Brisbane floods: Your stories

Footage shot by David Jutsum in Toowoomba shows cars being swept away

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The authorities are urging people in Australia's third largest city, Brisbane, to evacuate it in parts as it faces its worst flooding in decades.

The city's mayor has warned that 6,500 homes and businesses are set to flood.

Here people in Brisbane and surrounding areas describe the situation where they are.

Michael Cunningham, western suburb of Brisbane, close to city centre

Photo: Michael Cunningham Michael Cunningham took this photo of his street

The Brisbane River first broke its banks about 500-600m (1,640-1,970ft) from our house. It has risen about 4ft (1.2m) in the seven hours since then, but is expected to rise rapidly when flood waters from other rivers add to the heavy rain and dam releases.

The situation is very uncertain - today the number of homes expected to flood jumped from 200 to 9,000 then back to 6,500. Our neighbours have been evacuated.

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Michael Cunningham

The unprecedented amount of rain has taken everyone by surprise”

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We expect downstairs flooding and have moved things upstairs in anticipation. We have also moved our cars to higher ground.

The sudden change in the situation led to shelf-clearing rushes on supermarkets and most people heading home early. We are prepared to be evacuated if necessary, but are hoping to stay in our house.

The government may take a different view. They have given powers to the police to order people to evacuate but I don't whether these powers have been used yet.

The main road has been cut off but we have access to another road behind our house if we need to leave. Police have also been blocking access to the river where we are.

It isn't raining here at the moment, but in the whole of Queensland it has been raining for weeks. The ground in most of Queensland is totally saturated.

We have had the wettest November and December. The unprecedented amount of rain has taken everyone by surprise.

Stephen Dyson, Eagle Farm, 10km east of Brisbane

My partner and I work in Eagle Farm which is located approximately 1km north of Brisbane River. We live approximately 80k from the city and were caught up in traffic for the whole journey home.

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There was an overwhelming sense of community”

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I'm the safety manager for a company of over 400 staff and we were informed by the state emergency services that the surrounding areas were expected to flood once the Wivenhoe Dam released excess water around 0200 local time (1600 GMT).

Employees were told to evacuate the site by 1200 local time (0200 GMT) at the latest but in the meantime asked for volunteers to prepare the site for the flood.

A vast majority of employees chose to stay behind and lift items from the ground floor to prevent water damage. We anticipate the workplace will be submerged by up to 1m of water by 0600 (2000 GMT) on Wednesday morning.

The Bruce Highway was closed and we decided to stop off for dinner at a local takeaway. It was quite a busy area, but there was an overwhelming sense of community at the takeaway, lots of people chatting, offering advice on how to best circumnavigate the affected areas, telling each other stories of how they got out of the city.

No one appeared stressed, everyone had smiles on their faces and when the highway was finally opened, they just continued telling stories until the food was finished and the roads were clear. We said our goodbyes and finally arrived home 3.5 hours later than our normal 50 - minute commute.

Richard Turner, works in Brisbane city centre

Kalinga Park, Brisbane, Photo: Jane Long Jane Long took this photo in Kalinga Park in Brisbane

I'm an English backpacker working in Brisbane and I have just been sent home early from work in the city centre.

There were huge queues for the trains heading out of the city and some were only running to certain stations.

The Central Business District is being evacuated in certain areas such as Fortitude Valley and West End - and things are meant to get worse, with a high tide in a few hours and a king tide tomorrow.

The rain is torrential at the moment, it hasn't stopped all day. We've had rain like this for weeks. At the moment there is a big thunderstorm over my suburb of Sherwood, which is one of the places located on the Brisbane River which may experience flooding.

I've just been down to the local park which is on the riverside. I could see the river is spilling into people's gardens. A lot of people are worried that the floods could be as bad as those of 1974.

Sarah Ashby, northern suburb of Brisbane

traffic on the Bruce Highway, south of Caboolture, 11 January 2011 Steve Gordon captured the traffic on the Bruce Highway, south of Caboolture

We live up the hill from the South Pine River which is in spate cutting off and flooding many communities on the flood plain.

Not only has the Brisbane river valley flooded, but many smaller rivers that empty straight into Moreton Bay are also flooded.

Although we are safe at home and have stocked up on supplies, we are virtually cut off as all the road and rail links across south-east Queensland have been severed in many places.

The local radio station, ABC Brisbane, is on emergency alert and hourly new areas are being told to evacuate.

The situation will worsen over the next two days as water flows down through the catchments and collide with spring tides.

No-one here is looking forward to the hours of darkness.

Jo Grist, Burpengary - 30 minutes north of Brisbane

Photo: Jo Grist Jo Grist: All the main roads are flooded

I am in one of the areas being told to evacuate but as I live on a hill, I am staying put. We are cut-off.

Everyone in the low lying areas have left. Bruce Highway is impassable. No cars can get in or out.

The water came and flooded our road in less than an hour. The rain and storms have been constant. My husband was stranded in Morayfield - it took him three hours of walking in chest-high water to get home.

All the main roads are flooded. We were given a government text and telephone warning to evacuate to higher ground immediately at 1135 local time (0130 GMT) but by then most roads were becoming impassable.

Our property is on a hill, so I stayed here with my two dogs.

Rebecca Nixon, Palmwoods

We live about an hour and a half's drive from Brisbane. Our local area has been partially flooded, nothing too serious yet. I can't leave my home though, the road is under water.

Myself and my colleagues are working from home. We've dug trenches around our house to drain away the water into the road. At the moment the road looks like a river, and it's just begun raining again.

We're better off than some of our neighbours - they are experiencing more flooding. I am very worried about my friends in Brisbane - I have been calling them to check that they are OK.

The devastation is as large as France and Germany combined, and is only set to get worse over the next couple of days. I am really afraid that we will have floods as bad as those in 1974. Please give generously to the flood appeals, and keep us in your prayers.

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