Centres Host Brisbane Refugees

In Australasia, Floods & Storms, News Headlines

About 1,100 people have spent the night in two evacuation centres in Brisbane.

About 700 stayed at the city’s showgrounds, while another 400 are at the QEII stadium on Brisbane’s southside.

The centre at the city’s showgrounds is prepared to accommodate triple that amount.

An army of volunteers is helping provide Brisbane residents with food, shelter, counselling services, and even a creche and reading material.

Several residents seeking shelter at the showgrounds say they feel like refugees in their own city.

Everyone at the Brisbane showgrounds has a story about their escape from the floodwaters, some more dramatic than others.

“The river was basically right up to the front of my property, but I was able to get out by crawling over the neighbour’s fence,” an evacuee said.

Many arrived at the shelter with just a few personal possessions.

“You can replace material stuff but if you lose your partner or your husband or whatever, you can’t replace that,” an evacuee said.

Many say the speed of the floodwaters took them by surprise.

“[Water] started to come up to our frontyard so we had to evacuate through the back because we couldn’t get though the front,” another person said.

Others moved to the evacuation centre after vital services were cut.

“Power went out at about 1:30 last night and then the sewage backed up so we decided to bail out,” an evacuee said.

The facility is prepared to accommodate up to 3,000 people for the duration of the flood.

Most people are grateful.

“It’s been pretty good here. They have been treating us pretty good and the generosity of people is really good to see,” another evacuee said.

But some tempers are starting to fray.

“Just so sick and tired of it – just want everything to go back to normal,” another evacuee said.

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