“… droughts and flooding rains”

A collection of first-hand accounts of the floods in Queensland in 2022.

SE Qld Flood 2022

March … SE Queensland … Autumn … a beautiful time of the year. The heat is abating, the cyclones and rainy season should be gone. The skies are blue, the air is cooler, and mornings and evenings have a little crispness about them. Well, that’s the way it should be – but not March in SE Queensland in 2022!

The heat is unrelenting, the humidity is stifling, the clouds are gathering in great mountainous masses and the forecasters say we are in for some very serious weather. Everyone feels that we are in for something big.

Then the rain comes … and comes … and comes. And it stays! Like an unwelcome guest it moves in, takes over, and refuses to budge.

The rains take over Gympie, Toowoomba and beyond, the Lockyer Valley, The Scenic Rim, Ipswich, the Gold Coast, the North Coast and Brisbane and more. South-east Queensland is sinking beneath a massive ocean of muddy brown water. People have been preparing for days to cope with the onslaught – moving furniture and belongings to a safer place; moving cars and vehicles to higher ground; stocking up with essentials in food and water; or moving out altogether because they know what is going to happen. They have been through it all before! Businesses are doing the same. What we didn’t know was how much worse it was going to be than last time.


The rain fell relentlessly for four or five days with falls of 300mm plus in a night in some places. The creeks overflowed their banks and rushed towards the rivers. The Brisbane River became a raging torrent, rushing and rising, and taking whatever it could with it. Trees and small boats were the first victims, then larger boats, jetties, pontoons, walkways, riverside cafes and equipment, with desperate attempts being made to try to stop some of the larger boats etc. from hitting and damaging the bridges along the river. This great mass of wood, steel, timber, concrete, and rubbish rushed headlong into Moreton Bay. We have seen evidence of this already washed up on the shores of Beachmere.

Our little town of Beachmere is a seaside community just 40-minutes’ drive north of Brisbane. It sits on Moreton Bay near Bribie Island, and at the mouth of the Caboolture River. The road into Beachmere is low and affected by both king tides and rain. The population is used to the water rising over Beachmere Road, but they know it will be gone in a day or two. Not this time! The rain fell heavier and faster and longer than in the past and the waters kept rising. Not just Beachmere Road, but the only other roads that could have been used to flee, were also cut this time. Power and water were lost for more than 12 hours, and telephone communication was difficult or non-existent at times. One can feel very alone when isolated by flood water with no transport out, no power, no water, and no phone. How we appreciated those services when they were restored!

It wasn’t long before the Beachmere Community Facebook page was flooded with both requests and offers for help. There were people trapped in floodwater; three persons and a dog trapped in a flooded house; people and cars trapped in flood water; people needing assistance to evacuate from their houses which had never flooded before; people desperate for help to save their horses trapped in the flood water, with their sheds, stables, and horse floats all under water; a desperate plea for help to save three donkeys and 14 sheep in a flooded paddock. (Our two teenage children were able to assist with that rescue.)

What a wonderful thing community spirit is. Assistance came thick and as fast as the conditions would safely allow. Emergency services had to wait until the roads reopened three days later, and then the clean-up began. A son, as a member of the local Rural Fire Brigade helped hose out mud-caked homes. The regular army arrived, and the Beachmere community was out in force with offers of help in various ways, not just in cleaning up. There were offers of baby items, bassinets, cots, nappies etc.; a plumber offered his services to get drains, etc. flowing again; a tradesman with a small tipper offered himself and his truck to remove damaged property; a local electrician offered services for free; a lady with horse-handling experience offered halters, leads etc. for those trying to move horses. A family with five acres of land out of flood range provided for people to move their horses, or cars or caravans, also offering rooms or caravan accommodation to anyone needing a dry space for a while. People in unaffected properties washed the mountains of sodden linen and clothes of those whose homes had been inundated.

It is wonderful to see God working through disasters such as this. As residents of Beachmere, we found ourselves meeting and getting to know a new group of caring, generous people.

There is a community notice to say how awesome it would be when this flood is over, for the Beachmere community to come together for a heros’ celebration to thank all those who have helped in any way. It is suggested that a big party in the park would be a wonderful display of community spirit. God is surely at work, even in this disaster, and we thank him that each one of us, and our community will be stronger and better for the experience. May we ever be grateful for God’s continuing love and protection, and may we always appreciate the country we live in.

I love a sunburnt county, a land of sweeping plains,
Of ragged mountain ranges, of droughts and FLOODING RAINS.

Coral and Natalie

The Gympie Floods 2022

This is my first Gympie major flood, I have lived here for the last six years and moved to Zion Retirement Village three years ago, I live on top of “Palatine Hill” one of the many hills around Gympie. The terrain in Gympie is “uphill and down dale”. On top of every hill you can see a church and I enjoy living about 15 metres from our Zion Lutheran Church.

After many days of little storms, we were already saturated. Then Friday 25 February we had a major storm and knew from weather reports that the “Kidd Bridge” was flooded, one of our major arteries to the south side of Gympie. We still have another bridge a little higher and further south. It was fine to get across and it still allowed us to go to the south side. After the Friday downpour we woke Saturday to some sunshine, but water had risen many metres and the other bridge was now under water! I was curious to see what damage, if any, it had produced.

It seemed like half of Gympie residents came out to look at our main business centre: Mary Street. In our safe little surroundings, we were not going through hardship or seeing our business get eaten up by brown murky water. Then there were people in their homes having to leave and sometimes with very little notice! We chatted with an electrician who told us he had to cut off electricity to certain areas as they saw them submerge. This affected so many homes. Some had generators; mostly those living in rural areas. Most local people had to find a way to save their refrigerated food and find a way to boil water to have a cup of tea, such a simple thing. The people were hurting in so many different ways, but I was OK.

But the clouds were starting to gather and emerge in black, rumbling, foretelling waves. We knew there was more rain on the way. At 9.00pm that night it came bucketing down nonstop, it was so loud it was hard to hear anything. By 11.00pm I thought it was pointless to go to bed, and looked outside to check this downpour, with thunder rumbling and lightning flashing around us. It was scary and it almost sounded like God was telling us, “Not Happy”. I felt safe in God’s hands but, only minutes later, I noticed a rivulet forming in my kitchen from beneath the kitchen cupboards, I tried to divert it with towels and then finally gave up and followed it to my front door the lowest point obviously. I swept it out as well as I could but it defeated me. Just my kitchen/lounge were affected. My carpeted bedroom was safe, not a drop went into it. By 1.00am in the morning I was starting panic, I rang my neighbour who lived on the other side of the church. I knew there was nothing we could do, I just needed to talk to someone, I did say to God “this is enough” thank you. I stayed awake until the rain subsided at 3.00am, noticed the water was flowing smoothly out the front door, and went to bed.

Heidi Lane

The Mighty Mary River Flood

Gympie, Qld: 25/26/27 February 2022. A weather bomb hit our city. Over 816 mls of rain fell over just two nights of horrific downpour. (To us oldies that was 32.64 inches of rain). My phone rang at 1.00am. “Nolene, my unit is flooding – there is water everywhere. I am trying to sweep it out, but it just keeps coming, and I don’t know where it is coming from!” A huge waterfall was tumbling over the steps at the rear of her unit. Her kitchen, dining, lounge area had water seeping all through – but the bedroom/bathroom section was dry.

My friend Heidi Lane was very distressed. The rain was teeming down, and I couldn’t go to help her. What could I do? “Heidi, there is nothing we can do for now. Have a cup of tea and go to bed.” (Great advice from a friend at a time like this!)

Next morning at 8 o’clock I woke her up, and when I saw the predicament she was in I knew she needed help. Pastor David and his wife Tamara were called and got to work, clearing heavy furniture, picking up sodden floor rugs and mopping the floors as much as possible under the circumstances. Help was at hand for Heidi (in her “little predicament” as she calls it).

This is just one tiny little story amongst the millions that occurred through this Flood Bomb in Qld and down through NSW. We were high and dry – well, almost, compared to so many who lost their homes and their lives.

The picture above was taken from my back patio overlooking the Council Car Park and Mary Street You can’t see Mary Street – it is down in a steep valley. The flood water that you see in the distance is the Mary River – usually only recognisable by a line of trees.

I have lived on the Mary River since 1950, experiencing many, many floods in that time. Our dairy farm was on the banks of the Mary River. I shudder to think of what our old dairy farm had to go through with this flood as I heard they had received over 1000 mls in that area.

Psalm 46:1–3,11 (NIV) God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.

Nolene Stark

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