home – that’s if we still have power, of course! This morning we received an email from management saying our office building has been mainly unaffected by the water but that power in the area is out and the roads are inaccessible – so we’re not sure when we’ll be able to go back.
My sister, who lives in South Australia was visiting Brisbane for the first time this week, was due to leave yesterday. I had trouble getting her to the airport – all the roads out of my area are still blocked, traffic lights are not operational. Eventually we were able to book her a taxi who knew a very convoluted but alternate route to the airport, so luckily she was able to depart successfully.
The spirit of the Brisbane people has been amazing. There is the wonderful story of an emergency rescue worker from Brisbane whose house was slowly but surely being submerged in water, but he remained in Toowoomba, one of the hardest hit areas, to helicopter out survivors who were still isolated on rooftops. There are so many stories like that one. Absolute strangers check on each other in the street to ask if they are OK, to offer assistance with sand bagging or getting supplies…"