Thanks for the nice RR Don,the pic of the bridge brings vivid image of the scene during the floods where the poor buggers never stood a chance,as a local was there more of a window of warning available?,from what I gathered from the news reports it was basically brace yourself here it comes.
Don the tragedy was that there were two self-confessed "weather geeks", members of a well-resourced group that monitors all weather patterns in the south-east, who contacted the weather bureau and the SES at 11 am and warned them that extremely severe flooding was imminent and that the main body of water would arrive at Grantham around 2.30 pm.
The weather bureau said that their automatic weather station upstream from Grantham had not sent any warning so they more or less told them that they were just well meaning amateurs and should leave matters to the experts. The guys told the weather bureau that the reason the auto station wasn't sending a warning was that it was under water already! The weather bureau didn't believe them and refused to issue a flood warning on their say so. All the guys could do was to put the word out via social media and it was this action that prevented even more loss of life.(This was confirmed during the flood inquiry that completed its findings only recently.)
When the bureau finally realised the seriousness of what was about to happen, they issued a warning advising all residents in the area to evacuate "immediately". That warning was broadcast at approx 2.20 pm and the water arrived twenty minutes later.... Chris at the servo told me it wasn't just the creek overflowing -- it was a wall of water hundreds of metres wide pushing all sorts of debris along before it. The sound was indescribable and the town was engulfed in what seemed like minutes.
Freakin' bureaucracy. Another example. A privately-owned chopper doing voluntary rescue work (remember, time was of the essence) made the short hop down to Amberley air force base urgently requesting fuel and the pilot had to wait for ages while they got permission from Canberra before they'd give him the juice! :headbang:
Fingers crossed nothing like that happens again this summer.