herald

Wednesday 15 August 2018

Irish families join forces to survive

A DUBLIN family living in Brisbane have told of their fears as the city continues to be gripped by severe flooding.

For the past week, the Queensland city has been a natural disaster area with the floods leaving at least 17 dead and 72 missing.

Bayside native Grace Grennan (35) has revealed how anxious residents have been on tenterhooks as they prepared for the worst.

She and husband David, who have two children Aidan (6 months) and Cormac (2) and emigrated 18 months ago, have had to batten down the hatches since last Monday.

"It has been really stressful as you really don't know what's going to happen," she told the Herald."After the flash floods in Toowoomba, there was this waiting period after we were told it was going to hit us."

While the family have not had to evacuate their house, which is situated on high ground, Grace said the conditions have been worsening.

"The amount of rain we have had over the past six weeks has been unbelievable, it was of biblical proportions," she said. "We've been looking at all these shocking images on TV and it's been so hard to comprehend, it's so eerie.

"We've been told not to leave the house at all. Two roads in front of us now look like they're going to flood after the high tide."

She also revealed how the Irish community have been rallying together this week to help each other cope with the disaster. There has been a real sense of solidarity. We've had friends staying with us after they had their electricity cut off and then we went to theirs for a BBQ. We have a little Irish contingency going on."

Luckily, the Grennans moved out of their previous home in the lower-lying area of Hawthorne last August. When they drove out to see how the area was affected, it looked as if the property was about to be submerged.

They are now living in Cannon Hill, about 2km from the Brisbane River and say, hopefully, they will escape the worst of the flooding.

mfinn@herald.ie

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