the Breeze

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OUR ISLANDS ESCAPE RELATIVELY UNSCATHED IN RECORD DOWNPOUR! Considering SE Queensland and our islands have experienced the biggest deluge in modern history, our Bay Islands escaped relatively unscathed. Whilst on the mainland whole suburbs and towns have been almost washed away, our group of islands took the brunt of the record downpour with nearly a metre of rain recorded in some island rain gauges. Normally in such circumstances, power cuts have been part of the norm. Except in a few small areas on the island, there were no major power outages. On the mainland, however, it was a different story with thousands of homes losing power for up to several days. Throughout the Redlands, council crews were busy working on areas of flooding, sewage inundation, fallen trees and damaged roads to Council so there is a record and a list of works which will be prioritised. On the islands, there has been considerable road damage in the way of potholes. During storms, particularly in 2011, the islands experienced power outages for out to three days, but not so this time around. Amazingly, in readiness for expected power cuts, Energex sent crews over anyway for any expected power outages. One area of concern was with communications via mobile phone and the internet. Mobile phone reception does not have great connectivity on the Southern Bay Islands and seemed to be even worse during and after the deluge. Telstra and other suppliers, as well as the NBN reported some issues brought about by the excess amount of water interfering with recent island NBN curb connections. Several businesses reported loss of NBN connection and had to resort to mobile phone ‘hotspot’ to run their businesses. It was a shock to discover from the NBN that it would take up to a month for technicians to attend to complaints that were lodged. Outages on the mainland seemed to indicate they were being repaired and reconnected in preference to our islands. Unfortunately Moreton Bay has become somewhat of a ‘dumping ground’ for all sorts of material that was hurtled down the Nerang and Brisbane river systems.