The Torrent: Toowoomba and the Lockyer Valley, January 2011 by Amanda Gearing

By Amanda Gearing

Of all of the tales to emerge from Queensland's catastrophic summer season of 2011, the main dramatic and starkly tragic have been those who happened in Toowoomba and the Lockyer Valley. On January 10, 2011, after weeks of heavy rain and as floodwaters started to crush a lot of south - east Queensland, an 'inland tsunami' hit the town of Toowoomba, the agricultural districts of Spring Bluff and Postman's Ridge, and the cities of Murphy's Creek, Withcott, Helidon and Grantham. The Torrent tells, for the 1st time, the extreme tales of survival and loss that emerged from that poor day. reputable figures nation that twenty - 4 humans died. Many escaped dying basically simply because they have been rescued through individuals of the neighborhood or via sheer success. in response to particular interviews with survivors, rescuers, and with the households and acquaintances of sufferers of the catastrophe, The Torrent is a special and robust account of human braveness within the face of the devastating strength of nature, and the iconic resilience of normal Australians.

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Sample text

Shane held the anchor rope while John moved towards the car. Once he was closer, he saw that there was noone inside. What Eddie and his friend had thought was a person in the front seat was only a headrest. Eddie’s friend returned to the bus stop but Eddie thought it was too risky to get back. He clung to a tree. Bystanders saw them and phoned triple zero while Eddie started wondering if he would escape with his life. ‘The water was getting higher, over my head. I started to climb higher in the tree but I couldn’t get a good enough grip so I had to get up, get a breath, and go back down in the water,’ he recalled.

They had gone only ten metres from the shed when an eight-foot-deep wave of bubbly red water hit them. ‘I didn’t comprehend the force and the sound. It was like the ocean. It wasn’t flat. It was just bubbles. It took me. I was doing forward somersaults. I was tossing and turning in the water, trying to get my raincoat off, trying to get my gumboots off, trying to get my head above water,’ Susan said. John was screaming to her to grab onto the above-ground pool next door. Susan was swept right past it.

Col was also isolated by floodwater but he knew a concreting contractor, Jeff Neumann, who lived halfway between Murphys Creek and Postmans Ridge and owned a truck. Jeff answered his mobile phone. Col told him, ‘Rick just 40 Murphys Creek tried to phone triple zero. There ’s a woman in the creek. ’ Jeff told him, ‘Well you’re lucky. ’ Jeff handed over the phone to the incident controller who sent the crew to Ossian Street to search for Catherine. The crew, Nathan Chadwick and Phil Paff didn’t know the area, so Jeff offered to go with them in the fire truck.

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