Goodna resident Benitta Harding is comforted by her friend Annie Walsh.
Goodna resident Benitta Harding is comforted by her friend Annie Walsh. David Nielsen

Ipswich floods broke hearts, prompted action

FOR THOSE old enough to remember, the floods of January 2011 may not have matched the heights of those experienced in 1974.

For anyone caught up in the most recent weather disaster to hit the city, it was of little consequence.

Today marks the eighth anniversary of the 2011 flood, a flood that was in some way unlike others the city has seen before due to the way the water backed up into Ipswich's suburbs.

Having already witnessed the horrors of once-in-a-lifetime deluges in Toowoomba and the Lockyer Valley that caused unspeakable horror, Ipswich residents knew how to brace for the worst when the flood waters were headed our way.

 

Ipswich was hit by rising flood waters. Barry Adams of Woodend used this dingy to help his family move possesions and themselves to higher ground on Leslie Street at East Ipswich. Photo: David Nielsen / Queensland Times IPS120111FLO12H
HIGH WATER: Barry Adams of Woodend used this dingy to help his family during the 2011 floods on Leslie St at East Ipswich. David Nielsen

In the days leading up to the flood, we saw the stress on people's faces as they packed their worldly possessions into trailers, knowing but not fully understanding that when they return, their home may not look the same.

The Queensland Times was there as slow-moving waters from the Brisbane and Bremer backed up into the worst hit suburbs, which included North Booval, Basin Pocket, Moores Pocket, Brassall, Goodna and Karalee.

The stress of leaving turned into the heartbreak of realising just how much damage the floods had done.

Perhaps the worst image burned into people's memories would be the piles of muddied and stinking belongings piled up on the streets.

 

Flooding in Ipswich on Wednesday. Ipswich CBD looking West.Photo: Rob Williams / The Queensland Times
Flooding in Ipswich on January 11, 2011. Rob Williams

For some, the strain was all too much.

But for all the suffering, there was light to come from the floods.

The people of Ipswich are known for backing one another in a crisis, and few things have shown that characteristic like the 2011 floods did.

Ipswich suffered greatly through the floods, but we also came out of it all a little bit stronger for the experience.