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The Big Wet: Northern Australia in Grip of Floods

As Queensland rivers burst their banks and northern New South Wales is inundated, Nick Evershed sums up the national feeling in Australia about the latest weather and the climate implications:

‏@NickEvershed: Australia: if it's not on fire, it's probably underwater.

At the same time bushfires are still out of control in parts of Victoria.

The #bigwet and #qldfloods hashtags are capturing much of the general comment as well as local stories.

ABC News Breakfast quoted a resident from the Lockyer valley, west of Brisbane:

‏@BreakfastNews : Steve McDermott in the Lockyer Valley: You experience a once in 100 year flood in 2011, you don't expect another one two years later #bigwet

Over 20 people died in the Lockyer area in the 2011 floods.

This video was produced a year a go by the Lockyer Valley Regional Council's official YouTube Channel:

In Brisbane Derek Weeks has been tweeting regularly about the floods:

@derek_weeks: This is where the projected flood maps will be http://www.brisbane.qld.gov.au/ #qldfloods #bigwet in a ‘short time.

He added a photo soon after:

‏@derek_weeks: #collegescrossing a few hours ago, only just rebuilt following 2011 #qldfloods #bigwet http://lockerz.com/s/279870176

College Crossing

College Crossing, Queensland. Photo: Derek Weeks tweet

Twitter is not always the best way to get accurate or up-to-date information, especially when communications are down or there’s no power. Jess Faith from far north Queensland is one of many to lose her connection:

‏@jessfaith89: Hello technology! How I've missed you! #bigwet #qldfloods #Cairns

ABC Wide Bay is one of the national broadcaster's ‘Local Radio’ stations. It was just one of many local ABC radio stations to retweet this gem of imprecision.

‏@abcwidebay: Gympie river is reported to be looking like it has peaked at 20.3m #bigwet #qldfloods

David Kirkpatrick is only one of many online who have linked the extreme weather to climate change:

‏@daveyk317: We are hearing the word “Unprecedented” a lot in coverage of the #qldfloods – we will no doubt hear this more as the #ClimateCrisis bites.

Brisbane has a crowdsourced map of flooding, powered by Ushahidi, here: Brisbane Storm and Flood Map.

So far three deaths have been confirmed. This current extreme weather and the resultant floods have many days to go as the massive storm moves south towards Sydney. Currently, the #bigwet tag is being added to every few seconds.

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