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The floods in Australia are having these effects


Sewage sludge, dead livestock, oil and chemicals have been washed away by floodwaters inside homes in Lismore, Australia.
Image: AFP

Sewage sludge, dead livestock, oil and chemicals have been washed away by floodwaters inside homes in Lismore, Australia. Russell Good puts on a respirator and cleans up.

D.I.e. Flood Inside the house, Russell Good only notices as he moves his legs from the bed to the floor. 5:20 a.m., he clearly remembers it. It’s a splash and the water is up to his knees: “It was surreal. You did not expect the house to be full of water,” he says. The 59-year-old Australian is still quiet. After he dries his computer under the roof, he goes to the kitchen by the water to make himself a coffee as he does every morning. He throws out the refrigerator and freezer that are already floating in the water. There is only one way for the water level to rise for seven and a half hours. He fishes a pair of pants from the water and climbs onto the roof of the house. Once there, he stands wet and cold and waits for help.


“This place should never have been built here”: Russell Good, three months after the flood
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Picture: Till Fähnders


These are long days to come. The water was already up to the sewer when a man in an aluminum boat finally killed him from the roof. The boat gathers another family from the neighborhood, and a boy carries his game console to the lifeboat. The boat is stranded in the current. The engine got stuck in the fence under the water and had to be stopped several times. When an electric wire comes into view, the boatman yells, “Down!” Shouts, Russell Good and his neighbors bowing their heads. Cries for help are drowned out by the roar of the current and the surrounding roofs by the rain. The sky is covered with dark clouds and the water is full of mud and household items. Dozens of cows are fighting for their lives, while others are floating in lifeless water. Good also sees the snake going into the water.