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12 January 2011 @ 11:49 pm
It's still flooding ...  
My friend i_autumnheart   is in a safe spot in Queensland, and doubtless doing dozens of useful things, because she is terrific and like that. One of them is this map: 

You can see the size of Australia compared to the continental USA. The dark blue line is the normal monsoon zone. The blue and pale blue lines were the original estimates of the flooded and flood-affected (cut off as well as largely underwater) areas, the purple and magenta lines are autumn's updated areas as of this afternoon. The flood-affected area in Queensland alone is already significantly bigger than the state of Texas, the flooded area larger than California. (If you can only think in terms of Europe, check out this link for comparative sizes.) Thanks, anthraxia , for the original link.

Careful viewers will notice there are two other major floods in the country at the moment. If you look down to the bottom left and find Perth, a bit below LA, there is a massive fire near there that has only just been brought under control.

The upside of living in a country of such madness is that people are generally great. It's not just the former Prime Minister, many people have been fabulous with supermarkets giving away stock to local people and strangers continuing to form human chains to help people rescue possessions and stock. The RSPCA put out an alert because they were unable to cope and within two hours people had stepped forward to foster all the excess animals at that time. People who were evac-ing an old caretaker in Brisbane took his budgerigars away in their pockets because he did not have a portable cage -- a whole new dimension to budgie smuggling.

The death-toll from the flash-flooding has risen to 12, but in good news the missing are now down to 48, though with grave fears held for 9 of them, as the news phrase has it. The expected peak has been revised down, which has meant that only 3000-odd homes in Ipswich were inundated rather than 4000. Things are still getting deeper in Brisbane, and will for at least another day.

And yes, there are still snakes in the water, and crocodiles, and now at least one shark.

One of my girlfriends was teasing me because I told her to fill her saucepans with water while they still have guaranteed potable water, but in all seriousness, it's the major difference between getting through the aftermath of a natural disaster with ease and with great annoyance. No one likes having to queue for water! Fingers crossed the desalination plant will mean that most of Brisbane can keep drinking from the tap. Sadly, in some rural areas, it's a 3 minute boil for anything from the tap.

Meanwhile, for you lot up north with friends who have lost goods, a few helpful links:
Fairfax story on dealing with water-damaged electronics drbunsen , who is a real-life techie rather than a journo playing one on the internet, says that you'd be better off following this advice. He's probably right, I only know about paper and textiles!
Good page on dealing with water-damaged documents

And for precious garments and textiles, a conservator's guide that contains many things the layperson can do
kestrelsparhawkkestrelsparhawk on January 13th, 2011 02:46 am (UTC)
there are still snakes in the water, and crocodiles, and now at least one shark. Good lawd. I was living in Des Moines for 30 days w/o potable water, but it never occurred to me that there was one thing to be thankful for -- the flood was INLAND.

Bless you for your birthday wishes yesterday, btw. I have decided to schedule my b'day for a new time, since for the past week I appear to have become an animagus snot machine.

A couple of tips from our flood: first, water is ESSENTIAL. Besides potable water, they'lll need it for flushing the toilet and what washing can be done. We hooked up a rainbarrel to get toilet water, etc but our flood came from the rainiest month evah, and don't know if that's the issue there. Also let my little truck have a plastic lining and half filled with water, for bathing. At night, in the dark, obviously.

Second, I dropped an open bottle of water in my purse, and it soaked everything, including my camera, which is not water proof. The camera guy who sold it to me told me later (it resisted the wet) that the best way to dry very small electronics safely for them and you is to pack it in rice, and leave it for a few days. Makes sense -- salt shakers in restaurants, when I was a little girl (before they started putting poisons in the salt to make it not clump) always had a few rice grains in them to keep the salt free-flowing by sucking out the water. another friend who is a puter programmer and whose husband assembles hard drives and such, said "Didn't you know that?" I didn't, so I pass it on fwiw.
drbunsendrbunsen on January 13th, 2011 09:03 am (UTC)
Oooh, rice, I forgot that one. Adding it to my blurb.
kestrelsparhawkkestrelsparhawk on January 13th, 2011 10:36 pm (UTC)
Thanks! I read your post and would have responded directly to you, but that would have meant some 'splaining! ♥♥
drbunsen: labdrbunsen on January 14th, 2011 08:45 am (UTC)
Nowt wrong wi' a bit of an explain :)