10YEARS AGO TODAY ... 10th January 2011... THE TOOWOOMBA FLOODS
10 years ago our region experienced devastating flooding - it’s hard to summarise an event like that . Leading up to this day- the heavy rain began on 19th of December and seemed to just keep coming. During this time I started to get a lot of birds in care that were either ‘waterlogged’ or hungry and struggling from not being able to find food. I had 10 baby Magpie Larks (Peewees) in care as their mud nests had all gone to slop and they kept being found on the ground, along with tawny frogmouths and a baby Galah. Many carers also had a lot of birds and rain affected animals.
From the actual floods however, we expected a lot of wildlife to require emergency care- but this was naive thinking on my part, having never experienced wildlife rescue in a natural disaster before, my expectations of animal survivors was unrealistic.
We were flooded in at our property for 2 days due to our normally dry creek flooding the road. Once it was clear on the 12th, Brendon immediately packed all his tools and equipment to go volunteer in the clean up at Murphy’s Creek and that’s where he would be for the next few months. Tony & Maree also went to Murphy’s Creek to volunteer helping organise emergency electrical work and also did this for a very long time. Most people we knew were doing something to help honestly.
For me at this time, My children were still young and I had been volunteering with my friend and wildlife mentor Clare, one to two days a week. I knew she would have been finding it hard getting branches for the koalas as they still need to eat despite the weather, and there aren’t any supplement foods that you can give! I set about cutting as much fodder as I could fit in my car from our own property and my children and I took it over to Clare to feed the 3 koala babies. At the time Clare never shared her wildlife work online, however she gave me permission to share these adorable photos of her three babies on my Facebook profile - as something to cheer people up during such an emotional time. I am re-sharing the photos on this anniversary as they still make me smile and remember her and how grateful I was for her trusting me and the experiences she allowed me & my family to be a part of- she changed my life for the better.
On this day we not only remember all of the animal lives lost, wildlife and domestic, but the human lives and families changed forever from this tragedy. Our daughter sadly lost one of her special kindy friends along with her friends dad... words can’t describe the awful devastation that occurred.
The couple of flood photos in this post were taken by Brendon on the morning on the 10th in Toowoomba. Locals will recognise these locations.
Let’s pray we never experience something like this again.
Judi Gray - Toowoomba Koala and Wildlife Rescue