and this is for the third time in twelve months.
Brother Cat actually lives high enough not to be inundated with water but the bridge he and his partner would normally travel over has all but disappeared. They are marooned.
"It's fine Cat," he told me when he could finally get a call through, "We have enough food and we are just staying at home. I'll go and help if they need me when it is time to clear up."
He will probably be called on to do some repairs or organise a team to do repairs somewhere. It's the sort of thing he is good at.
There are quite a lot of other older people where he lives who can do that sort of thing. They chose to live in a semi-rural community knowing that they would need to be able to give each other that sort of support.
Brother Cat has picked up many skills over the years. He has carpentry and metalworking skills. He can plan projects in an orderly manner, knows what needs to be brought in to complete something and more. He built an extension to one property years ago. He then converted another. This last move has seen him build a room which serves as his workshop and his partner's editing room.
I have no doubt there are other people in the district who have done similar things. Downunderites have a reputation for this sort of thing. I have come across some amazing people who have built all manner of things here and in other parts of the world.
There were the four young men who were given a choice by the magistrate almost forty years ago. They could go off to a very developing country overseas and help to build a hospital or they could go to a detention centre for four times the six months he proposed. It was a radical move. It sent shock waves through the system. They agreed to go and help build the hospital...and never came back. There were schools to be built, another hospital...and so it went on. The magistrate is dead. The "boys" have been back but they never stayed long. I don't know where they are now.
There were the "bikies" who left for a country devastated by an earthquake. I was worried almost sick by what they were planning. They were going to repair a hospital they told me. I told them they needed to take their own shelter, their own food, their own tools and more. That was fine. They were vaguely aware of that but they sought advice...and the small hospital got repaired. A few other buildings were made habitable before they ran out of holiday time. They did a similar thing several years later in another country but on the second occasion their bosses gave them extra leave and they stayed a little longer.
There have been other apparently equally "mad" and "crazy idiots" who have done such essential tasks over the years. Working like that doesn't suit everyone. Not everyone is prepared to accept the dangers and difficulties or the privations of such roles. It is not the "adventure" that many people believe. It isn't "fun". It can be very, very traumatic. It is very hard work.
There are things that could be done to mitigate flooding in the affected areas. The "Greens" may not like it but there is a need to be realistic and, properly handled, the end result will benefit the environment in which people need to live. In the meantime they will need to rely on those volunteers.