Borders woman in Oz flood fears

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A MELROSE woman is hoping she and her family and the new home they moved into just a month ago will escape the floods ravaging Queensland, Australia, writes Sally Gillespie.

Mum-of-two Susie Orr, nee Cuthbert, formerly of High Cross Road, Melrose, lives in a suburb 15 miles from Queensland’s largest city, Brisbane. Flash floods have already affected her neighbourhood and earlier this week her husband Ken was told to leave his work in the city.

Mrs Orr told us: “We have prepared our valuable papers and have bottled water on stand-by in case we need to jump in the car and escape to higher ground, or get onto the roof should we get storm surge such as Toowoomba suffered (where flash floods ripped through the river-less town).

“We got up at 2am last night (Monday) to check the water levels outside as there was a high tide, so more flooding predicted, but so far we are escaping it here. But friends in another part of our town had flood water up to their door yesterday morning.

“We are hoping the nearby creek doesn’t flood or that storm drains get blocked up.

“The situation is very serious for south-east Queensland with three quarters of the state now declared a disaster zone.”

The massage therapist and her husband, who have been in Brisbane for three years, designed and built the home they moved into only a month ago with their children Rosie and Angus.

Mrs Orr’s parents, Nicoll and Mary Cuthbert of Darnick, are keeping their fingers crossed.

Mrs Orr said: “It’s an anxious time for them as they are concerned for our safety.

On Tuesday she told us: “The danger over the next 48 hours is very real, particularly for those on the Brisbane River. My husband works in a skyscraper on the river: that and many other buildings were evacuated yesterday (Monday), causing rush hour at 1pm, with people stuck on the highway for many hours as they tried to get home to make preparations for the floods coming.”

By the time TheSouthern went to press yesterday Mrs Orr hoped she and her family would be unaffected after rain stopped for the first time in two weeks.

But she said: “Half an hour away they are expecting nine-metre floods at 4am with thousands of homes to be flooded.”

The BBC reported yesterday up to 20,000 homes are at risk in Australia’s third-largest city where power to the central district had been cut.

It said the Brisbane river is forecast to peak at 5.2m (17ft) higher than its usual level in the early hours of this morning.

So far 12 people have died and more than 90 - including whole families - are missing in the ongoing disaster.

The Brisbane Courier Mail says 50 of the city’s suburbs are expected to be hit, with some areas completely submerged as high tides - known as king tides - act as a barrier for water from the river flowing into the sea.

The BBC said more than 6,500 city residents are expected to take refuge in three evacuation centres.