Pat Taylor and her partner have continued living in the house they were in when Ipswich flooded in 2011.
Pat Taylor and her partner have continued living in the house they were in when Ipswich flooded in 2011.

'It messed with my head': Why flood survivor still struggles

YOU wouldn't know just by looking at it but the table in Pat Taylor's dining room spent four days underwater.

It was one of the few items to survive after Pat's East Ipswich street was submerged, leaving the roof of her own two-storey house barely visible in January, 2011.

Ten years after Ipswich was hit by its worst flooding since 1974, Pat is one of the few still living on the same street after experiencing the flood.

"The neighbourhood has changed - a lot of the people who lived in the neighbourhood have moved on, moved out," Pat said.

The hardy Ikea table survived the flood, despite being immersed for four days.
The hardy Ikea table survived the flood, despite being immersed for four days.

The night before the flood hit Ipswich, Pat watched on TV how the disaster was impacting Toowoomba.

"I was looking at the water coming through those streets and I wondered how that could happen all the way up there," she said.

"They were holding a phone appeal so I got online straight away and I donated money for their flood, not knowing the next day we would need to move."

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On January 12, 2011, Pat's neighbour warned her it was time to leave.

"He had been there in '74 and he knew it had gone under in the 1974 floods," Pat said.

"He phoned and said get your stuff out now."

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Pat said she was lucky, that her neighbour's warning had given her, her partner, and her son a small window of time to save as much as they could from the home.

As the water rose, creeping closer to Pat's house, she stood on her street captivated by the strangest scene.

Pat's street in East Ipswich, following the flood in 2011.
Pat's street in East Ipswich, following the flood in 2011.

"The thing I remember most that has stuck in my mind is standing on the street, watching the water come further and further up, and seeing all these worms all trying to run ahead of the water," she said.

"It was amazing - there were so many of them, thousands of them."

Once the water arrived, it rose rapidly, Pat remembers.

The water nearly covered the roof of her home, stagnating for a couple of days before beginning to recede.

Pat's house was repaired after the floods but has never been quite the same.
Pat's house was repaired after the floods but has never been quite the same.

It was six months before Pat and her family could move back home.

"We put the house back together but it's not the same," she said.

"All the walls needed repairs, we had to have a new kitchen put in, because the water sat in there for four days."

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A decade on, the sound of rain still affects Pat.

"Every time it rains heavily, the brain tries to think logically but the body thinks it's going to flood again," Pat said.

"It really did mess with my head. But you just have to keep going, move on and learn some lessons from it."

 

Read more news by Ebony Graveur.