Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Theodore, Queensland Christmas Floods - Fodder Drop in Action

In an earlier post, I told you about some cattle we had stranded in the flood waters. I can now confidently report that they all survived, none were washed away, and we kept them fed through the particularly tricky period when there was nothing for them to chow down on like this:

A hay bale, slung by helicopter across the flood waters to their ever diminishing piece of ground. Yes, we had to get out of bed very early in the morning, to catch the chopper pilot before his day filled up with jobs - every one as important and critical as the next. There's a whole book that could be devoted to the wonderful work that teams of chopper pilots undertook throughout the area (and in fact, the whole state) in the course of this flooding. They evacuated people from their homes as it became unsafe to stay; they flew along power lines to disconnect power to pump motors that were going underwater, and to do what could be done to restore lost power; they delivered food and medical supplies to stranded and isolated families, they airlifted many precious pets to safety; and they fed those animals that simply could not be moved. These guys (I'm sure there are some girls among them, but our contact was all with guys...) became a link for many of us to the outside world - keeping us posted on what they could see from the air. To suggest they have become everyones heroes is not to understate a thing. Just ask our cows...Ask them how happy were they to see Jack headed their way, slinging breakfast underneath his bright yellow bird!

All the bales were strapped up, waiting for the hitch to the sling, we had more bales than straps though, so Jack had to land and drop off a set halfway through the operation.


Six bales went, one at a time. Each time, Jack hovers in close, one of our princes ducks in and attaches the hitch, and off he goes again.


Which is the moment that the ground crew launches into action to strap up the next bale.

Jack had dropped a guy over to the cattle before he started, to act as "Ground Crew" over I don't have a shot of that to share with you. But, I can tell you that they were some real happy looking cows!

With the sun beginning to shine, Jacks first job for the day is complete...his sling delivered back to him, and he heads off to care for who knows how many other families and creatures in the course of the day. Thanks Jack. Thanks to every chopper pilot who tirelessly flew for weeks. You are all legends!

*A little PS....Many of you have commented here and contacted me offering all kinds of beautiful, wonderful, precious support and assistance - From the bottom of our hearts thank you. If you are keen to follow on with the progress of our little community, another of our local legends Fleur Anderson is caretaking the Theodore Rebuilds website, and updating the blog with the towns progress. We are, as a community, devastated by the loss of life and violent damage in the Toowoomba and Lockyer Vally area. We thought we had it tough here, until we were reminded that we are in fact, remarkably blessed. We all have our lives. We have homes - admittedly some need a lot of fixing, but they still stand. We hold those communities in our hearts as we begin to rebuild our own. 

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