"What? Us? Here?!" Was my response. She said that she had spoken to the SES and all of Wagga Waggas' CBD was ordered to evacuate as the river was expected to reach its peak the following morning (this morning at 7am.)
Naturally being from the country (where over the last eleven years or so we are so used to having drought that the new loads of rain we have been getting have been not only unusual but hard to get used to) I started to panic a little. I've never had to be evacuated from my home before. (My hometown never floods like this!)
(I took this picture on my way home from class yesterday arvo of some of the water lying around the uni campus! It has gotten worse in the last 24 hours. These paddocks are usually bare!)
Although I am only 2 weeks new to this town I have a good friend who I rang immediately to confirm if we had to evacuate or not. At this point I was thinking it must be a mistake because I don't live that close to the river and I didn't think the flooding was that bad! She confirmed it with me on the phone and told me all of the things that I should do to make sure my unit was safe.
I unplugged all of my electrical goods (except my fridge) and put everything that I could lift on my own up as high as I could (I ran straight for my new TB boots! A girly thing to do, yes, but the thought of my new shoes floating around in smelly flood water was scary!!)
We ended up loading a small plastic box of my beloved things (including my laptop, some pictures of family and a small bag of clothes) into my car and we headed to higher ground. Thankfully my friend has other friends in Wagga that we are lucky enough to stay with while we wait to hear whether the levy bank that is protecting the city CBD from the flood water breaks or not when the river peaks.
We were told that the river was to peak at 7am this morning, then this time was pushed back to 9am, then to 3pm, now the latest news from the SES is that the river is moving slower than expected and now we are waiting until later this evening to hear that the river has peaked.
So at the moment its much of a waiting game for us. There are 9 of us "crashing" at Heidi's friends house until we get the "OK" that we can move back to our houses in Central and the CBD.
(Yesterday arvo this was my view - stuck in traffic trying to get home from my uni. You can vaguely see the flood waters of North Wagga in the distance. This water has also risen a lot!)
Of course the idea of a day off work or uni might sound exciting to most people but to be honest, I think I'd much rather be at uni class! Sitting around waiting, not sure whether your house and belongings are going to get wet and ruined is not a nice thing to have to do. Plus I miss my bed! :( I am currently sleeping on a couch, which is better than the floor like some of the other couples that are also staying here are having to do, but nothing is quite like sleeping in your own bed!
We are all hoping that the news is over-reacting a little and by tonight we will all be given the OK to go back to our homes, but who knows at this point? All we can do is keep checking online for updates and the listening to the radio and the news to find out what lies in store for us and all of the other 8000 evacuated residents from Wagga Wagga.
Please keep us in your thoughts. Floods are so not fun!