Spirit shines despite tragedy
WHETHER it was the tireless work of emergency services staff, or neighbours helping each other evacuate homes, Ipswich residents' grit and determination shone through yesterday.
In one of the darkest days the city has faced since the 1974 floods, residents banded together as the swollen Bremer and Brisbane rivers ravaged the city.
Churches, schools, sporting groups and those with homes on high ground have chipped in to help flood-affected residents.
Those who left their homes went to evacuation centres across the city where volunteers helped evacuees stay warm and dry.
There are reports a mother flooded in at her residence in Lockrose, north-west of Ipswich, gave birth at home with the help of her partner and neighbours.
Emergency Services were reportedly unable to reach the house by road or by air to transport the mother to hospital.
The two weeks premature baby and its mother are said to be doing well considering their predicament, and are still at home.
Down at Basin Pocket, where hundreds of residents were facing the devastating prospect of floods worse than those seen in 1974, there were still smiles on faces as households rushed to relocate their belongings to higher ground.
McGill Street resident Ken Blackwood said he was thankful for early warning of the phenomenal flood levels set to inundate his home in the early hours of today.
“What we're facing is nothing compared to those poor people in Rockhampton and Toowoomba – at least we've got time to act,” Mr Blackwood said.
A group of about eight of Mr Blackwood's friends and family assisted in the massive effort to load all his furniture and belongings on to trailers and take it to homes on higher ground.
Last night the evacuation centre at the Ipswich Showgrounds was packed with more than 500 people who had left their homes.
Goodna residents Terri and Jack Thompson were one of the many families who evacuated their homes with kids in tow.
Their children Sam, 3, and Bronwyn, 2, could only take a toy each to the evacuation centre as they left their homes behind.
Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale said there were so many people that buses had started transporting people to Ipswich Grammar School, Ipswich Girls' Grammar School and West Moreton Anglican College.
He said residents who were safe and dry in their homes today could help those at the evacuation centre by bringing food and anything to help entertain the large crowds.